My food coma has been interrupted by the pressing memories of the morning (and perhaps the espresso that accompanied the end of my meal ). Today, we cooked with Chef Lorenzo.
The time was 8 am, and we met Chef Lorenzo at his Ristorante Zeppelin. The bite had not yet left the chilly morning air, so we pass around cappuccino to kick off our morning. He introduced us to a 3rd generation pork vender, who had this incredibly tender ham stuffed with rosemary and fennel. I had seen him there the last Thursday, but didn’t know what I was missing. Next stop: Formaggio. Lorenzo talked about the real Parmesan from Parma and how it is made into large wheels. ( I found out that the cow cheese I had eaten known as Muca.) He also picked up some King Pumpkin, the best oranges Italy (which tasted like chilled orange juice as bit into the wedge), 20 fresh artichokes for frying, tomatoes, a stalk of black cabbage.
Our toes were freezing by this time, so what do we do? Have another round o cappuccino, certo! (of course!)
“I need a few bakers!” announced Chef. Jessica and I volunteered and we were responsible for the dough that would become 4 scrumptious pizzas. For the crust:
Three kinds of flour(with varying amounts of gluten, protein, and fineness)
Kneading that dough was a bit of a work out too.
While it was rising, I learned to cut turnips. Correction: I learned the proper technique for using a chefs knife in general, and how to make a fine slice consistently. Gabe lent me his knife after a bit. A sharp knife makes a huge difference. (certo)
Now back to the dough. We spread it on the pan, added pepper & salt, and more oil (great moisturizer)
1: Turnips, prosciutto, mozzarella (wow, so great!)
2: Pumpkin, onions, garlic, mozzarella cheese
3: Whole tomatoes slices, cheese, pepper
4: I cut small tomatoes in half and added more prosciutto (like bacon)
Other groups were baking chicken, making lemon berry gelato, chocolate mousse, fried artichokes, risotto, and salad with fresh mozzarella balls. If there was a lull, we had some Prosecco (remember, we are eating the whole time). This went on for 3 hours or so before we sat down to lunch. Brittany asked for a top-shelf Chianti (pictured), and Victor obliged; we split it at the table. We were so full, but it was all so exquisitely dynamic on the palette that we tried it all. All of us were on the verge of falling asleep from the food, so we had espresso with our desserts: Chocolate MOUSSE made with coffee, rum, cookie crumbs… delicious! Victor finished by serving us Grappa to help with the digestion (and our impending food comas). I think he just wanted to laugh at the faces we made 😉 Haha that was an interesting drink.
Home. Nap. Full.
Today has been an incredible experience. Some other time this semester we may visit Parma, go wine tasting, and possibly truffle hunting with Lorenzo.
Four years of working hard in studio, eating like college students, and sleeping irregularly has really set this semester up to be something incredible: Four months of learning a new culture, cooking/eating incredible food, and having time to “live”… It is good to be here.