I have a long list of things I 'have' to do before I leave Rome/Italy to move back home. This list includes things like visit Cinque Terre, go on wine tour, visit the Lakes district, see Sicily, stay at an agrotourismo, visit an olive farm, and take a cooking lesson. I can now cross 'take a cooking lesson' off of my list! (Of course after today, I may just add it to the list again because it was just that good!)
I found the name of a cooking class here in Rome after someone sent me a link to a video a bunch of American students in Rome made while participating in the same class. The class looked like great fun, it was in my favorite area of town: Trastevere, and the chef seemed to be not only engaging, but knew what he was doing. So, I sent out an email a couple of weeks ago inviting anyone who wanted to come as well. Lynda and 4 students responded and so I made our reservation. I was beyond excited!!!
The bus was diverted to the Center and we weren't that far away really, but it felt that way as we raced through the streets of Rome. When all was said and done, we were about an hour late. Gotta love Rome...and you have to take it in stride because otherwise you'll go crazy! Below is a picture of the demonstration that kept us from using the buses:
Anyways, we arrived at the restaurant and found the chef, Andrea, and the other woman, Nan, joining us chatting. Nan's husband Bernie was late joining us because of the demonstration so we didn't miss anything. Hooray!!
Chef Andrea was AMAZING! He was funny, approachable, knowledgeable, and obviously has a passion for teaching others to cook. This made the lesson fun and educational. He put us right to work as we were running late and had 3 courses to cook. On the menu: gnocchi spinaci, eggplant parmigiana, and tiramisu. Well, the eggplant and tiramisu are by far two of my favorite dishes and while I like gnocchi just fine...I could take it or leave it....that is until I tasted what we made.
|Gnocchi. AMAZING! They melt in your mouth.|
Chef Andrea only uses ingredients from the Lazio region, the region Rome is located in, and the ingredients are all fresh. What a difference this makes in the taste of the food! Everything was so vibrant and so delicious!! We chopped, diced, peeled, beat, fried, sauteed, mixed, mashed, and everything in between. The result: one of the best meals I've ever tasted...it was almost as if heaven opened up at that moment and the choir of angels sang "ahhhhhhhhhhh". Seriously. It was that good!
|By far the most incredible eggplant parmigiana I have ever had in my entire life!!|
|And finally, tiramisu. Perfection!|
All in all, it was an amazing day. The students had a blast, we cooked with some great new friends, I learned a lot, and I got to cross something off my list that I've been wanting to do for a long time. I am so blessed!!!