‘From Bari to Bologna’ – Waitrose Cookery School with Danilo Cortellini

Another beautiful British summer and another Italian culinary spettacolare!

This year Crosta & Mollica partnered with Head Chef of the Italian Embassy and Masterchef finalist, Danilo Cortellini, to bring the ‘From Bari to Bologna’ Italian cookery school to life.

A competition on Waitrose.com gave entrants the chance to win a place at the cookery school. From the entrants, 8 winners – and their friend of choice – were invited to join Crosta & Mollica and Danilo on June 8th 2018 at the Waitrose Cookery School, Kings Cross, along with blogger Squibb Vicious and other special guests.

On the day, our competition winners were greeted and treated to a truly Italian breakfast – toasted Crosta & Mollica Pane Pugliese and Fig and Peach Conserves were laid out, along with traditional Crostata tarts which Danilo and his staff had prepared using the Crosta & Mollica Conserve range.

Once everyone was settled in it was time to begin cooking! Danilo started the class by educating our participants about traditional Italian antipasti and showing them how to whip up 3 dishes inspired by regional Italian cuisine and seasonal summer ingredients, such as courgette and asparagus. Perfect for any light meal or dinner party. These dishes were:

  • Crostini al Pesto di Zucchine – (Oregano Crostini with vegan courgette pesto, almond and pea shoots)
  • Pane Burro e Acciughe – (Pane Pugliese bruschetta with soft butter, citrus, anchovies and herbs)
  • Mini Piada con Ricotta, Asparagi e Prosciutto Crudo di Parma – (Mini Piada with ricotta asparagus and prosciutto)

The culinary journey through Italy continued with the main course, side dish and dessert; all traditional Italian dishes which showcased the Crosta & Mollica products in creative and contemporary ways:

  • Panzanella Toscana – (Tomato and summer vegetable salad with toasted Pane Pugliese)
  • Polpette di Pollo – (Chicken meatballs with Pane Pugliese, caramelised onion and dried fruit.)
  • Cheesecake al Cioccolato – (Chocolate cheesecake with salted caramel and grissini base)

While the participants were at their work stations getting stuck in to recreating the Italian dishes, the Waitrose Cookery School staff were working behind the scenes to create an atmospheric dining area, complete with a coffee and prosecco bar and summer inspired drinks (our favourite is the pomegranate and elderflower sparkling water). Danilo and the Waitrose chef team were also on-hand to help with any cooking questions and quickly got involved with the participants, chatting about everything Italian from holidays to food markets. After each course was cooked, everybody came together to sit, chat and enjoy each dish just as meals would be enjoyed in Italy.

At the end of a brilliant day our contestants left with a goody bag of Crosta & Mollica products, a voucher, the recipes from the day and a copy of Danilo’s stunning cookbook ‘4 Grosvenor Square: The Menu of the Italian Embassy’.