Lunching with the chef

Having accepted the invitation we received from the Lorenzo de’ Medici (LdM) cooking school in Florence, at 1:00 pm on a Friday, I headed to the upper floor of the Mercato Centrale to take part in its “A pranzo con lo Chef” [Lunch with the chef] class.

WP_20150306_13_05_58_Pro

 

We went into the kitchen where the courses are held at 16 stations for students and the chef behind the big counter in front. A video camera positioned above the counter records each step for making each recipe. The images are projected on a large screen at the same time as on the tablets at each station. This lets all aspiring chefs follow each and every step of dishes’ preparation!

WP_20150306_13_34_31_Pro

 

We got settled at the station set up right next to where today’s chefs, Giulio and Alessandro, would cook a risotto with shellfish and candied lemon and a yogurt cream with barley malt and ginger. And the cooking demonstration began!

WP_20150306_13_06_58_Pro WP_20150306_13_22_38_Pro

Giulio told us how to clean the fish and use the heads and shells of the shellfish, mixed with celery, carrots and onion, to flavor the broth in which to cook the rice. Meanwhile, he told us some interesting facts. Where does the name “risotto” come from? From the Italian words for rice (“riso”) and eight (“otto”), in reference to the figure eight drawn on the bottom of the pan while toasting the rice. He taught us to use our senses to see if the rice is well toasted and its time to add liquid. Touch it to feel if the rice is hot, listen until you hear the “sound of breaking glass,” and looking to see if the edge of the rice grain has become transparent.

WP_20150306_13_17_07_Pro

WP_20150306_13_35_29_Pro1

While the rice was cooking, we moved on to making the dessert.
Starting with the ginger part of his recipe, Alessandro talked about how important spices are for a healthier diet; for example, curry and tumeric can help us cut down on salt. And for desserts barley malt or honey can replace sugar. A few simple steps and our dessert went in the fridge to chill before being served!

WP_20150306_14_01_06_Pro

WP_20150306_13_53_52_Pro

The rice was almost done and the risotto was finished up by creaming it — of course, far from the heat. Giulio added shellfish, the candied lemon, parsley and Parmesan cheese — which contrary to popular belief — boosts the flavor of even fish-based risotto. And this is what we got!

WP_20150306_14_04_25_Pro WP_20150306_14_10_19_Pro

We tasted it paired with a nice glass of wine. Alessandro explained how desserts should complete a meal without weighing us down and should balance with the flavors that came before. His yogurt cream was fresh and delicate, ending our lunching with a note that was both simple and special.

WP_20150306_14_21_55_Pro

WP_20150306_14_23_22_Pro

For those interested, classes with chefs are available for dinner too every weekend starting from €38.00 a person. LdM also organizes private, theme-based and customized cooking classes. For all of you who loves food and Italian cuisine!

WP_20150306_13_09_27_Pro WP_20150306_14_47_44_Pro

Cucina Lorenzo de’ Medici
Mercato Centrale (upper floor) – Piazza del Mercato Centrale, Florence
www.cucinaldm.com
334.3040551 – info@cucinaldm.com

WP_20150306_13_05_51_Pro

English translation by Miriam Hurley

You may also like

LEAVE A COMMENT

Facebook

Ultimo sunset and jazz di questa calda estate che sta volgendo al termine 🍹#winteriscoming #sunsetandjazz #grandhotelminerva .
.
.
#luxuryhotel #boutiquehotel #luxurytravel #luxuryescapes #travelitaly #traveltuscany #firenzebynight
...

View on Facebook

RECENT TWEETS

Instagram