Day 52: September 12
Today was the big food day! We were going across the lake to a town called Varena for a cooking class where we would learn to make pasta, traditional sauce and some other dishes. The cooking school came highly recommended on Trip Advisor.. so we were in.
We were greeted by Chef Moreno at the ferry terminal and soon bused off in a mini van with two other couples to his restaurant, Il Camientto in the tiny village of Gittana di Perledo which is in the mountains just above Varena. Chef Moreno was born on in the village and his roots go way back. His mother’s family has lived in the village for a 1000 years and his dad’s family…relative newcomers to the village, only 750 years. Its incredible that he is still here. He did mention that some of his aunts and uncles have ended up in the US and Canada but he’s still here.
The group finally got together.. we were 13 of us and every other person was from North America. Two Canadians and the rest from the US. There was a good mix of couples our age and two couples who were older. A round of cappuccinos and espressos later Chef Mareno began with the pasta. When we took our cooking class in China, we actually had our own cooking station and cooked our own meal. But here, Chef Moreno cooked everything in front of us. Fine with me! 🙂 We didn’t have to work hard for our food. Soon, the wine was flowing and we had some amazing fresh cheese.. I remember the buffalo mozzarella in particular. Yummy! We did join in all the fun when the Chef got us all to make the tortellinis. Its amazing how the best tasting food is actually very simple. So in all, we learnt how to make a roast pork loin, tortellini in home made tomato sauce and a simple porcini risotto. I have to say, everything was exquisite. The food was excellent and the wine was great too. We had a nice group of people and conversation flowed easily. We finally only finished up by 5pm.
When we got back to Menaggio, I certainly didn’t need anymore wine this evening. The view from our balcony is still pretty amazing.:) What a great food day. I can’t wait to try some of these recipes when we are back home. Considering we eat a fair amount of pasta, it would be great to start making some of it from scratch.. Well, its worth a try!:)