“Human beings make life so interesting. Do you know, that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to invent boredom?”
- Terry Pratchett, Author
Buenos Aires – Bored? Sitting at home wishing you had something to do, something to stimulate your interest, your intellect, your skills, your tastebuds? In town for just a short time and wishing you knew more about what’s going on in the kitchen behind the scenes of all the food you’ve been eating, or wish you were eating? Let’s do something together about that…. All classes are limited in size (2-4 people, generally if we don’t have at least 2 registered we won’t run the class, though that’s not absolute), allowing for hands-on experience along with a demonstration of new techniques, plenty of discussion, and followed by a meal where we eat what we’ve made in class. All public classes are us$50 per person, per session, unless otherwise noted in the description; to arrange a private class there is a minimum charge for two people, or us$100, even if only one person attends. All classes are in English unless otherwise specified (or requested for private classes). To contact me for more information or register, click on the “E-Mail” link at the top of the page.
[Por ahora, estoy solo planeando las clases publicas en inglés, pero, las clases particulares, o, si ustedes son dos o trés persones que quieren tomar una clase juntos, podemos organizar algo en castellano. Para contactarme sobre mas información o inscribirte en una clase, cliquear en el enlace "E-Mail" en el menu arriba.]
[Class descriptions below the schedule.]
Beginning Tuesday, April 8th, and continuing for ten weeks (until June 10th) we will start another cycle of our principle introduction to Italian cooking, “The Color Palate of Italy“. Let me know if you are interested in joining and if that set of dates works for you. Series can be taken as a whole (10% discount if paid in full upfront), or as individual classes.
April 8 – Core Ingredients
April 15 – Pasta
April 22 – Pizza
April 29 – Grains
May 6 – Contorni
May 13 – Fish & Shellfish
May 20 – Poultry
May 27 – Beef & Pork
June 3 – Game
June 10 – Offal
[Note: For all classes, dishes may vary depending on the season and availability of ingredients, if there's a specific dish that you're eager to learn, make sure I know that in advance and if it's possible given ingredients, we'll include it.]
Color Palate of Italy
Our most popular series, ten sessions which we repeat on a regular basis. As well, we’re happy to schedule individual sessions selected out from the series – the most popular being the pizza, pasta, and poultry classes.
- Core Ingredients – herbs, olive oils, cheeses, garlic – an intensive tasting, plus a lunch featuring these – plus knife sharpening and basic knife skills
- Pasta – basics of pasta making followed by a lunch of our efforts
- Pizza – from piadinas to grilled pizzas to Sicilian style to focaccia – it’s a bit of a carbo-loading day, but delicious
- Grains – working with risotto, polenta and farro, the classic whole grain dishes of Italy
- Contorni – we’ll work on four classic vegetable side dishes that will make your main courses shine
- Fish & Shellfish – a trio of recipes from the sea, some of our favorite cooking, plus learning how to clean and prepare creatures of the sea
- Poultry – if it flies, it’s fair game for this class – learn how to clean and cut up a chicken, plus cook it in two ways, plus a classic quail dish
- Beef & Pork – we can’t pass up these staples of both Italian and local cuisine, can we? Braccioline (stuffed beef rolls, pork chops in a piquant sauce, and we bring back pasta and a to die for bolognese sauce
- Game – this class always depends on the season and what game is available (we’ve worked with goat, venison, wild boar, rabbit/hare), and is one of the more creative classes of the series
- Offal – a little nose to tail dining, with a look at some of those “parts is parts” – always a surprising class, usually because no one expects to enjoy it, and then they do!
Italy, Region by Region
We offer a series on Italian regional cooking, covering each of the 20 regions of Italy and preparing a traditional 3-course meal. Not intended to be comprehensive, these were created as a followup to our Color Palate of Italy series above – we go into the classes with an assumption that you have some decent cooking skills, and the intent is to deepen your familiarity with different styles of Italian cooking. Generally we offer these in blocks of five – Northwest, Northeast, Central, and Southern areas.
- Abruzzo – Land of Gargantua and Pantagruel – famed for rich, extended feasts, lamb dishes, and unusual pastas, join us as we make Scrippelle (crepes) in broth, Agnello Cac’ e Ove (lamb with cheese and eggs), and Pepatelli (pepper cookies)
- Apulia – Italy’s Secret – Bari, Brindisi and Taranto – the champion pasta eaters of the country – melanzane alla foggiana, orechiette, cartellate con vin cotto
- Basilicata – The Fiery Instep – the hidden and little known rocky countryside has left the traditions of this region very different from much of the rest of the country – spaghetti all’assassino, lucanica, torta salata di verdure, pizzicannelli
- Calabria – The Rugged Coast – a wooded mountain range, some amazing pork dishes, rustic comfort food – fusilli alla calabrese, ciambotta, fichi ripieni
- Campagna – In the Shadow of Vesuvius – the home of traditional pizza and spaghetti, Naples and surrounds is the area we most identify with global Italian cuisine – mozzarella in carrozza, spaghetti alla putanesca, acqua pazza, and mousse di limoncello
- Emilia-Romagna – The Heart of Learning – home of the oldest university in the western world, and some of the world’s greatest cheeses and pastas – Spuma di Mortadella, Tagliatelle Bolognesi, Lombatine alla Parmigiana, Tortino di Zucchine
- Friuli-Venezia Giulia – The Istrian penninsula, where Italy meets Slovenia – Jota Istriano, Frico del Friuli, Pollo in Sguazet con la Polenta, Palacinke
- Lazio – All roads lead to Rome – the classic cuisine of Rome and its surrounds – we’ll prepare classic Stracciatella (Italian egg-drop soup), Gnocchi di Semolina (gnocchis made with semolina flour rather than potato) and Bracioline di Agnelo con Carciofi (lamb with artichoke hearts)
- Liguria – From the high cliffs of the northwest coast and Cinqueterre to the famed cuisine of Genoa, this region produces some of our favorite dishes. Ciuppin, Pansôti di Rapallo con Salsa di Noci, and Lemon Raspberry Cake)
- Lombardia – The home of saffron, mustard fruits and some of Italy’s best cheeses – come join us in preparing a delicious meal of classics from the area. Mostarda di Cremona and working them into Involtini, Malfatti, and Crema al Mascarpone
- Marche – The central coast, enjoying a common heritage and close relation to Umbria, but providing most of the fish dishes of the region – brodetto di porto recanati (fish soup), risotto alla marchigiana, vincisgrassi (mixed meat lasagna)
- Molise – This little known region is often considered a subset of Abruzzo, from which it separated less than 50 years ago, but it has its own distinctive cuisine – Stuffed Peppers, Cavatelli with Cauliflower, Termolese Seafood Stew, and Sweet Chestnut Pastries
- Piemonte – The richness of the northwest of Italy all comes together in this region as we prepare a three-course lunch. Minestrone d’Asti, Pollo alla Marengo, Roasted Peaches
- Sardegna – The “other” island, less well known that Sicily, and home to some amazingly good, rustic cuisine – we’ll make the classic flatbread Pane Carasau (also called Carta di Musica) and use it in a classic egg and tomato sauce preparation called Pane Frattau; or hand-rolled malloredus, the “Sardinian gnocchi” with a rustic meat sauce; a Calamari Salad, or a traditional holiday dish of pork shoulder stewed in a sweet and sour chocolate sauce; and Seadas, delicious cheese filled fritters
- Sicilia – One of Italy’s two island regions and the home of the Mediterranean Diet – pesce spada alla messinese, pasta alla norma, and struffoli
- Trentino-Alto Adige – The influence of the Swiss and Germans is heavily felt in this region. Tagliatelle Verde con Mascarpone e Pangrattato, Pollo Brasate al Ginepro, Torta Fregolotta
- Toscana – The most well known, and perhaps most fantasized about countryside and cuisine in Italy – La Ribollita, Totani al Prezzemolo, Pollo in Salsa Piccante, Ciambelline Rustiche
- Umbria – Come explore the “Green Heart of Italy” as we prepare a traditional three-course lunch featuring the cuisine of this little known culinary region. Lenticchie di Castelluccio con Salsicce, Pasta alle Olive, Pizza Dolce
- Valdosta – On the border of France, this little known region produces delicious mountain classics that we share in over lunch. Fricando Valdostano, Polenta Grassa, Strawberries in Grappa Caramel, Caffe Valdostana
- Veneto – The Serene Republic – not just Venice, but let’s face it, that’s what we think about… – Fagottini di Radicchio; Cape Longhe a la Capuzzina; Risotto di Pollo, Zucca e Rosmarino; Gialetti
Ring Around the Mediterranean
A series of five classes in which we zip around the Mediterranean, sampling from key points of interest…
- Coastal Spain – Olla Gitana (gypsy soup), Alcachofas en Escabeche (artichoke salad, when in season), Arroz Caldero (fish and rice, similar to paella)
- The South of France – Pissaladière (provencal pizza), Crespéou (omelette cake), Salade Niçoise, Bouillabaisse (fish stew)
- It’s all Greek to Me – Dolmadakia (stuffed grape leaves) with Avgolemono (egg-lemon sauce), Garides Giouvetsi (prawns with feta and tomato), Melitzanes Vizantiou (Byzantine eggplant)
- Seriously Syrian, Flavors of Aleppo – Khubz (flatbread), Hummus, Salatit Banjan (eggplant salad), Salata Banadoura (tomato salad), Samaka Harra (whole baked fish)
- ‘Mazin’ Morocco – Salade de Févettes (fava bean salad), Cassolita (squash with caramelized onions), Quenelles de Poisson (fish dumplings in tomato sauce), Dattes Fourrées (almond stuffed dates)
Four Chinese Meals
This is a four session overview of some basic concepts in Chinese cooking. It is intended to be a simple introduction to four different styles of the vast range that exists – with a look at some classic dishes from four major regions of the country. Each class introduces a couple of specific techniques that are particularly important to Chinese cuisine. Given the building of techniques, we don’t recommend taking just individual sessions of this series, though it is a possibility.
- Southern – Canton & Hong Kong – Basic White Rice, Diced Chicken and Cashews, Lettuce with Oyster Sauce, Sweet & Spicy Spare Ribs, Prawns & Eggs-Hong Kong Style
- Eastern – Shanghai & Taipei – Creamed Chicken with Ham, Mushrooms & Snowpeas, Sliced Fish in Walnut Crumb Batter, Eggplant Braised in Spicy Bean Sauce, Classic Fried Rice
- Western – Szechuan & Hunan – Kung Pao, Szechuan Style Squid, Ma Po Tofu, Cold Sesame Noodles
- Northern – Beijing – Peking Style Prawns, Beef with Orange & Chili, Potstickers (Fried Dumplings), Steamed Barbecued Pork Buns
Four Brazilian Meals
This four session class covers some basic and classic dishes of Brazilian cuisine. Focused by ingredient, there are two sessions on fish and seafood, one on chicken, and one on red meat and bean dishes. The dishes may vary depending on season and availability, but a few classics stand out – moqueca do peixe and acaraje com vatapá from the seafood sessions, xinxim do galinha from the chicken day, and a rich, hearty feijoada from the red meat class. Classes can also be scheduled individually.
One of my personal favorites, a one-off class that I occasionally offer that focuses on our tentacled friends, octopi, squid, cuttlefish. Dishes vary with the season and availability of ingredients – past recipes have included a ceviche of tiny cuttlefish over a sweetpea mousseline, red wine braised whole squid stuffed with chorizo risotto, baked squid in garlic and parsley sauce, baby octopus pizzettas, confited octopus ravioli, grilled octopus and fusilli, calamerette bakhlava, spicy sauteed calamari rings, braised baby octopuses with potatoes and fennel.
The Asian Vegetarian
We started a series of Asian vegetarian classes in 2009, with a focus on the cuisines of Southeast Asia. For the moment, we’re continuing to offer them on an individual session basis, though we may offer the series again at some point. All these classes can be strictly vegan on request.
- Armenia – Nivig (chickpeas & chard), skhtorats (zesty eggplant slices), lahamjoon (mini pizzas), tahiniyor pilav (tahini bulgur pilaf), sarma (stuffed grape leaves)
- Cambodia – Banh Chiao (pancakes), To hu chien kreung (crispy caramelized tofu), Poat dot (grilled corn)
- China, Szechuan – Szechuan Pickles, Eggplant Yu-Xiang, Mushroom & Tofu Kung Pao
- China, Taiwan – Cold sesame noodles, tofu fu yung, eggplant braised in spicy bean paste
- India, Banjara – Banjara Baingun (filled eggplant rolls), Dhakshin se Shuru (potato-nut filled crepes), Dumpakht (pot-pies) (we also usually make a raita based on yogurt which is not vegan, though the three dishes themselves are, depending on the students, it’s an optional extra)
- India, Gujarat – Bhakri (flatbreads), Bateta nu Shaak (potato curry), Coconut Green Bean Salad, Garlic Chutney
- Indonesia – Rendang (coconut curry), Gado-Gado (vegetables in peanut sauce), Mi Goreng (fried noodles)
- Japan – Gyoza (mushroom-cabbage potsticker dumplings), Kinpira (vegetable saute), Piri Kara Nasu (Spicy Miso Eggplant)
- Korea – Ginger-Garlic Bok Choy, Beansprout and Sweet Potato Pancakes, Bibimbap (mixed vegetable bowl with crispy rice)
- Laos – Laotian Sweet Potato Curry, Jeow Mak Keua (eggplant dip), Flatbread, Noodle Soup
- Malaysia – Seitan Satay, Laksa Lemak Nyonya (coconut soup), Terong Baladao (baked eggplant)
- Philippines – Sinigana (tamarind soup), Vegetable Adobo, Lumpia (springrolls), Sawsawang Kamatis (tomato salad)
- Thailand – Tom Kha (peanut-tomato soup), Smoked Tofu Laap (fresh salad), Pad Thai (classic noodle dish)
- Vietnam 1 – Banh Mi (classic spicy sandwich), Tau Hu Kho (tofu in pineapple caramel), Ginger Braised Seitan – we’ll make our own seitan as well
- Vietnam 2 – Banh Tom (heart of palm & sweet potato fritters), Pho (mushroom & fried tofu version of classic soup), Che Chuoi (bananas cooked in coconut milk)
The Wandering Vegetarian
We’ve offered various other individual vegetarian classes that have been hits. Some of these classes are vegan, some are not, but all can generally be made so if requested.
- Autumn Veggies – Fennel with Figs, Whole Wheat Pasta with Cauliflower, Brussels Sprout Soup, Swiss Chard Pastilla
- Catalán Cruising – Escalivada amb Romescu (grilled vegetables with Romesco sauce), Cigrons amb Tomàquet (chickpeas with tomato), Menjarblanc (almond cream)
- Cooking Vegetarian with Chilies – Szechuan Pickles, Mushroom & Tofu Kung Pao, Tom Kha (tomato-peanut soup)
- From Peru with Love – Causa (layered potato vegetable stack), Ceviche, Sopa Incaica (quinoa based soup)
- Holy Mole – Chili-Chocolate Mole, Guacamole, Fresh wheat tortillas, Black beans, and Mexi-Millet
- It’s a Green, Green World – Gujarati Green Beans, Kuku Beggar’s Purses, Eggplant Yu-Xiang
- Rolling in Dough in Argentina – Swiss Chard and Eggplant Empanadas, Grilled Pizza, Faina (chickpea bread)
- Who Doesn’t Like a Good Burger? – Homemade buns, ketchup, Veggie Burgers, and Oven-Baked Potato Crisps
- Southeast US Regional Cooking – series of five vegetarian/vegan classes covering classic dishes from Cajun, Creole, Lowcountry, Floribbean, and Kentucky cuisines
- French Sauces – vegan style, series of four classes available covering the various versions of coulis, bechamel, veloute, espagnole, hollandaise, pistou, wine sauces and dishes to use them in
- Mexican Regional – series of six classes, vegetarian/vegan, covering classic dishes from Yucatan, Oaxacan, Northern, Veracruz, Central, Jalisco traditions
- We have also offered classes on occasion in various other vegetarian and vegan topics including composed salads, soup making, crackers/soda breads, pasta making, desserts, Argentine classic dishes, meat-protein substitutes, cheese substitutes, Moroccan, and Syrian
- We have a three session gluten-free baking class introducing basic concepts of both savory and sweet baked goods for celiacs or others on a gluten or wheat free diet – the first is an introduction to three different breads, the second a trio of pastries, and the third, a three-course lunch.
Although it’s not our specialty, we do get requests for classes on local cuisine – empanadas, or various regional dishes. Depending on what it is you’re looking for, we may be able to arrange a class of that genre as well.
If joining us for one of our scheduled classes strikes your fancy, drop me a line. If another day or time is better for your schedule – let me know that – whether you want me to setup an individual class for you, or add a group class to the public schedule – let’s get cooking! To contact me for more information or register, click on the “E-Mail” link at the top of the page.