On Monday night, I attended the media launch for the Accento Italian Cooking Master Classes, organised by the Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. From May to September, six local Italian chefs will share their cooking secrets in a series of master classes at the Accento Home showroom in Claremont. The chefs’ restaurants have earned the prestigious Ospitalità Italiana certification awarded by the Italian Government, which means that they comply with specific quality standards including proficiency in Italian cooking, having Italian-speaking staff and a menu that uses traditional and certified Italian ingredients/products, such as extra virgin olive oil. Outside of Italy, there are around 1,000 Ospitalità Italiana restaurants, with 11 here in Western Australia.
The launch event was brilliant fun. We expected chefs Giuseppe Pagliaricci (Perugino Restaurant) and Egidio Squillace (Event Style) to demonstrate three or four dishes, but together with a team of sous chefs they surprised and wowed us with a feast of over 20 dishes that included a tantalising selection of cold and hot finger food items, all beautifully presented and prepared with consummate skill, precision and a healthy dose of that famous Italian passion.
The finger foods were a meal on their own, but the chefs got cracking to prepare two pasta dishes. A chunk of Gorgonzola cheese was melted in a frying pan. The nostril-flaring aroma got the blue cheese lovers in the room very excited.
Still there was more – a delicious menagerie of chicken, rabbit and lamb.
And of course there was dessert. Two varieties of panna cotta and three different cakes – fig and amaretti tart; quince and chestnut cake; and a gluten-free rice and apple cake.
Master class participants will get to taste the demonstrated dishes and sample matching Italian wines. Every master class menus is different, but give you an idea, here’s what’s in store for the first class on 20 May, led by chef Giuseppe Pagliaricci of Perugino Restaurant:
- Roast shoulder of pork, thinly sliced and served on a bed of broccoli puree
- Homemade Italian noodles tossed with fresh local squid, sundried tomatoes and baby spinach
- Slow-cooked rabbit stew, with Taggiasca olives, served on a bed of soft polenta
- Accompaniments of roasted tomatoes, mushroom and baby carrots
- Crepes filled with wild fruit, served with Cointreau zabaglione (each class includes dessert)
- Matching wines: Rotari Brut, Pighin Sauvignon Blanc and Rosso Montalcino Col D’orcia
Whether you’re more cook or glutton, you’ll definitely need your eating pants. Last year, the classes sold out very quickly and I’ve been told the tickets for this year are already selling fast – so if you’re interested, don’t wait for too long!
- A class each month, each one led by a different Italian chef
- The master class series runs from May to September (first class is 20 May)
- Accento Home showroom, 256 Stirling Highway, Claremont
- Start time 6.30pm
- Maximum 30 participants per class
- AU$90 per class or AU$500 for the whole series of six
For more information including class dates, the chefs, menus and how to book:
Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) or telephone (08) 9217 4200
TFP attended the Accento Italian Cooking Master Classes media launch as an invited guest.
A side note
I studied Italian in high school and enjoyed the lessons very much. We used the “Avanti” series of text books, following the adventures of Angela, Laura, Kevin, Giorgio and Dario. Two sentences are forever burned in my memory: “Dario sempre in ritardo” (Dario is always late) and “Mi dispiace, Dario è in gabinetto” (I’m sorry, Dario is in the toilet). The things that remain with you, eh?