Taking a cooking class in Italy is a great way to get a more in-depth introduction to the local culture, so on a recent trip we decided to take a cooking class in the Dolomites. A group of 12 of us (we sent the kids off with a babysitter) spent a wonderful morning with chef Erika in Alta Badia learning how to make two very local dishes. Both dishes, explained Erika, have been prepared by her husband’s family members for hundreds of years. She would teach us how to make a traditional Barley and Ham Soup and Frittelle, a sort of deep-fried ravioli. These two recipes were “Saturday recipes”, meaning that every Saturday the women of the household spent the day cooking, while the men worked with the land and the animals, and then everyone ate together. These recipes aren’t typical to just Erika’s family – these are traditional Saturday night dishes for the entire area.

Cooking class in the Dolomites

Cooking Class in the DolomitesErika welcomed us into her compact kitchen, and explained that the farmhouse had been in her husband’s family for 400 years, and they still didn’t have central heating. Instead, a couple wood-powered furnaces heat the main spaces of the house in the wintertime. You can see the living room furnace in the photo: the white ceramic structure under the bed (used as a couch, not a bed) is a wood stove. Even in the kitchen, the stove that Erika uses daily for her cooking classes and restaurant is wood-fired.

Cooking Class in the Dolomites

Cooking Class in the Dolomites

Every inch of space in her kitchen is put to efficient use, and we took turns guessing the function of the machine in the corner that took up a lot of real estate (see photo). After many incorrect guesses (pasta machine?) she gave us the answer: it’s a butter churn.

Catch Hospitality Group

119 Jones St, Oakville
phone: 905-469-1811

Open For Lunch
Monday Thru Friday
11:30 To 3:30pm

Open For Dinner
Mon - Fri 5:00pm - 11:00pm
Sat - Sun 5:00pm - 11:00pm

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