Collaborating in a cooking study course in the course of my travels is a thing I usually adore to do. It is a good way to find out about the local culture and delicacies, and to choose up a new recipe or two. All through my go to to Lecce (map), a historic metropolis in southern Puglia, I experienced the prospect to be a part of a cooking course at the Awaiting Table, the most proven cooking school in Lecce (launched in 2003). The college presents 7 days-prolonged classes, as well as working day courses, which I opted for as I was only in Lecce for a number of days. I knew I was in for a deal with but it turned out to be a single of the most fun, educative and immersive matters to do in Lecce!
There have been 4 of us at the daytime cooking study course that working day. We satisfied Silvestro, the founder of the Awaiting Desk, at Lecce’s most important sq., upcoming to the city’s legendary amphitheatre.
Silvestro welcomed us and gave us a shorter introduction to Puglian food items and wines prior to taking us to the fish sector. At the marketplace, he explained to us about the numerous forms of fish and their origins, and the most effective techniques to cook them. For our lunch course, he chosen some fish and squid, which we would later understand to get ready and prepare dinner.
From the fish sector, Silvestro led us throughout the historic town centre, with its stunning Baroque façades, to the vegetable sector. The clean rocket leaves, artichokes, tomatoes and mushrooms were being a mouthwatering sight! We gleefully crammed our baskets – I wasn’t the only vegetable lover in the group – and ongoing on our way to Silvestro’s cooking faculty in the metropolis centre.
Found in a historic setting up, the Awaiting Desk school, is equally cosy and colourful. Loaded to the brim with cooking textbooks, pots and pans and all kinds of kitchen area utensils, it guaranteed was a cheery sight!
We donned our aprons and obtained completely ready for our initial lesson: pasta! Silvestro defined the distinctive sorts of flour made use of, and that barley flour is commonly made use of in Puglia. As we kneaded the dough, Silvestro gave us the alternative of distinctive pastas we could make. We voted for cappalletti (a pasta shape reminiscent of Mexican sombreros).
It was a fun training, employing a glass to minimize out styles from the flattened dough, then folding them in advance of utilising a bottle to develop the ‘sombreros’.
Getting ready seafood and greens
Up coming up, Silvestro launched the distinctive types of seafood and veggies we had been likely to try to eat. He then gave us a masterclass in how to prepare artichokes and squid. Gosh, I experienced no strategy how a lot of techniques had been involved in cleansing and making ready these! Cleansing the squid was specially tough. It sure manufactured me recognize the function completed by fishmongers each individual day to deliver them prepared-to-cook dinner.
A crash course in Puglia wines
Silvestro invited us into the eating home when we were being performed. He proceeded to inform us about wines in Puglia – a person point I discovered is that, contrary to popular perception, Primitivo is not the most prevalent grape assortment in Puglia the most commonly-developed grape wide range in Puglia is Negroamaro. We then enjoyed a wine-tasting of three diverse rosés. Puglia is popular for its crimson wines so it’s no question that the most well-liked chilled wines are rosé and not white (although Puglia also makes, amongst some others, a attractive white assortment termed Verdeca).
Cooking our lunch
After the wine-tasting, we were invited, a single by just one, back again into the kitchen to cook the dishes. I volunteered for the pasta dish: cappalletti, cherry tomatoes and squid.
When anyone experienced cooked their dishes, lunch was served. It seemed absolutely mouthwatering! My favourites had been the grilled fish, which was contemporary and tremendous delicious, and the artichokes and sautéed wild rocket. So delectable!
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I seemed around and everybody had seems to be of joy and marvel on their faces ‘wonder’ since we could not pretty believe that we’d just well prepared and cooked every thing on the table!
The Awaiting Desk cooking program absolutely sure is 1 of the very best things to do in Lecce! Impressed by what I learned at this Lecce cooking class, I handed on the classes to my young children at dwelling just a 7 days later. We expended an afternoon creating pasta and experienced a wonderful time!
In addition to cooking courses in Lecce, the Awaiting table also organises week-extended cooking lessons (some with yoga and biking) at a close by castle. For a lot more details, check out the Awaiting Desk programs.
Observe: I was invited by the Awaiting Table to participate in this class. As generally, all sights mentioned previously mentioned are mine.