Foodie Heaven – International Cooking Classes

I’ve never been to a cooking class, but I’ve always wanted to.  The Argentian aka Carolina, is world famous in our neighbourhood for her fabulous cooking and passion for food.  Now she’s taking her passion to the wider community of Christchurch with her friend and fellow Argentinian, Andrea.  Andrea and her husband have recently moved into a house perched on the hill above Taylors Mistake from Barcelona where they’ve lived for the past ten years.  Having been to and loved Barcelona, I can tell  you this is quite a contrast.  But, their new abode makes the PERFECT location for a cooking class with dinner or lunch.  Andrea and Carolina are charming and delightful hosts and their passion for cooking is catching.  Their chosen recipes for the evening were not only genuinely delicious, but very easy and easy to accomplish for any home cook.

Two neighbours (also fans of Carolina’s) and I headed over the hill and joined Carolina and Andrea for the launch of their International Cooking Classes last week.  This particular night was making Italian Sorrentinos – filled homemade pasta.  The first thing that hits you, is the incredible view from Andrea’s home.  And whilst on the deck admiring it, a friendly paraglider flew past on his way down to the beach.

The friendly paraglider
The friendly paraglider

The cooks started with pasta, making sorrentino’s for us – very similar to ravioli, or tortellini.  They showed us how to make the pasta dough, sharing their tips and tricks along the way.  We all had a turn with the pasta machine and turning the handle, making it thiner with each of the six runs through.  I’ve always thought it looked time consuming, but surprisingly it wasn’t, more therapeutic.  Andrea and Carolina demonstrated how to make two fillings for the sorrentinos – salmon and homemade ricotta with dill, and pumpkin and mozzarella with basil.  We all followed along on our recipe sheet, making extra notes here and there. Each filling was served with a different sauce, cream sauce for the delicate salmon and ricotta, and an earthy puttanesca sauce for the more hearty pumpkin and mozzarella.  Both were beautiful and worthy of any restaurant.  The thing about cooking classes is not only do you get the smell (or should I say aroma), rather than the picture, but you can interact with the cooks, and in fact it’s encouraged.

We sat round the table and ate in the fading sunset and enjoyed both the food and company of others whom we didn’t know but, joined together with a common interest, food, we had a really good night.

After the main course Andrea and Carolina showed us how to make their version of Tiramasu.  Now, I should confess here to never having tried Tiramasu, always being put off at the end of a meal by layers of cream and sponge and topped off with coffee, seemed sickly to me.  But this Tiramasu was amazing – light, delicate and left me wanting more.  Super easy to prepare, we were all delighted to have this gem of a recipe in our repertoire.  Next dinner party, that’s what I’m serving.

Three hours later, happily full and armed with tips, tricks, new tastes and inspired to make sorrentinos myself, we headed back over the hill to home.  We all agreed we’d had a great night, having thoroughly enjoyed learning something new, the location, the food and the company.  We’ll be back for another class.

International Cooking Classes cost $50 which included the three hour class with dinner and dessert.  Carolina and Adrea hold classes each month with different themes.  To book: Email: cookingfoodclasses@gmail.com, Facebook: here , Mobile: Carolina 0210783841 or Andrea 0211735514.

PS.  Here’s Carolina’s recipe for Palmeritas from a previous blog post.

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