I really love Italian food. The indulgence of fresh pasta, the delight of a proper Italian pizza – generally light on the toppings but big on the taste, lovingly prepared tomato sauces, the rich flavours of osso bucco, delicious anti pasto – from cured meats, arancini, cheeses…. the list of decadent Italian cuisine that I fancy could go on and on…. And I didn’t even start on desserts… gelati, creamy and just that little bit boozy tiramisu – forget about it, it’s all great! So given my high level of appreciation for Italian fare you can imagine how delightful it was to be recently asked along to a preview evening for the six-part Accento Italian Cooking Series, an upcoming series of classes that is being held in conjunction with Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry at the Accento Showroom in Claremont.
So how does it all work? From May through to September there will be six classes held by six West Aussie based Italian chefs, all of whom have been awarded the Italian Government’s quality seal, Ospitalità Italiana. And what is Ospitalità Italiana? It is a quality seal, the certification in hospitality recognised by the Italian Government. It was created to promote the traditions of Italian agricultural and food products and value Italian gastronomic culture. Examples of the criteria that are assessed include:
- The use of certified ingredients of Italian origin
- The presence of personnel able to interact with clients in Italian and other typical Italian elements
- A menu and wine list that contain traditional certified products including extra virgin olive oil
- At least one person in the kitchen who can attest experience and proficiency in Italian cooking
This certification is limited to restaurants and more than 1000 have been recognised worldwide. Despite 2011 being the first year that Italian restaurants in Australia were considered for Ospitalità Italiana certification there are now eleven certified here in Western Australia!
- Galileo Buona Cucina (Shenton Park) – Vincenzo Soresi
- Gargano (Nedlands) – Mario Gorgoglione
- Italians (East Perth) – Luca Galaverna
- Maretti Caffe’ Cucina (Mosman Park) – Matteo Maretti
- Maurizio Restaurant (Perth) – Maurizio Di Ciano
- Millioncino (Perth) – Maurizio Quaquarelli
- Modo Mio (Burswood) – Andrea Tranchero
- Osteria dei Sapori (Nedlands) – Mario Tolardo
- Paradiso Restaurant (Attadale) – Giuseppe Anastasio
- Perugino (West Perth) – Guiseppe Pagliaricci
- Villa D’Este’ (West Perth) – Enrico Moschetti
The six different classes will cover a range of both traditional and modern Italian cooking styles each week in an Italian designed kitchen. A selection of fabulous imported Italian products will feature from European Foods, Gusto Italia and Single Vineyard Sellers, and also Terranova fresh meat.
Specific details of each of the classes can be found and places booked here:
From the food I was fortunate enough to sample last night was divine and I can only say I can’t wait to sign up to a class and learn some of the tricks of the trade from these Italian masters!
And as noted by Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Secretary General Marco Mari, “Guests will learn techniques and specific Italian dishes, and they will also taste all the dishes and sample matched Italian wines, so we advise guests to come along with an empty stomach!”
My kind of class! Learning and eating
He also added that, “For the same price as eating out at a good restaurant, guests have the added bonus of taking home new skills, making it exceptional value for money.”
All demonstrations start at 6.30pm and the cost per class is $90 or $500 for the series of six. Class numbers are limited to 30 participants.
And in case you need further inspiration here’s a few happy snaps from the dishes prepared last night by Egidio Squillace from Event Style and Guiseppe Pagliaricci from Perugino Restaurant.
My big thanks to the ICCI and Pronto PR for the invitation. Bellissimo!
(Very hard to pick a favourite dish but for me it was a tough call between the indulgence of the deep fried mozzarella balls, the gnocchi was pillow soft and just so decadently creamy and the lamb chops were cooked to pink perfection – yum!)
Prawn and pesto sauce
Scallop carpaccio with mango
Pumpkin and smoked cheese dumpling
Bacala (cod) and potato fritters or Bacala (cod) fritters (without potato)
Prawns and pancetta with balsamic
Crostini with Italian sausage and cheese
Crostini with cheese and truffle
Deep fried mozzarella balls
Gnocchi with gorgonzola, apple, parmesan and pine nuts
Ravioli filled with potato, cheddar, and proscuito di San Daniele with a pumpkin sauce and a dash of béchamel
Rack of lamb cooked with olive oil, lemon juice and oregano
Chicken with olive oil, mint, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper AND Rabbit with black olives and white wine
Macadamia panna cotta with white chocolate sauce or Pistachio panna cotta with berry sauce