Me and my Italian Chef . . .


(this story is in English because I also want to share my experience of this evening with Chef Salvatore)

This is the moment, this is the day. This could be a phrase of a songtext from a Dutch artist called Rene Froger. But that is not what I am referring at. This is the moment and this is the day that the Italian workshops are starting at in Wehl. Chef Salvatore arrived on Friday at Eindhoven Airport. He travelled from his home in Corfu, Greece through Eindhoven to a cold place in the Achterhoek. I always thought that Corfu was a nice and warm place throughout the whole year. My illusion of warm and sunny Corfu was gone when Salvatore told me that it was even colder in Corfu and they had snow in his hometown.

The evening started with a small introduction by Chef Marco of Kookstudio75. He explained the menu which he made together with Chef Salvatore. Some of us where enjoying their coffee and tea, I was enjoying a nice glass of white wine when Chef Marco was talking about the menu of this evening. As usual, the menu was printed on paper and was lying on one on the kitchens. I was already taking a brief look at the menu while the others were enjoying their welcoming drinks. I always do that so I already can make my choice before Chef Marco starts with his introduction of the menu. After this introduction, Chef Marco asks who wants to work on which part of the menu. I am always the first to raise my hand and tell him which part of the menu I am interested in. This time I was attracked by the 2nd part of the menu, the gnocchi's. I never made gnocchi's before. When I choose this part of the menu, my neighbour joined me and also one of the other workshop attendants joined us so our group was complete to prepare this course. First we had to cook the potatoes. In the mean time we could work on the sauce. The sauce had several ingredients like union, basil, garlic and tomatoes. The tomatoes needed to be chopped and the skin needed to be off. You can cook to undo the skin but you can also do it with a technique by using the point of the knife. First frying the union, basil and garlic in oil. Then add the tomatoes and the salt and pepper and let it cook for 30 minutes and then the sauce is ready. When the potatoes are ready you have to mash them and cool it down. Then add the flower, pepper, salt and egg. Mould it till you have a good dough. Cut it in pieces and shape it on the back of a fork. Cook it in hot water, cool the gnocchi's and put it in the sauce. Just before serving on a plate and cover it with cheese. Burn the cheese till it melts and decorate it with fried basil leaves and you have a fine composition on your plate. A composition with a perfect taste. The rest of the menu was also good. A nice starter followed by a dish with gnocchi and on with ravioli. The main course with fish and at the end a dessert with chocolate. All was completed by a selection of good wines like: a red Sangiovese, a white Voignier and a rosé wine from Chile.

It was a very nice evening with good menu, nice recipes and lovely people to cook and to talk with. Compliments to Chef Marco, Chef Salvatore and Simone for organizing a perfect evening. The atmosphere was good, the menu was perfect and the ingredients amazing in the combinations which were invented by Chef Marco and Chef Salvatore. It's always a pleasure to join a workshop at Kookstudio75 but the Italian workshop makes it even more special to be part of that workshops. I hope that Kookstudio75 will continue with these special workshops for long time next to their regular program. Cooking, learning and eating, that's the combination I like very much at Kookstudio75. And this all in a good atmosphere.

Next week on Thursday 24th January, I have my 2nd workshop with Chef Salvatore and Chef Marco. I am really looking forward to this day because it's always a pleasure to cook at Kookstudio75!

La vita è breve! Godere, cucinare e vivere!