They say there is no better place to eat a pizza than the ones in Italy and I would have to agree except for one thing, there is no better pizza to eat than the pizza’s you have made yourself and that is exactly what we did in Florence.
We were met at the door to the kitchen of Florence’s Wine and Cooking Academy by the chef and owner Giovanni. I was expecting, a fat jovial Italian man to speak in a thick Italian English accent, instead I was greeted by a man with a shaved head,glasses, speaking with a stern Italian/ American accent with my images of Italian chefs now thrown out the window, we were seated quickly at the benches of the kitchen, seated amongst 25 other want to be chefs.
Giovanni poured out the flour on the bench, formed a circle, then placed some liquid in the middle, from the outside he padded the flour before everything was seeped in and the dough was formed, he then started kneading before placing the ball of dough under the towel to allow it to rise. He was quick, meticulous in the way he did everything, he made it look easy. He then clicked his fingers twice, snapped “Go get your apron and wash your hands it’s your turn.”
“lets start” I said, smiling at my wife and son before spreading the flour out on the table, the dough didn’t form as well as Giovanni’s, it was sticky, we were worried that it would be a failure, we felt pressured as he was spending a long time with other participants up at the far end, finally he came, he smirked looking at our dough, “needs more flour” before spreading some more out, we then rolled the dough in and sure enough the dough became firm. kneading too, wasn’t my forte but Rei had his knuckles, going, his fingers complying to what he was thinking and sure enough the dough was ready all it needed to do was for it to rise.
While waiting I learnt that Giovanni spends a long time each year in America, training American chefs in the art of Italian cooking. That would explain the slight American accent that he had and probably why he doesn’t come across as one of the friendliest people when he’s used to training highly efficient chefs instead of training a bunch of amateurs.
With the dough having risen we were ready to spread out the simple margarita sauce that we had made tomatoes, basil leaves and cheese. All that was to do now was wait.
What we made
Calzone with spicy salami filling (Our favourite)
What we liked
Some schools, you watch the instructor make the food and then eat it. This is definitely the opposite a full hands on cooking experience.
Number of participants
25 I thought there were too many 15 participants would be better.
precise, knew what he was doing, helpful
His instructions were fine,he just needed to show a little bit more warmth to the participants.
A fun evening enjoyed by all participants. We haven’t ordered take out pizza since we’ve returned. Making our own pizza using the method that was taught. We were given a recipe book from the Academy to help make other pizzas.