Collaborating in a cooking course through my travels is some thing I often really like to do. It is a fantastic way to master about the nearby culture and delicacies, and to pick up a new recipe or two. All through my check out to Lecce (map), a historic metropolis in southern Puglia, I had the chance to sign up for a cooking course at the Awaiting Desk, the most recognized cooking college in Lecce (launched in 2003). The college features 7 days-extensive classes, as very well as working day courses, which I opted for as I was only in Lecce for a couple days. I understood I was in for a handle but it turned out to be a person of the most enjoyment, educative and immersive matters to do in Lecce!
There had been four of us at the daytime cooking program that working day. We achieved Silvestro, the founder of the Awaiting Desk, at Lecce’s key sq., next to the city’s legendary amphitheatre.
Silvestro welcomed us and gave us a limited introduction to Puglian food and wines just before taking us to the fish market. At the market place, he told us about the many varieties of fish and their origins, and the finest ways to cook dinner them. For our lunch course, he picked some fish and squid, which we would later study to get ready and prepare dinner.
From the fish market, Silvestro led us across the historic city centre, with its attractive Baroque façades, to the vegetable market. The clean rocket leaves, artichokes, tomatoes and mushrooms were a mouthwatering sight! We gleefully stuffed our baskets – I wasn’t the only vegetable lover in the group – and continued on our way to Silvestro’s cooking university in the metropolis centre.
Found in a historic building, the Awaiting Table faculty, is both of those cosy and vibrant. Loaded to the brim with cooking guides, pots and pans and all types of kitchen utensils, it absolutely sure was a cheery sight!
We donned our aprons and acquired ready for our initially lesson: pasta! Silvestro explained the different types of flour utilized, and that barley flour is generally used in Puglia. As we kneaded the dough, Silvestro gave us the decision of distinct pastas we could make. We voted for cappalletti (a pasta shape reminiscent of Mexican sombreros).
It was a fun training, using a glass to reduce out designs from the flattened dough, then folding them in advance of utilising a bottle to develop the ‘sombreros’.
Making ready seafood and vegetables
Up coming up, Silvestro introduced the various kinds of seafood and greens we ended up going to eat. He then gave us a masterclass in how to put together artichokes and squid. Gosh, I experienced no notion how many techniques ended up concerned in cleaning and getting ready these! Cleansing the squid was notably challenging. It certain produced me recognize the work performed by fishmongers every working day to provide them completely ready-to-prepare dinner.
A crash program in Puglia wines
Silvestro invited us into the eating home when we ended up completed. He proceeded to explain to us about wines in Puglia – one point I uncovered is that, opposite to common perception, Primitivo is not the most prevalent grape selection in Puglia the most extensively-developed grape range in Puglia is Negroamaro. We then relished a wine-tasting of 3 distinct rosés. Puglia is famous for its pink wines so it is no ponder that the most well-liked chilled wines are rosé and not white (nevertheless Puglia also produces, among other people, a attractive white selection known as Verdeca).
Cooking our lunch
Immediately after the wine-tasting, we were invited, just one by 1, again into the kitchen area to cook dinner the dishes. I volunteered for the pasta dish: cappalletti, cherry tomatoes and squid.
When anyone experienced cooked their dishes, lunch was served. It seemed unquestionably mouthwatering! My favourites were being the grilled fish, which was new and super delicious, and the artichokes and sautéed wild rocket. So delectable!
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I looked around and all people had looks of pleasure and speculate on their faces ‘wonder’ due to the fact we couldn’t really believe that we’d just prepared and cooked almost everything on the table!
The Awaiting Table cooking program absolutely sure is a single of the best things to do in Lecce! Influenced by what I figured out at this Lecce cooking class, I handed on the lessons to my little ones at house just a week later on. We invested an afternoon earning pasta and experienced a fantastic time!
In addition to cooking classes in Lecce, the Awaiting table also organises week-very long cooking lessons (some with yoga and cycling) at a nearby castle. For a lot more details, check out the Awaiting Table programs.
Notice: I was invited by the Awaiting Desk to take part in this course. As usually, all sights mentioned over are mine.