Interview with Chef Marika of our Insider’s Venice Cooking Vacation

October 27, 2020  |  By Liz SanFilippo Hall
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There are a variety of islands in Venice’s lagoon, but there’s only one known as the ‘Golden Island.’ This stunning island has inspired many artists and poets over the years. It’s also an inspirational place for food lovers, too. Chef Marika today calls the Lido her home, but her family hails from all over Italy. As such, her cooking classes may focus on Venetian cuisine, but she’s also more than happy to share her knowledge of other Italian dishes as well. In our latest chef interview, she talks about her history with cooking, her advice for cooks, and why you should come visit her in her kitchen.

Read about the islands of Venice.

Chef MarikaWhat is your first memory of cooking?
My Sunday mornings making tortellini in Grandma’s kitchen. I was about 6-7 years old.

Where or from whom did you learn about cooking?
My whole family was passionate about good food and cooking Both my grandmothers, my mother and even my father were great cooks.

What is your favorite ingredient or food to cook with?
I love cook fresh pasta because is the kind of cooking that I grow up with and brings me back to my roots. At the same time cooking fish give me a lot of fun because is a more young and recent experience that belong to my life in Venice with my husband and his family (my mother in law was a great cook that taught me a lot about Venetian cooking).

See all our culinary tours in the Veneto.

A meal from a Venice cooking classWhat’s your favorite dish?
Too many to be listed!!!

What is the best piece of advice you would give someone just starting to cook?
Select and choose the best and freshest ingredients. Make it simple. Take all the time necessary to achieve your recipe. Enjoy every moment of preparation. Enjoy the journey … do not be in a hurry … slow cooking is so much better that fast cooking!!!!

Why do you like teaching cooking classes?
I like to share my experience and love for food. For a lot of people best moments of their life are all connected by a more or less tangible link, with some memory of the table. It’s a great bless to be part of many of these moments with my work as caterer and chef instructor.

Cooking class with Chef MarikaWhat’s unique about the food from your region?
The variety of fish that we are used to prepare and serve. And the accompaniment of these fish with a soft white semolina polenta.

Anything else you’d like to share with clients of The International Kitchen?
In my culinary background there are the homemade pasta dishes from my mother’s family (Emilia Romagna), from Valtellina (extreme north Italy), and from Apulia (extreme south) from my  aternal grandparents. There is the Milanese cuisine, the city where I was born and raised and the Venetian, the region of my husband’s family. If you want a trip through good and authentic Italian cuisine, my kitchen is the place were to be!!

Chef Marika offers a 3-night Insider’s Venice cooking vacation, which includes 2 classes, accommodations in an enchanting, historical hotel; a visit to the Rialto market; and more. We also offer a one-day cooking class with Chef Marika!

By Liz Hall

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