Sunday, November 18, 2012

Cucina Italiana – Gluten Free Cooking Class

I’m always eager to learn something new in the kitchen and being diagnosed with coeliac didn’t change this, it actually made me more determined to create my favourite meals gluten free.

If there is a cooking show on the telly, that’s what I’m watching and I’m always on the lookout for a great cooking class, even more so post coeliac disease. So when I found out that Luciana Sampogna from Cucina Italiana had introduced gluten free cooking classes to her schedule, I was excited!

I had been to Luciana’s cooking class pre-coeliac and knew how amazing her food was, so it was a must for me to take one of her GF cooking classes.

The cooking classes take place in Luciana’s home, which reminds me of a beautiful Tuscan villa! When we arrive, the tables are all set up with the measured ingredients that will be used during the class. Luciana lets us know at the beginning of the class that the wooden tables have been turned around and sanded back so that the gluten flour that she uses in her other classes is removed.

All precautions have been made to remove any traces of gluten, but as the kitchen is used predominately for cooking that contains gluten, she does warn the class that there could be “traces” of gluten.

Luciana first demonstrates how the dish should be made, before encouraging us to re-create the dish. The gluten free menu is delicious, we made freshly made Tagliatelle with the Classical Bolognese Sauce, Gnocchi di Patate (potato gnocchi) served with Classical Sugo al Pomodoro (red tomato sauce) and for dessert we had a divine White Chocolate Cake. Yum, yum & yum!

The best part about these classes is that at the end, we all sit down on a communal table and get to eat every dish we made during the class. You even get a beautiful GF antipasto with GF bread and a glass of wine to enjoy with you meal!

As part of the package, you get a recipe sheet of all the dishes you made during the class. You can also buy the special GF flour that is imported from Italy, along with utensils and other little gadgets.

This class was definitely worth it, I have made the pasta a few times before and my non-coeliac family and friends love it!

Cucina Italiana

84 Johnston St, Annandale
(02) 8021 2699

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Monday, November 05, 2012

The Grounds of Alexandria

We recently stumbled across The Grounds of Alexandria on the weekend. It’s absolutely the cutest! So we were glad when we found out they catered for gluten free.

Once an old pie factory, the warehouse has been converted into a funky, rustic cafe which looks out onto a glorious garden in full bloom with fresh seasonal veggies, herbs and even chickens!

You can choose to eat either in the cafe or order take-away and eat outside in the gardens. There was a 20 minute wait for the cafe (they take your details & call you once a table is available), which we didn’t mind as we got a chance to go and check out the Italian Deli “Salt Meats Cheese” across from the cafe.

The deli is definitely worth a visit. It has an amazing selection of flavoured salts, which you can purchase by weight of your choice, beautiful cheeses and some amazing products from around the world! They even stock gluten free pastas and biscuits! So it goes without saying that we walked away with a small bag of goodies (not wise to shop on an empty stomach!)

Once our table was ready and we looked over the menu, we were informed that the gluten free bread had run out! Such a shame, but we weren’t let down by the Roast Beef salad, with marinated peppers, shaved pecorino and capers and the Slow Cooked Lamb with yoghurt, chickpeas, roasted pumpkin and vinaigrette! Both were very delicious and substantial salads.

The Grounds of Alexandria is definitely worth a visit, you just need to be prepared to wait in queue on the weekends (if you choose to eat at the cafe), which isn’t such a bad thing as you can wander around the grounds because there is plenty to see!

The Grounds of Alexandria
Building 7A, 2 Huntley Street, Alexandria Sydney
(02) 9699 2225

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