In the next installment of our chef interviews, we visit with Chef Laura Giusti of the Mediterranean cooking itinerary of one of our best-selling culinary vacations in Tuscany, Italian Cooking at Casa Ombuto. Chef Laura is a native of Tuscany, and she couples her impressive cooking credentials with interests in wine, the SlowFood movement, and international cuisine.
What is your first memory of cooking?
I started making cakes, for breakfast, for afternoon, enjoying making custard cream and chocolate cakes, because I loved all different kind of dessert and My mother was great with savory recipes, but a disaster with desserts, so mine was a need.
What is your favorite ingredient or food to cook with? Least favorite?
I love homemade dough, whisking flour, water, yeast or eggs, for me it’s an unbelievable pleasure. Least favorite or probably impossible to cook, are lobsters, I couldn’t cook them live in hot water.
What’s your favorite dish?
Pasta, a dish of spaghetti or linguine with a simple fresh seasoning, extravirgin olive oil, garlic, ripe tomatoes, basil, parmigiano.
What is the best piece of advice you would give someone just starting to cook?
Experience a true love for food, and always look for the best seasonal ingredients.
Have any funny or embarrassing stories you’d like to share?
Funny and embarrassing in the same time is each time watching a few foreigner people at the table eating pasta, cutting it with a knife or using fork and spoon, so inappropriate.
Why do you like teaching cooking classes?
I love to share my experience, and to transmit my big passion and love for cooking.
What’s unique about the food from your region?
Surely a great cooking made with fabulous ingredients, extra virgin olive oil, meats, to mention just a few, but above all are simple and authentic recipes, where we can taste the flavour of each individual ingredient.
Anything else you’d like to share with clients of The International Kitchen?
To participate one time in the life to a cooking class will be an unforgettable experience: cooking together, sharing a wonderfully set table with friends I think it’s one of the biggest pleasure in life.
Let Chef Laura teach you the bold flavors of Tuscan and Mediterranean cuisine during a week-long cooking vacation at Casa Ombuto, where you might learn such dishes as: panzanella salad, stuffed zucchini flowers, pecorino and pear flan, risotto with saffron, tagliatelle pasta with meat sauce, pici pasta with broccoli and bacon, T-bone steak Florentine-style, roast pork loin, wild boar, and a variety of Italian desserts!
By Peg Kern
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