Arrivederci Salvatore!! Fino al prossimo anno!!


Last week on Monday I had my first cooking class with Chef Salvatore and Chef Marco. It was a menu with traditional Italian dishes. The second week of Chef Salvatore's stay at had a different theme. Chef Salvatore and Chef Marco created a menu with new Italian dished combined with influences from Wehl. I was very curious about this menu. Around 18.00 hr. I drove with my car to Kookstudio75 at Wehl. I had mixed feelings about this evening. Of course I was very happy to join this workshop. I am always very happy to join a workshop with Chef Salvatore. I am always very happy to join a workshop at Kookstudio75 too. But I knew it was the last workshop with Chef Salvatore, after this evening I have to wait for another year till Chef Salvatore returns to Holland for another two weeks of culinary Italian adventures. But I could still enjoy this evening so I wanted to enjoy it to the max. And saying goodbye means that very soon we will meet again!!! 

Dire addio è solo un temporaneo addio, nel prossimo futuro ci rivedremo!

I arrived around 18.15 hr. at Kookstudio75 at Wehl. There were already some people at the studio. Enjoying a cup of tea, I learned to know who was also joining the workshop of this evening. Around 18.35 hr., the group was complete and 18 enthusiastic participants were waiting for the introduction of Chef Marco. Before Chef Marco started with his introduction, I already took a look at the menu. The main course was an Italian stew. I was very interested in this part of the menu so when Chef Marco finished his introduction I choose for this main part of the menu. It was a stew of calf meat with several vegetables like carrot, onion, garlic. I took care of the meat. First cut it in small slices and put pepper and salt on it. Den put some oil in the pot and fry the meat shortly till it is brown from both sides. Then add the carrots, unions, garlic, rosemary and sage. Blush it with red wine and then add the tomatoes. Let it boil for at least one hour. And make in the meantime the polenta, salad, pesto so the dish can be served on the plate in a nice way. This dish was very nice to prepare and this preparation gave a totally new view about how to use and combine ingredients. 

These two Italian weeks at Kookstudio75 were a good start for the new cooking year. Thanks to Chef Salvatore, Chef Marco and Simone for organizing these weeks, for the 3rd year in a row. And of course I hope that this row never ends and will be followed by a 4th edition, 5th edition et cetera . . . . . The Italian workshops, just like the other workshops at Kookstudio75, are always nice. The workshops are very educational, the atmosphere is good. It is very pleasant to work on food, to talk about food and to eat the food you worked on and talked about. Combined with a good choice of wines it is not just eating but it is a complete experience. 

Grazie per questa bella esperienza! La vita è breve così mangiare, bere e godere!

I am going to look at the website of Kookstudio75 this week to see which workshops they have scheduled for this year. I already want to plan the themes I like for this year. And I have already other plans in mind for this year. In 2018 I followed 2 wine classes, SDEN1 (WijnVignet) and SDEN2 (WijnOorkonde). The exam for SDEN2 is on 6th February. I start with SDEN3 (WijnBrevet) on 18th March. This means 8 classes followed by an exam. After this exam I can be admitted to the wine Academy for training as a wine expert. This training is not very easy. It is no problem if I don't pass this exam. After this 3 wine courses I have a lot of knowledge and I can decide which wine fits the best with what I cooked. But of course I want to go further with the wine classes. The first two classes went well so I have good hope for the 3rd class. My goal is to go to the Wine Academy after finishing the 3rd class in july of this year.

I am also going soon for a trip to The Gambia. From 4th till 13th March I will visit the projects. And of course the Gambian kitchen needs to be explored again. I have already put down several Gambia dishes in a menu and I hope to see more interesting and nice dishes of the African kitchen. A friend of mine asked me this week if I could prepare a African menu for his family in May. It is for a group of 16-20 people and they are coming to my house. I can turn a part of my house into a small restaurant and I already have a reasonable stock of cutlery, crockery, tablecloths and glass. I have two Gambian dishes in mind, combined with a Gambian salad and some traditional drinks. I am going to make a proposition next week regarding menu and prices. I hope I get this job, It is a nice and interesting challenge!!

Lots of things to do this year!! (and it's very nice to do!!)