Back in November I took a cooking class with friends and colleagues at Trattoria all'Angelo in Piovene Rocchette, the town situated at the base of the hills leading to Asiago. . . .
Five Reasons I Loved this Experience and Recommend that You Try it Too
1. Chef Mauro and his wife Bari: These two are among the most genuine people I have ever met. You will like them, I am certain -- it is important to like your hosts. We had a feeling of mutual respect in the kitchen.
2. Fun times: Just take a look at the smiles on the faces in every single candid picture. It was loads of fun for us with lots of humor and laughter filling the work space; I credit Bari and Mauro for setting that tone, and, well, my friends and colleagues are a fun-loving bunch.
3. Knowledgeable executive chef: Mauro is an accomplished chef with a lifetime of varied experiences spanning continents (including the Ritz-Carlton) who is eager to share his knowledge. He knows food and he knows cooking, yet he's not pompous about it. I like that.
4. English: I know, I know. I could complete the course in Italian but it is just so much easier, SO MUCH EASIER, to be able to do it in English with a person who "understands" Americans. (Are we so weird?) I also appreciated that he did not present an over-the-top "Bella Italia, That's Amore, Ciao Bella, Mamma Mia" exaggerated show for us that can be found in many gastro-tourism experiences -- you know the disingenuous type. I don't think tourists are his market, anyway. (Are we tourists? Nahh, but . . . kinda . . . not really. It's complicated.)
5. The food: Every single bite was perfect, just perfect AND easy to recreate at home.
Good times, good people, good atmosphere, good food . . . we are planning our second adventure.
Our Tuscany-themed Menu of the Day
Lardo di Colonnata (White Prosciutto) Wrapped Prawns with Stewed Cannellini Beans
Cipollata (Tuscan Onion Soup)
Polpettone Toscano (Florence-style Meatloaf) with Porcini Mushrooms
Triple Chocolate Hazelnut Cantucci with Zabaione
Each course was paired with a wine.
Chef Mauro will also offer advice on plating the food.
After we dined, Mauro took us for a walk through his expansive garden, where he is able to grow much of what is used in the restaurant, and, of course, much of that which isn't in the garden is found locally. We also saw the new hen house and healthy chicks. Bari explained that all water used in the restaurant and house (they live in the same building) is collected from the rain and filtered accordingly. For an added bonus, a trailhead is situated directly across the street from the restaurant, for those who want to trek uphill after a morning of cooking and feasting.
Mauro and Bari
Via dell'Angelo, 105
Piovene Rocchette (VI)
(Closed Sunday night and Monday)
Planned courses are scheduled in evenings during the week (in Italian), but Mauro is also willing to build a course tailored to your tastes. Some suggested themes include marmelades, bread making, fish, risotto, wild mushrooms, vegetarian, appetizers, cookies, and seasonal selections. He'll even do a demonstration-type course if you don't like the hands-on experience, and he'll lead a parent/child morning in the kitchen. Our next venture will be pesce or fish.
So, what are you waiting for? Give them a call!