Cooking Lessons

November 12, 2007

There’s no way to say this other than just to admit it… I’m an Italian who can cook very few Italian dishes. This isn’t to say I can’t cook. I have a few tricks up my sleeve, mostly some of my favorite dishes that my mamma used to make. But aside from risotto and some fairly basic pasta dishes, I’m not a great cook when it comes to Italian food.

That’s why I’ve decided to make the best use of my incredibly slow Saturdays at the restaurant (Il Boccaccio at Hermosa Beach) by learning to cook food from the motherland. And therein lies the irony, because the chef who teaches me each Saturday is, as you may have guessed, Mexican. Don’t laugh, though, because damn, vato can cook!!! Plus, if you laugh at him, he may kill you. =]

Last week I learned to make poached salmon (not necessarily Italian). This past Saturday, we made fresh pesto… not too difficult in itself, but you have to start from the basics. It culminated in this, spaghetti al pesto!

Pesto nella cucina

And here is the chef himself, Manny (his face is dark to maintain his anonymity, not because I’m a bad photographer!). Can’t wait for next week, cannelloni con la zucca (cannelloni stuffed with pumpkin) !!!

El Chef Manny

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