I have been fascinated with Italian food for some time. Last year we did a food tour of Pescara with Anna, which we enjoyed, so she seemed the ideal person to ask to arrange a cookery lesson for myself and my sister-in-law when she arrived for a short break.
I am so glad I did ! I have attended a number of cookery lessons in Italy, but this was by far the best. Lively, fun and very informative. The lesson was full of useful little tips that you only discover after a lifetime spent watching your grandmother, preparing traditional recipes for your own family and sharing those traditional skills with future generations.
My first impression was just how organised everything was. Rosaria met us in the main piazza in the village and guided us to the house where we met Annabella. Both were incredibly friendly and welcoming. Both spoke English and I am sure they were equally fluent in other languages.
There were a range of tasty homemade snacks and a glass of wine waiting for us, but there were also two workstations with all the equipment we would need and aprons for us to wear. Everything was spotlessly clean and everything you needed for the lesson was exactly where you would need it to be.
We soon discovered that both Rosaria and Annabella were expert teachers, with an infectious enthusiasm for Abruzzese cooking. Always ready with a laugh and a joke and helpful guidance but at no point did they ever make you feel inept. My main memory of the lesson is one of continual laughter, so it was easy to miss how seamlessly they worked together.
In what seemed like no time at all, my Sister-in-law and I produced a 3 course meal including making two types of fresh pasta from scratch. I say we, because this was no mere demonstration. This was a real “hands on” cooking experience. In fact the actual lesson, including a break for sangria lasted all morning.
A normal lesson would last considerably longer, because it would include eating the lunch you had prepared with the family. Unfortunately, we had other commitments, so we skipped lunch, but Annabella gave us plenty of food to take away. ( and it was still delicious sometime later)
I thoroughly enjoyed this experience. It was great meeting Rosaria and Annabella ( and other members of the family) and I was amazed how many tips and ideas I gained from just listening to two real experts in their field