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VALENTINA HARRIS launches Authentic Italian MASTERCLASSES at exeter cookery school

We are delighted to announce that Exeter Cookery School is set to receive a series of visits from the ‘queen’… the queen of pasta, risottos, and authentic Italian cooking, that is! The acclaimed TV chef, regional cookery book author and Italian cookery tutor, Valentina Harris, has chosen Exeter Cookery School as the South West venue for her popular cookery classes. She will start with a series of six authentic one day Italian cookery masterclasses on 20th & 21st July, 10th & 11th August, and 28th & 29th September, followed by two Edible Christmas gift-making courses on 16th and 17th November.

Covering a range of authentic Italian cooking styles and techniques, from basic and advanced pasta making to how to cook the perfect risotto and gnocchi, these sociable, day-long courses promise to be fast-paced and a lot of fun. Each course will culminate in participants coming together to enjoy the fruits of their labour and celebrate the fabulous food they have created. As well as the techniques-based classes, Valentina will be introducing Italy’s many regional specialities with her series of Italian Feasts: Sicilian (21st July); Tuscan (11th August) and Venetian (29th September).

The first of these mouthwatering masterclasses will run over the weekend of 20th and 21st July. On 20th July, Valentina will be treating guests to a hands-on pasta-making masterclass, teaching all about the different types of dough and myriad shapes to a vast array of seasonal pasta sauces on her much-loved Pasta, Pasta, Pasta course. This will be followed on Sunday 21st July with Valentina taking guests on a culinary exploration of Sicilian cuisine. A Sicilian Feast with Valentina will include a hands-on experience making typical Sicilian dishes such as Sfincuni (a Sicilian onion and tomato pizza), Polpettine di Melanzane (aubergine patties), and Linguine al Pesto Trapanese (linguine with pesto Trapanese).

On 10th August, Valentina will be equipping participants with the confidence and skills to create a selection of silky risottos and delicious gnocchi on her rice and gnocchi masterclass. Then, on 11th August, the authentic rustic, earthy flavours of Tuscan cuisine are set to come to Exeter Cookery School, as Valentina teaches guests how to prepare a Tuscan Feast. Think holidays in Florence and Sienna, with popular classic dishes, such as Melanzane Alla Parmigiana and Florentine Roast Pork dish, as well as some lesser known local specialities such as Zuccotto, a traditional Tuscan chocolate and cream pudding.

On 28th September, Valentina will return to the subject of pasta and accompanying sauces on her Advanced Pasta Masterclass. This course is perfect for anyone who is already adept at creating delicious home-made pasta from scratch but would like to learn more advanced techniques, including making squid ink pasta, Tortelloni and Rotolo Di Pasta Con Spinaci E Ricotta (a spinach and ricotta pasta roll). On Sunday 29th September, Valentina will transport Exeter Cookery School guests to Northern Italy with A Venetian Feast. Thanks to Venice’s unique geographical setting, venetian cuisine is rich with fish, seafood, wild game and the multitude of different types of vegetables that grow in this verdant region of Italy, such as peas, beans, asparagus, artichokes and radicchio.

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Christmas Treats

Valentina will then return once more to Devon in November to delight foodies with her edible Christmas Gifts courses. On Saturday 16th November, she will regale guests with tales of an Italian Christmas, while creating a selection of savoury treats, including grissini and home-made walnut pesto and Taralli Toscani All’Anice – Tuscan aniseed and olive biscuits. While on Sunday 17th November, she will be focussing on sweet treats, such as Panforte – Tuscan candied fruit and nut Christmas sweetmeat – and Panpepato – a spiced Umbrian Christmas Cake. Participants should expect lots of fun, laughter and to leave with some beautifully wrapped edible Christmas gifts to give loved ones at Christmas.

Every one of Valentina’s courses has a distinct and unique style, but all focus on teaching participants all about the fabulous flavours and artisan techniques needed to recreate an authentic taste of Italy in your own kitchen. They will also be filled with tales of growing up in Italy and passion for Italian cuisine.