Fast cars, slow food
Menus for the festive season from Piedmont's Officina del Gusto.
"A passion for cooking and a vocation for teaching". This is how Daniela Bovo replies when asked what drove her to found the "Officina del Gusto", in the town of Monaclieri, just 10 kilometers away from Turin, in Italy's Piedmont region.
Meals on wheels
Famous for its culinary and wine making traditions, Piedmont is also the birthplace of Italy's car industry, and was thus the perfect place in which a chef like Daniela, pupil of Gualtiero Marchesi, and her husband, Luciano Bertolero, owner of a classic car collection, could realize their dream project
It is in the combination of food and motors, of a meticulously designed teaching kitchen and event spaces adorned with splendid automobiles, that the unique character of the Officina del Gusto lies
No ordinary cooking school, Officina del Gusto is a full-blown epicurean center, where students can learn the ABC of cooking, but also make the acquaintance of master chefs and famous wine producers, attend tastings, and meet other pupils who share their interest in cooking.
Daniela shares her love of food and her extensive culinary experience, with students of all ages and diverse levels of competence.
Remembering how, before becoming a professional chef, she too had been a pupil, Daniela has created a faultless "basic" course which, in six lessons, introduces pupils to the fundamental techniques and principle types of cooking.
The Officina del Gusto also organizes meetings with great names of Italian cooking such as the pastry chef, Angelo Principe, and the bread maker, Piergiorgio Giorilli, both of whom teach pupils how to use the most simple of ingredients to obtain masterpieces of haute cuisine.
"Natale all'Officina" is a program especially devised for the festive season and includes Christmas menus featuring Piedmont's traditional "bagna cauda" (a type of fondue made with garlic, anchovies, olive oil and butter), and "agnolotti del plin", (delicious pasta parcels filled with roast meat, typical of the region's Langhe district)
The "Sua Maesta Il Panettone" lesson will appeal to all those eager to learn how to prepare this most famous of Italian Christmas cakes, whilst the "Addobbi Natalizi" course, held by Luisa Pulcher, is packed with ideas for festive table decorations.
Big chef, little chef
The Officina del Gusto also holds cooking lessons specially designed for children, during which youngsters are taught the rudimentary principals of food science and healthy eating.
Basic courses for children comprise three lessons and include an end of course party, during which the mini chefs prepare a dinner for the mums and dads.
Officina del Gusto
Corso Savona, 50/1
Tel: +39 011 6402474