With traditional and authentic Italian cooking making a steady resurgence in the London foodie scene, Italian masterclasses and cookery schools are popping up across the capital. Whether you’re an amateur or a dab hand, a pasta master or merely a prosecco quaffer, there’s now courses that cater to all skill sets and interests. Here’s a rundown of London’s most inspired Italiano offerings.
1. Enrica Rocca’s taste of Venice
Italian mama Enrica Rocca serves up a little slice of Venetian life from the convenience of Notting Hill. Headed by Rocca’s daughters, Claire and Charlotte, the London branch of this cookery school is every bit as authentic as it is delicious. Drawing on the best ingredients our city has to offer, weekend pupils will even shop together at Portobello Market before the class starts.
The menu usually includes antipasti starters, a traditional pasta or risotto dish, plus fresh meat and fish mains. Attendees might prepare up to ten dishes in a class, but no need to take notes – electronic recipe cards are handily provided to everyone post-cook.
Classes are held on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, priced at £110 – £150. Visit www.enricarocca.com/london for booking information.
2. Pococello and pasta at Cantina del Ponte
What’s more Italian than Limoncello and pasta? Well, as it turns out, not much. Newly appointed head chef, Angelo Albera, leads this monthly Pococello-fuelled pasta class that’s a must for any Italophile. The Thames-side eatery has become renowned in the capital for its trattoria style dining in a thoroughly Mediterranean setting.
Under the expert guidance of Angelo, guests are shown how to concoct two rustic pasta dishes, all whilst enjoying specially crafted Pococello cocktails.
While the pasta simmers, students are treated to an Italian antipasti of smoked swordfish carpaccio with zucchini and Amalfi lemon dressing. After tucking into their own creations, the meal is rounded off with Sicilian cannolo served with an Amalfi lemon cream to continue the theme.
The next class, priced at £39, will take place on Saturday 13th August. To book email email@example.com.
3. Theo Randall’s Masterclasses
Legendary chef Theo Randall also hosts a seasonal masterclass at his eponymous restaurant situated within the Intercontinental. Ingredients are carefully selected by Theo’s team to match the changing seasons.
Guests can first fuel up during a morning coffee reception, before taking to the kitchen for a hands-on and undoubtedly unforgettable experience. Theo encourages his pupils to eat as they go, studying each ingredient used within the immersive class. At 1pm attendees are then treated to a wine tasting with head sommelier, Vittorio Gentile, before finally sitting down to a three-course feast, inspired by each session’s central theme.
Classes are priced at £250 per person and guests also receive a copy of Theo’s latest cookbook, ‘My Simple Italian’. Upcoming themes include: pasta and risotto (13th Aug, 8th Oct, 3rd Dec); Fish (24th Sept); and Meat (12th Nov).
To book, contact 0207 318 8747 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Something for everyone at La Cucina Caldesi
Opened in 2005, La Cucina Caldesi is central London’s only Italian cookery school. Classes are taught in an informal setting, under the expert watch of married master chefs Katie and Giancarlo, who used to own a similar cookery school in Tuscany. If you don’t know your orecchiette from your cavatelli, fret not – the school’s many classes cater to every level of cook.
And there’s truly a course to suit all tastes too. Italian Streetfood, One-day Pasta Class, Pizza Al Fresco, Chocolate & Macaroons and Sunday Market Kitchen are just a few of the scrumptious selections on offer. Racking up a massive following across the country, Katie and Giancarlo have since become regulars on Market Kitchen, BBC Masterchef, BBC Breakfast and more recently Saturday Kitchen.
Prices range from £40 – £180. Visit www.caldesi.com for all upcoming courses.
5. Novikov’s themed masterclasses
Glam Mayfair hub, Novikov, has become synonymous with showcasing Italy’s finest regional fare. Led by head chef Marco Torri, the expansive space allows guests to step away from their tables and into the heat of the kitchen in a celebration of Italian cooking. Expect to see some of the nation’s rarest and most luxurious ingredients exclusively imported from the celebrated region.
The experiential sessions usually run on Saturday mornings, with each masterclass focusing on one of Italy’s various foodie regions or specialty dishes. After coffee and a traditional Italian breakfast, students take to Novikov’s gorgeous open-plan kitchen to whip up a carefully curated menu covering all the hearty and rustic recipes that are the hallmark of the local cuisine.
Novikov’s next masterclass on July 30th will triumph the forever fundamental tomato. Classes are £75 and guests can join the lunch seating for £25. Visit www.novikovrestaurant.co.uk for booking info.