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Italian Cuisine Professional Chef Training Course 2016 Spring – Lesson #19 “Vegetarian Dishes”

Vegetarians and vegans are now widely accepted throughout Italy. Both vegetarians and vegans do not eat meat, but vegans are stricter about avoiding all animal products including fish, milk, cheese, eggs and broth. There are various reasons for being vegetarians/vegans – for one’s health benefits, religions or political beliefs. Professional chefs must understand various food cultures and eating habits correctly in order to cope with such requests. Students also took a very important lesson about food allergies. Chefs and servers must be extremely careful not to touch any allergens before the dish is served in front of the customer. In addition to the sanitary cautions, professor taught students points to […]

Italian Cuisine Professional Chef Training Course – Scenes from various lessons

Josh eventually got used to this work and was able to make well-shaped arancini. Presentation on the dish is very pretty. Professor Francesco faces his students in a serious manner, but many times he shows his friendly smile. All students look very concentrated when cooking, but a relaxing atmosphere surrounds them when cooking practice is finished. These are scenes from the basic lesson of the Wine Seminar. Today’s theme was “carbonated wines”. There are two methods of production; the first one is to get it carbonated after bottling, and the second one is to get it carbonated in a stainless container prior to bottling. Here are some photos from Fresh […]

Italian Cuisine Professional Chef Training Course 2016 Spring – Lesson #28 “Barista Lesson”

Today we had a barista lesson. Barista in Italy is not only a coffee professional; he/she stands in a bar counter serving espresso and is even allowed to serve alcohol drinks, creating comfortable atmosphere for customers. In the bars in Italy, speedy service is mandatory. And there are many bars everywhere in town. Espresso is indispensable for the most of Italian people’s daily lives. Today we had a barista who works at SCUDIERI, a very well known bar in Florence, teach us about good espresso, the latest trends in latte arts, and so on. He lectured about what the color and aroma of good espresso should be like, and he […]

Italian Cuisine Professional Chef Training Course 2016 Spring – Lesson #26 “Bread”

Today we had a bread-making lesson. Breads come with meals all the time in Italian restaurants. Most of those breads are hard-type, so people prefer to eat them with olive oil or with other dishes. And Italian people never waste breads that became too hard, by using them as cooking ingredients. Various yeasts can be used in bread making. Although you can make nice-looking breads with beer yeasts, they can be harmful to your body if you eat them even partially uncooked. In this lesson, we used the natural yeast that we cultivated from yogurt and honey. It’s very difficult to adjust its condition to work in the surrounding humidity […]

Italian Cuisine Professional Chef Training Course 2016 Spring – Lesson #20 “Antipasto”

Preparing an antipasto (appetizer) must be done swiftly, as this very first dish must be served without making customers wait too long. Besides serving swiftly, it should be presented so it visually increases customer’s appetite. Its quantity must not be too much or too little considering a primo (first course) and a secondo (second course) to follow, which can be difficult to determine. Although there are traditional antipasti in Italian cuisines that never change, many new antipasti are being created everyday. The creativity and imagination of today’s Italian chefs are constantly being challenged in the world of antipasti. 2016. 5. 2 Miyazaki

Italian Cuisine Professional Chef Training Course 2016 Spring – Lesson #16 “Mediterranean Cuisine and Seafood 2”

Today’s cooking lesson was “Mediterranean Cuisine and Seafood #2”. The antipasto was a dish of baked polenta topped with scallops. “Polenta”, popular in Northern Italy, is boiled cornmeal. It can be served hot as porridge or cooled to solidify into a loaf. Some students cooked polenta for the first time. Many students were struggling as it was difficult to adjust the softness of polenta and how long to bake it. Seafood soup becomes salty enough only after putting actual seafood ingredients into the soup stock. Although it’s important to learn the precise grams of ingredients, the most important part is the actual taste. So each group of the students was […]

Italian Cuisine Professional Chef Training Course 2016 Spring – Lesson #18 “Agritourism”

Today, the class visited Agritourism in Chianti. Agritourism means accommodation or activities provided by farms for people to spend holidays on farms or in the countryside. Besides simply staying there to enjoy the blessing of nature, you can take a cooking class using the fresh ingredients produced in the farm. If the season is right, you can even have a valuable experience of harvesting products such as olives and grapes. This Agritourism in Chianti owns vast fields for wine grapes, vegetables, and olives. The facility there was built back in the 16th century. Their wine production started around 1900, and in recent years many of their wines are recognized as […]

Italian Cuisine Professional Chef Training Course 2016 Spring – Lesson #13 “Mediterranean Cuisine and Seafood”

Today’s cooking lesson was “Mediterranean Cuisine and Seafood”. Main menu consists of sardines, squids, clams, dried mullet roe and so on. The green color of the pasta comes from basil leaves mixed into the pasta dough. By boiling them, the color becomes even brighter. You must be careful when adding salt to clams because sometimes clams can be salty enough, so students must taste it before serving onto the dish. Sprinkled mullet roe adds a great accent to the pasta flavored simply with basil and clams. The time to cook squid depends on its size. Today we used 40cm long squid, and it only takes a little while to cook […]

Italian Cuisine Professional Chef Training Course Lesson #3 “Southern Italian Cuisine”

The third cooking lesson was “Southern Italian Cuisine”. Today’s menu: Mushrooms and artichokes in oil Filei pasta with nduja (spicy Italian sausage) sauce Purple eggplant parmigiana Sardine cutlets with Mediterranean sauce Strawberry bocconotto (cupcake with strawberry filling) with strawberry cream sauce Artichokes, which were used in the first cooking practice “Tuscan Cuisines 1”, are again in the menu. Artichokes have the best season twice a year; spring time (February thru April) and autumn time (October thru November). It sure represents the Italian vegetables in season right now. Artichokes (“carciofo” in Italian) can be eaten many ways; raw with salt and olive oil if very fresh, cooked with pasta, deep-fried as […]

Italian Cuisine Professional Chef Training Course Lesson #2 “Tuscan Cuisine 2”

The second cooking lesson was “Tuscan Cuisine 2”. Today’s menu: Crostini with Tuscan chicken liver pate Crostini with bacon and rosemary Crostini with chopped tomato Garfagnana soup of spelt wheat Bread puree flavored with tomato Roast veal shank with gremolata sauce Prato-style cantuccini (biscotti) Starting today, cooking practices will take place in kitchens of 4-star restaurants. When students arrived, Prof. Francesco was there already done with baking veal shanks with vegetables and white wine, as the menu was so full that the students will not be able to complete in the allotted time. As everyone got there, students started cooking in small groups. “Crostini” is a thin slice (around 1cm-thick) […]