I’m excited to announce the next round of cooking classes held up at the glorious home of Anna Middleton in Coopers Shoot just outside Byron Bay. Taking bookings now for deliciously hearty Italian three-course Sunday menus: cooking lesson followed by sit-down lunch with wine!JunJulAug15_ItalianCookingClass
I’m taking bookings now! Come and join us for great Italian food and wine in the stunning Coopers Shoot setting just outside Byron Bay!
Three new dates for the next 3-course Italian cooking classes/lunches announced!
Sunday 29 March at Victoria’s at Ewingsdale
Sunday 26 April at Wahgi Hill, Coopers Shoot
Sunday 3 May at Wahgi Hill, Coopers Shoot
Baked Herb Ricottas, Snapper Puttanesca, Spicy Beef in Red Wine, Olive Beer Breads, Fish & Fennel Stew, Rustic Bluberry Tart and much more!
11 am start for demonstration, hands-on lesson then sit-down lunch with Italian wines. Small groups no larger than 12. $125 per person.
Sunday 1 February kicks off the new season of Italian cooking classes/lunches and it’s back at beautiful ‘Wahgi Hill’, Coopers Shoot home of Anna Middleton. Watch this space for the menu soon!
The cooking class at Coopers Shoot scheduled for November 30 is already full so I am running one the following Sunday, the 7 December, a final one before Christmas. There are still places left for the fantastic three-course Italian -accented lunch I will be demonstrating before the class gets stuck into the cooking of it, then the devouring. Anna Middleton’s home is utterly gorgeous with ocean views and breezes and a long table where we will all sit over glasses of Italian wine. Then, as of 1 February 2015, there will be at least monthly classes held there, details forthcoming! For bookings and further enquiries call me on 0400189818.
Sitting down to lunch
The last Sunday in October – ferociously hot and blowy and even more so high up on Coopers Shoot – saw a small group of eight people attend a cooking class whose theme was Three Course Italian Lunch. I took the group through demonstrations of Olive Tart with the world’s simplest olive oil pastry; beef in spicy red wine sauce; and beurre bosc pears poached in white wine, lemon, cinnamon and vanilla. Then they all cooked! Chilled Pinot Grigio flowed as did the conversation – six women and two men – before we all settled down at the long table set divinely by the so-stylish Anna Middleton, and ate lunch. Next cooking class in the same heavenly location will be the last Sunday in November, the 30th, with eight people already booked in so only four spots left…
Freshly returned from a summer break in Tuscany where, apart from abandoning myself to the hedonistic pursuits of dining and wining and shopping, I taught cooking classes in beautiful Belsole Villa outside Tuscany’s Certaldo, I am now excitedly planning new classes for 2014/15. To be held in a stunning home in Byron Bay, they will take place on Sundays, the cooking class leading seamlessly into a long leisurely lunch. Groups are no bigger than twelve people ensuring everyone gets to pitch in and make the various dishes demonstrated in an informal atmosphere. Further details will be forthcoming!
Burrata with grilled summer vegetables
Most of the people I love have birthdays in November: Scorpios the lot of them! Not least my Spero, whose half-Greek heritage inspired me to bake birthday treats accordingly. He has often spoken fondly of his grandmother’s Pastitsio: that, then, was to be the savoury component, and for that I turned to George Colombaris. For something sweet the choice was selfish: an almond lemon syrup cake because out of all the cakes I bake my most adored are dense, moist, nutty, sticky ones drenched in syrup.
Both, I now brag, were a triumph. The pastitsio, a sort of Greek lasagne: bottom layer pasta, middle layer a beef ragu and the top a deep couple of inches of exquisite cloud-soft béchamel lightened by eggs and enriched with loads of freshly grated parmesan (in the absence of the recommended keflagraviera). We dined on it, shamelessly, two nights in a row.
As for the cake, one of New Zealander Annabel Langbein’s, it was all I could have asked for, and more. The syrup especially – an infusion of cardamon pods, star anise, vanilla bean, loads of sugar and water and the tediously peeled rind – no pith! – of three lemons – was spicy and complex. Whole blanched almonds adorned the top and all it needed was thick cream. Several days later it, like the pastitsio, was only better.
A highly successful day at Lismore with a lovely group of eleven women whipping up nine different types of antipasti which positively shone on the platters before being devoured.