Thursday, January 12, 2017

Nothing Better Than Eating Your Own Dish In Your Own Dish



Enzo Formisano is the Master of Ceramic who runs Officina Ceramic School.

This is his philosophy:
The project that I'm trying to realize, with the essential help of my partner Chris, is to create not a traditional school but an open studio were everyone can express his own creativity with our technical assistance. 
We like to think that our core business is not pottery but relationship, a cultural melting pot for people from all over the world that you can meet in Florence. 

We take out of the kiln beautifully designed plates and jars and sculptures, but I received my the best ever compliment when an Israeli art teacher told me : "this is not a place for painting, this is a place for healing". 


Marcella Ansaldo is the Chef who runs GiglioCooking.
Her philosophy is: Learn the rules then break them.
Put yourself in what you do: this is the real freedom.
Thus she considers her school “a place of healing”.
Perfect professional match with Enzo.



This is what came out from their meeting and talking:



ONE DAY PROPOSAL

Monday morning at THE OFFICINA LAB for a lesson that includes: Art History Introduction, Pottery painting of a plate with original Renaissance’ s  design, using traditional techniques and tools. Within two days your pottery will be fired in special kiln and you will be using it for your meal cooked at GiglioCooking on the Thursday.

The price is 130 euro for person in groups for at least 4 participants up to 10
Ask for pricing when the participants are less than 4 or more than 10.


WEEKLY COURSE

Three morning of Pottery Painting at the OFFICINA LAB with three chosen traditional designs. The lesson will include also  Pottery Art History and possibility of personalized decoration.
Three afternoons of Cooking classes with Renaissance recipes.

The price is 390 euro for person in groups for at least 4 participants up to 10
Ask for pricing when the participants are less than 4 or more than 10.


for information:

info@gigliocooking.com

officinaceramica@gmail.com


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Brian & Joy: When Cooking becomes.... Happening.




I cannot explain the spirit that drove us to start talking after the first introduction.
It happened.
Joy & Brian entered the kitchen one day of last summer.
We shaked our hands.
I welcame them and let them sit down. I offered some cold water: it was hot outside.

What usually happens is this:
We say our names, we ask information about to each other: where we are from, why we are in Italy or why in Firenze, for how long. ... Then I start to explain the recipes and, likely, the techniques behind them.

What happend was that Brian & Joy did want to listen to theoretical explanations of cooking science. Not immediately. Not that soon.
They  wanted to know me better. 

They  wanted to know why I am in Florence. For how long. What brought me to open a cooking school. 
They  looked - and they were - sincerely interested.

Cooking brought me to open a cooking school.
This seems tooooo obvious.
Life brought me to open a cooking school. The life that we all try to drive and that instead drives us. I found myself in cooking. I was born and raised in cooking places. It happened. 

Like our un-expected and, at the same time, desired, conversation. It happened.

Because what happens is almost always a combination of will and fate.
The mechanism of Universe. 
The life brings you where you want to be brought.

So I told them my story.
Where I was born, Giglio Island, in the deep blue sea of Tuscany.
My -  as deep as the sea that sorrounds my island -  love for my birth place.
My desire to go back there.
My first project to start a school on the island.
Then the creation of  GiglioCooking in Florence, where I have gathered my skills together with my dreams. And together with the hope that GiglioCooking would bring me to Giglio.

I was - and still I am - grateful for that conversation. 
When this "happens" makes me think that my dream would soon... happen.

Anyways I gave them the explanations of the recipes they chose.
We cooked and then we set at the table to taste the product of our labor.

Some days later, Joy & Brian sent me the photos of some of the dishes we cooked together.








I hope to see you again, Dear Joy & Brian.

Thank you for giving a new "push" to my dreams!

Calendar: the Third Week of January 2017

Third Week of January  2017

MON 16th
TUE 17th
WED 18th
THUR 19th
FRI 20th
SAT  21st
SUN 22nd
9,30 -  01:00







10:00 -01:00







11:00 -02:00
Pasta Making: Tagliatelle with Vegetable sauce; Ravioli Spinach and ricotta with Fresh Tomato sauce ; Gnocchi with Pesto




Pasta Making: Tagliatelle with Vegetable sauce; Ravioli Spinach and ricotta with Fresh Tomato sauce ; Gnocchi with Pesto

Pizza & Gelato: Pizza dough and toppings, Vanilla Ice Cream and Chocolate Ice Cream

Tuscan Experience: Ribollita or Minestrone, Chicken Hunter Style; Biscotti with Almonds

02:30-5:30


Penne con polpettine di carne
Involtini di petto di pollo agli spinaci
Tiramisu (con pastorizzazione delle uova)

Menu vegetariano: risotto con….(in base al mercato e alla stagione)
Caponata  Siciliana
Pere al vino e zabaglione ( o pesche agli amaretti in base alla stagione



04:00-07:00
Italian Region Experience: Risotto with Saffron (Lombardy); Tagliata (beef, Tuscany); Babà (Campania)




Pizza & Gelato: Pizza dough and toppings, Vanilla Ice Cream and Chocolate Ice Cream

Sicilian Experience: Timbale “Norma”; Pork rolls; Cassata Siciliana

Pasta Making: Tagliatelle with Vegetable sauce; Ravioli Spinach and ricotta with Fresh Tomato sauce ; Gnocchi with Pesto

06:00-09:00









Monday, January 9, 2017

COMPARISON



Slice of boiled potato, Bufalo butter, Caviar.



Toasted Tuscan Bread, butter, salted anchovy ( home made)



It might have been because the bread with salty anchovy was the tantalizing appetezer that my father used to offer me since I was a little girl, thus the taste is a rooted memory of my pallate...I prefer the second one to the Caviar. 
No comparison. 
Too big difference.
Anchovy wins.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

As Soft as Clouds



The Ricciarelli are small delicacies with the shape of an almond.
Their paste is made of almond, sugar and egg white.
They are typical from Siena, the Tuscan city, although they seen to have an Arabian orgin.
Both the almod paste and the shape - that should resable the curly shoes of Aladin - are Arabian.
The word "Ricciareli" means actually "Curly".
They are a  pasty and  delicious Christmas sweet.




This is Angiolino Mascagni, "Gingio" for the friends.
A simple man who wakes up every morning at 4:00 and goes to work. He is also the last to go back home and givesthe good example with his wisdom and his capability, in every single activity of the factory.

In the photo above, you can see his masterpiece: the RICCIARELLI.

I wrote it with capital letter for a reason should say - instead - with low voice.
Gingio is from Val di Chiana. His pretty factory is in Castiglion Fiorentino. Provence of Arezzo.
Not in Siena.
I swear: HIS RICCIARELLI are the best I have tasted.
And honestly, I really would like to learn his secret. I have a feeling he will never tell me.

So... as all the towns and villages in Tuscany - I should say in Italy - suffer of "campanilismo"- local rivalry - Siena might get crazy if gets to know that the best Ricciarelli are made out of town.


Gingio is here showing proudly the factory started by his father and carried on for year by himself and his brother until he passed away.


The room with the giant ovens.


Wise hands shaping rolls...


........Bread loaves just out of the oven......



..."Crostate", - Jam pies - ... yumm...



...Soft cakes..


...The famous Ricciarelli before the packaging


... Pastry workers shaping cookies.



Mr Mascagni, I have a question for you:
when will you come out with a cookie named Gingio?

Thank you for spreading your world with sweetness

Friday, January 6, 2017

PRECIOUS SCENT


The first step: to train a dog


Second step: letting the dog doing his job


Thirs step: being proud to be able to find such a gift of the Nature



Fourth step: enjoung the stunning scent that emanates from it



Fifth step: clean it carefully with a soft brush



Sixth step: slice it on a pasta dish simply dressed with butter.



ENJOY HEAVEN

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Calendar: the Second Week of January 2017

First week of January 2017

MON 9th
TUE 10th
WED 11th
THUR 12th
FRI 13th
SAT  14th
SUN 15th
9,30 -  01:00







10:00 -01:00







11:00 -02:00
Pasta Making: Tagliatelle with Vegetable sauce; Ravioli Spinach and ricotta with Fresh Tomato sauce ; Gnocchi with Pesto

Tuscan Experience: Ribollita or Minestrone, Chicken Hunter Style; Biscotti with Almonds


Pizza & Gelato: Pizza dough and toppings, Vanilla Ice Cream and Chocolate Ice Cream

Pasta Making: Tagliatelle with Vegetable sauce; Ravioli Spinach and ricotta with Fresh Tomato sauce ; Gnocchi with Pesto

Pizza & Gelato: Pizza dough and toppings, Vanilla Ice Cream and Chocolate Ice Cream

Tuscan Experience: Ribollita or Minestrone, Chicken Hunter Style; Biscotti with Almonds

02:30-5:30







04:00-07:00
Italian Region Experience: Risotto with Saffron (Lombardy); Tagliata (beef, Tuscany); Babà (Campania)

Pasta Making: Tagliatelle with Vegetable sauce; Ravioli Spinach and ricotta with Fresh Tomato sauce ; Gnocchi with Pesto


Sicilian Experience: Timbale “Norma”; Pork rolls; Cassata Siciliana

Pizza & Gelato: Pizza dough and toppings, Vanilla Ice Cream and Chocolate Ice Cream

Sicilian Experience: Timbale “Norma”; Pork rolls; Cassata Siciliana

Pasta Making: Tagliatelle with Vegetable sauce; Ravioli Spinach and ricotta with Fresh Tomato sauce ; Gnocchi with Pesto

06:00-09:00

La Pasta fresca: l’impasto e la forma
Lasagne con ragù e besciamella
Corollo all’olio extra vergne di olive e caramello al vino

Pastry Class: Baking techniques (Patè a choux, Short Bread),  Tiramsù

Menu di pesce: Spaghetti vongole e zucchini
Pesce crudo all’arancia ( spiegazione dell’anisakis)
Crespelle di farina di castagne con ripieno di ricotta