Italian Cuisine World Summit Dubai 2014

Italian main course master class

I believe that I have done enough justice to Asian cuisine and I can’t stop loving them, from Chinese food to Indian thosa and soft idly’s I’ve tried, tasted and written a lot and I will never stop cooking sri Lankan food nor blogging about it. I love trying different food and I enjoy learning new skills so this month I decided to peep into a different cuisine especially the Italian cuisine when Dima Sharif announced she was going to send 6 bloggers for 6 sessions on the Italian cuisine world summit master class I jumped in with excitement and said I am in. voila I was lucky to get the place at the basics in Italian cuisine master class with chef Walter Potenza who is now my favorite Michelin star chef. He is the first Michelin chef I’ve ever met in my foodie journey until today. I had to think four times if am going or not reason I had a naughty toddler who is fond of pulling things and still underage according to myself to stay at a daycare, myself being a unpaid food blogger I had no reason to send him to a daycare for just one day and decided to let him join in the fun.

In Sri Lanka we get classes for Indian, Chinese and Pakistani but Italian cuisine I am not sure if it will be the real Italian. Is there anything better than learning from the Italians themselves?  Well it’s best if its Italian Michelin chefs and this is one opportunity which none should miss, especially if you’re a hardcore foodie. You don’t have to be a chef but a passion is all you need to explore the world of cuisines.  Italian cuisine is another art which i understood the way the chefs did every step of preparation and presentation.  Cooking is an art truly and you need some patience to master the art. Chef Walter Potenza introduced himself to the audience and started off with a brief on what the days lesson is gona be like and what are the subjects that will be covered.

He mentioned 3 main techniques which will be demonstrated and explained for the day. Those three techniques were braising, poaching and frying. He gave a very good explanation on how the three techniques are used and why they originated. While talking about braising Chef Walter mentioned how the European farmers were literally forced to utilize different cuts to make ends meet as it was very rare. We were shown how to make a brasato which is done using the braising method and braising meet is usually a long period of cooking. The brasato was marinated for 24 hours and cooked for 8 hours. I was mesmerized in the way chef Walter explained how braising is usually done using tough and cheap cuts of the cows leg portion which he playfully showed his leg mentioning that he dint have a cow at the auditorium to show J  another dish we learnt using the braising method was osso buco which was also slow cooked for several hours with vegetables and stock and of course alcohol was called in the recipe but that’s the way Italians cook so you can change things to suit your culture everything can be changed and substituted in food.

I learnt that braising meat is very popular in the north and South America as well as the central Europe. The brasato originated from the piedmont region in Northwest Territory of Italy and they use a very special kind of alcohol to prepare this dish. Trust me the chef respects the culture and tradition of Dubai they all do so they never used it on the food they served us so no worries if you don’t consume alcohol you can enjoy the master class and maybe substitute the wine with something else and follow the recipe.

I love the braising method and can’t wait to try it out soon. The osso buco was so delicious, tender and juicy and I say it’s the best beef dish I have ever tasted with no curry powder or masala and it will be my favorite.

Moving onto the frying chef Walter mentioned how the Italians like frying their vegetables and seafood. We were told that the next chef who was chef lionello cera will demonstrate the pouching and frying techniques.

We had a coffee break with Chef Walter who also got my baby a croissant which was so nice of him. I was listening to the audience at this break and was so happy to be a part of this summit. There was an Italian chef who works at a leading hotel in Saudi Arabia who has flown down especially to attend the master class at the Italian cuisine world summit in Dubai and he also received his certificate of completion a few days ago. Isn’t that awesome. I wish I did it too maybe next time in sha Allah.

After the break we were greeted by chef lionello cera who gave a brief on what’s he going to demonstrate and how. He seemed to be the master of poaching and frying and I understood he had a great passion in doing the two techniques. The poaching of seafood was the recipe which had a long name and I am going to call it a soup kind of thing which had the real seafood flavor intact to it without extracting or evaporating even a tiny bit out. J It was raw and I got to taste clams for the first time in my life.

The third technique is frying and are you wondering if there can be something special in this method? Do not think you need to learn and taste it to know the difference. I have know that batter or egg dipped and bread crumb coated fried stuff are crispy and tasty but now I know that egg or batter is not the only way to make the breadcrumbs stick to the fish or whatever. The Italians used alcohol but I am thinking can we substitute by using malt drinks like very strong “Bavaria”?I will try it and let you now or you try and let me know, chef lionello used non alcoholic wine.

The outside of the fried onions and egg plant was so crispy and I could feel the strength of it.

Earlier chef Walter explained how the Italians like crispy fried stuff and chef lionello demonstrated that adding salt after frying can helps the flavor enhancement. I hope the photos will speak how fun the Italian cuisine main course session was and   I recommend you to try it out before it over head down to to learn more