Collaborating in a cooking course throughout my travels is one thing I all the time like to do. It’s a good way to study concerning the native tradition and delicacies, and to choose up a brand new recipe or two. Throughout my go to to Lecce (map), a historic metropolis in southern Puglia, I had the chance to hitch a cooking class on the Awaiting Desk, probably the most established cooking faculty in Lecce (based in 2003). The college provides week-long programs, in addition to day lessons, which I opted for as I used to be solely in Lecce for just a few days. I knew I used to be in for a deal with however it turned out to be one of the vital enjoyable, educative and immersive issues to do in Lecce!
There have been 4 of us on the daytime cooking course that day. We met Silvestro, the founding father of the Awaiting Table, at Lecce’s foremost sq., subsequent to the town’s iconic amphitheatre.
Silvestro welcomed us and gave us a brief introduction to Puglian meals and wines earlier than taking us to the fish market. On the market, he advised us concerning the numerous sorts of fish and their origins, and the most effective methods to prepare dinner them. For our lunch course, he chosen some fish and squid, which we’d later study to arrange and prepare dinner.
From the fish market, Silvestro led us throughout the historic metropolis centre, with its stunning Baroque façades, to the vegetable market. The recent rocket leaves, artichokes, tomatoes and mushrooms had been a mouthwatering sight! We gleefully stuffed our baskets – I wasn’t the one vegetable lover within the group – and continued on our approach to Silvestro’s cooking faculty within the metropolis centre.
Situated in a historic constructing, the Awaiting Desk faculty, is each cosy and vibrant. Stuffed to the brim with cooking books, pots and pans and all types of kitchen utensils, it positive was a cheery sight!
We donned our aprons and acquired prepared for our first lesson: pasta! Silvestro defined the differing kinds of flour used, and that barley flour is often utilized in Puglia. As we kneaded the dough, Silvestro gave us the selection of various pastas we may make. We voted for cappalletti (a pasta form paying homage to Mexican sombreros).
It was a enjoyable train, utilizing a glass to chop out shapes from the flattened dough, then folding them earlier than utilising a bottle to create the ‘sombreros’.
Making ready seafood and greens
Subsequent up, Silvestro launched the various kinds of seafood and greens we had been going to eat. He then gave us a masterclass in the right way to put together artichokes and squid. Gosh, I had no concept what number of steps had been concerned in cleansing and making ready these! Cleansing the squid was significantly difficult. It positive made me admire the work achieved by fishmongers on daily basis to ship them ready-to-cook.
A crash course in Puglia wines
Silvestro invited us into the eating room once we had been achieved. He proceeded to inform us about wines in Puglia – one factor I realized is that, opposite to in style perception, Primitivo shouldn’t be probably the most prevalent grape selection in Puglia; probably the most widely-grown grape selection in Puglia is Negroamaro. We then loved a wine-tasting of three completely different rosés. Puglia is known for its purple wines so it’s no surprise that the preferred chilled wines are rosé and never white (although Puglia additionally produces, amongst others, a beautiful white selection referred to as Verdeca).
Cooking our lunch
After the wine-tasting, we had been invited, one after the other, again into the kitchen to prepare dinner the dishes. I volunteered for the pasta dish: cappalletti, cherry tomatoes and squid.
When everybody had cooked their dishes, lunch was served. It appeared completely mouthwatering! My favourites had been the grilled fish, which was recent and tremendous tasty, and the artichokes and sautéed wild rocket. So scrumptious!
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I appeared round and everybody had seems to be of pleasure and surprise on their faces; ‘surprise’ as a result of we couldn’t fairly imagine that we’d simply ready and cooked every thing on the desk!
The Awaiting Desk cooking course positive is among the finest issues to do in Lecce! Impressed by what I realized at this Lecce cooking class, I handed on the teachings to my youngsters at residence only a week later. We spent a day making pasta and had a terrific time!
Along with cooking lessons in Lecce, the Awaiting desk additionally organises week-long cooking lessons (some with yoga and biking) at a close-by fort. For more information, try the Awaiting Table programs.
Be aware: I used to be invited by the Awaiting Desk to take part on this class. As all the time, all views acknowledged above are mine.