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Italian Cuisine Professional Chef Training Course 2016 Fall – Lesson #26 “Barista Lesson”

No caffè, no life – that’s how indispensible caffè (coffee) is for Italian people. In the morning before work, during break time, and after supper; most Italian people drink coffee at least 3 times a day. Today the class learned how to enjoy caffè just like enjoying wines visually, with aroma, and by tasting. Students actually tasted both good and bad cups of caffè to study the difference. Everyone was so fascinated by the instructor’s latte art. Now that latte art is performed throughout the world, I’m sure many of you have seen one before. But working as a chef, one may not have a chance to see anyone actually […]

Italian Cuisine Professional Chef Training Course 2016 Fall – Lesson #25 “Table Coordinate Lesson”

Today, students took a table coordinate lesson by a professional waiter at a hotel to learn about table coordinate and serving customers. Having experiences of enjoying their aperitivo (happy hour) in the past, I can say that this hotel is excellent. In addition to the table coordinate tips, the instructor taught students a lot about serving customers and about food business. Because foreign customers from various countries visit restaurants in and around tourist spots, this hotel offers services considering each customer’s cultural background. It is important especially when serving wines, as there is a big difference in the ways European people and American people enjoy wines. I knew the shapes […]

Italian Cuisine Professional Chef Training Course 2016 Fall – Lesson #24 “Cheese & Cured Ham Factory Visits”

Cheese Factory Today students went to visit a cheese factory that produces various products other than cow and goat milk cheese. Their food for cattle was very specially selected. The class enjoyed tasting not only cheese, but also desserts using their cheese, and also their homemade bread. Finding out how each ingredient is carefully chosen and going after its safeness and the good flavor was a great opportunity for the students to learn the actual slow food life in Italy. Cured Ham Factory Then the class visited cured ham factory. Here, students learned mainly about chinta senese pigs, like how to raise them, how to handle their meat, and how […]

Italian Cuisine Professional Chef Training Course 2016 Fall – Lesson #23 “Bread Making

Today, the class had a cooking practice on bread making. Students shaped the fermented dough they prepared the day before. The temperature of the working hands affects the dough condition, so students need to look closely at the gluten condition in order to decide the appropriate cooking time. The amount of bread consumption in Italy is much larger compared to other countries; no surprise that there are many kinds of breads in Italy such as crispy ones, focaccia that is said to be the origination of pizza, and so on. Professor Francesco taught students how to make various kinds of breads in just one cooking practice. By learning all such […]

Italian Cuisine Professional Chef Training Course 2016 Fall – Lesson #22 “Rice Cuisines”

Today, the class had a cooking practice on rice cuisines. Other than risotto known worldwide, there are many other rice dishes popular in Italy. There are various kinds of rice sold in the markets. Some rice is better used for risotto, another for soup, salad, dessert or simply for eating as a staple. Just like wines, rice has good and bad harvest years depending on the weather. A mark on each package shows the grade of the rice. Professor explained how to read and understand what’s specified on the package for the students. In this cooking practice, students were struggling with shaping arancini. Arancini is Italian rice croquette. Making it […]

Italian Cuisine Professional Chef Training Course 2016 Fall – Lesson #21 “Sausage (Salsiccia) Making and Dishes”

Today, the class made fresh sausages called salsiccia. In Italy, people buy a large amount of meat to make their own salsiccia at home at a very low cost. Even if you purchase salsiccia at markets in Italy, it only costs 1 – 2 Euros for 1 person. Students learned to make various kinds of salsiccia and dishes using salsiccia. In Italy, cuisines from different regions have distinctive characteristics due to the unique spices and flavors added. If you like hot and spicy taste, try the Southern Italian food. You might even sweat with some of the extreme ones. The class also made simply flavored steak tartare, which was really […]

Italian Cuisine Professional Chef Training Course 2016 Fall – Lesson #20 “Italian Desserts and Pork Dishes”

Today, the class made Tuscan-style pork dishes. Students rubbed lots of herbs into the pork meat for putting nice aroma to it. Turning over such a big chunk of meat on a flying pan sure looked like a hard work. The meat was then grilled in the oven. Lots of meat juice came out and the view was simply irresistible. In Tuscan fall season, people love to make and eat desserts using chestnuts. So the class made popular Tuscan desserts using chestnut powder. Students were excited with the surprisingly bold decoration of Monte Bianco (Mont Blanc aux marrons, or chestnut cake looking like Mont Blanc). Another group of students made […]

Italian Cuisine Professional Chef Training Course 2016 Fall – Lesson #19 “Winery Visit”

Today, the class visited a famous winery in Tuscany. It was located in a small village with beautiful scenery, and the clear weather was perfect for the visit. Historical story lectured by the founder of this winery was very interesting. Students tasted 3 wines representing this winery and Vincent made from white grapes, which are in harvesting season now. It must have been really good to taste it with a view of drying grapes. In addition, the class got to taste the winery’s balsamic vinegar. Flavor of balsamic vinegars can be different depending on the kinds of woods the barrels are made of. It might be a nice idea to […]

Italian Cuisine Professional Chef Training Course 2016 Fall – Lesson #18 “Wine Seminar 3”

Today, students studied about Spumante (sparkling wines). In the second wine seminar, students learned mainly about Tuscan red wines. In every wine seminar, students taste about 5 different kinds of wines to compare them by their visuality, aroma and taste. Various lectures were given to the students; the difference between production methods of regular and sparkling wines, kinds of yeast used, the difference compared with French champagne, kinds of grapes used, how to read labels, names of famous spumante, and even which spumante to order when dating a girl. Students discussed with others what kind of aroma they smelled, how it felt on their tongue, and what the taste was […]

Italian Cuisine Professional Chef Training Course 2016 Fall – Lesson #17 “Antipasto & Bread Preparation”

In Italy, an appetizer is called an antipasto. Since it’s eaten prior to primo piatto (such as pasta), it must be light and prepared quickly. Prosciutto (uncured ham), cheese and salads are known as common antipasto, but today students learned special antipasto served in high-class restaurants. Speedy serving and beautiful presentation are important to make customers look forward to the following dishes. After the tasting today, students also fermented bread dough to prepare for the bread lesson tomorrow. Brewer’s yeast was used today for the fermentation. Students have to precisely measure the amount of yeast taking the weather and temperature into consideration. 2016.11.2 Ota