We had been waiting for this cooking experience for weeks. It was important to us to make this travel a learning experience since we love to cook and eat.
Chef Gianna and Giorgio gave us the full experience of cooking in traditional Lecce style. We met in the early evening by Piazza del Duomo. We strolled together to the market in a leisurely way while getting to know more about each other. We all have a passion for cooking, eating, and enjoying good company as a common characteristic.
Market experience was fun, we watched how Gianna and Giorgio selected cheese, tomatoes, and other ingredients. The market owner and staff were great. This is an integral part of feeling and breathing the whole experience. These are the kinds of memories that are priceless. We loved it!!
We arrived at the beautiful Cooking Experience kitchen. This is where they cook and entertain the guests.
It is lovely, comfortable, fully equipped with anything needed for cooking a great meal.
The menu was focaccia, orecchiette, stuffed eggplants, and pastacciotto , which is the local custard desert.
Drinking wine 🍷🍷 while we cooked made the whole process even more fun. Chef Gianna is full of great tips and lessons. We made the entire dinner from scratch!!
Learning how to make the orecchiette was amazing. We made eggless pasta dough that could be used for any type of pasta. Chef Gianna showed us in detail how to make the pasta.
We tried our best to follow Chef Gianna’s instructions. Yes! she did use the pasta we made for dinner. She was gracious and kind to say we did well. We think we need more practice 😉
The fully hand on experience was very satisfying. We made everything together. Giorgio assured us not to worry about taking notes since he send the precise recipes to all the students. This helped us relax, concentrate and have more fun.
Voilà!! the finished pasta… it was as delicious as it looks. What’s remarkable is that time flew by, we had great laughs, and a great meal while learning without any strain or intimidation. Giorgio and Chef Gianna have this easy going style that makes any level cook feel comfortable.
While we did only one day, you can customize and book several sessions with Chef Gianna. Start planning your cooking experience; contact Giorgio for details at firstname.lastname@example.org 🇮🇹
It’s long time not sharing any recipes I hope you will like this favorite recipe it goes best with accompany of tea or just basically as bread or kind of pretzel for lunch box or freshly baked HOT right from the oven right to the belly.
Here is how to do it!
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup oil
2 tablespoon organic molasses
2 tablespoon water
organic sesame seeds
make indent in the center of the flour add yeast.
Add little water and mix.
Add salt and oil star to knead.
Add all the water continue kneading.
Cover the dough with plastic foil leave it 1 hour.
Mix molasses and water in deep plate.
In another plate add sesame seed.
Dived dough to 6 pieces.
Make long rolls then twist each one then make it ring shape.
Dip the twisted rings into molasses mix then to sesame seeds.
Today we took the raspberry mousse cake class. Wowwww… so this is quite something, we learned a lot about how elaborate and technical this is. Chef Pierre Ferland said “it’s 90% science 10% art – and that 10% is the hardest”. Think this was supposed to be a clue for what’s to come.
So this cake is done in 5 stages and things have to be in specific order, otherwise it does not work. Trust me all 8 students we tried and asked what if we do this or that first — Chef Pierre said “Ok, then you will end up with something else but not a raspberry mousse cake!”
Make the simple syrup so it can take time to cool off. You will use it for the raspberry filling and later to brush the layers of the cake to give it moisture.
You must do the raspberry mousse. This way it can take time for gelatin and the mousse to set to the right consistency to become the filling. Make sure to strain the raspberry purée so all the seeds are taken out.
Make the genoise (cake). It is not hard but the key is to put it in already heated owen rightaway so it won’t collapse. Also do NOT tap to even out the cake in the pan, use your hand to smooth it out quickly, otherwise it will again collapse. Don’t you love all the tips and tricks — we would not have known any of this if Chef Pierre did not tell us and demonstrate.
While the cake is baking, make the Le Creme Chantilly which is the frosting that will cover and decorate the cake. Tip here was to start with a cold mixer bowl!!
Are you stable handed?? Well this is the test!! Cut the cake into 3 straight even layers. With a brush brush first layer with simple syrup, then smooth over some of the mousse, do the same with the other two layer and build up your cake tower. Then use some of the mousse to cover the sides of the cake. Finally, use the Chantilly to frost and decorate the cake. You can also use toasted almonds to coat the sides for a more rustic look. Tip: put the cake in the fridge for hour or two before cutting it, helps it set and be easier to cut.
Remember… We did not say this was easy or simple. Apparently after 2 years of apprenticeship this became easy for Chef Pierre. I believe it.
Finally – cut and serve! Bon Appetite!!
Thankfully, Chef Pierre said we could make the cake the day before – so you can do this in 2 days if you need the time. In any case, if you are excited to try this delicious cake, let me know and I will provide you the full recipe.
It’s great recipe for any time especially for tea time gatherings I can eat half of this yummm :)) and the only food I can’t resist anyway let’s make it!
500 gr. organic parsley, chard or spinach
6 yufka (special thin pastry for bourak)
200 gr. organic feta cheese
1 cup organic Greek yogurt
1 organic egg
1/2 cup organic extra virgin olive oil
1 cup mineral water
Optional ( salt, pepper and flaked red pepper)
Optional ( sesame seeds or black cumin)
Preheat oven to 180 C.
Wash and dice any green you choose.
Crumble the cheese with fork and mix it with greens.( If you will use the salt, peeper and flaked pepper add them and mix them as well)
In separate bowl mix yogurt, olive oil and egg well.
Grease the pan with oil take 1 yufka and spread it over the pan the pan should be smaller than yufka I used rectangle pan you can use round or and form you like just make sure it’s smaller than the yufka.
Spread over the yufka from yogurt mixture with help of brush.
Spread 2 more yufka’s by wrinkling them and again for each one spread the yogurt mixture over.
Now spread all the feta and green filling all over the yufkas.
Repeat the yufka and yogurt spread by wrinkling the yufkas when you complete this take the corners of the bottom yufka and fold it over the top.
Cut the bourak in pieces if you still have yogurt mixture pour it all over the top.
Gradually pour the mineral water all over the top of the bourak.