*By: Cate Lorimer*
Last summer, I checked something big off my bucket list: I spent two glorious weeks in Sicily, Italy. I’m not going to lie, I indulged my taste buds. Everything tasted better over there, especially the pizza. (I still have dreams about those cheesy slices). Anyway, when I got back to Toronto, I tried to duplicate the recipe, and let’s just say, it was an #epicfail. Now, I wouldn’t say that I am a wizard in the kitchen, but I can follow recipes so when I heard that The Chef & The Dish offers private, online cooking classes with chefs around the globe I was eager to learn more…
To give you the Coles Notes, The Chef & The Dish allows you to Skype professional chefs from all over the world into your kitchen. Imagine coming back from your dream vacay (like Sicily) and wanting to recreate one of the meals you experienced on your travels. Well now you can! Thanks to their innovative video conference cooking classes, you’ll get a personal real-time tutorial from a culinary pro. (And yes, there is a chef dedicated to the Sicilian cuisine.) That means you can ask all of your burning questions, learn about different cultures and take your dishes to the next level…
Pesto: Just Like Nonna Makes
Curious about The Chef & The Dish, I trekked to the Gourmet Food and Wine Expo in Toronto to watch a live demonstration. Bottom line: the experience was amazing. On the menu was Pesto and Pasta. We Skyped in chef Paola all the way from northern Italy to walk us through each and every step. She was great! She even shared the history of the dish and its cultural importance. Like did you know that Pesto is a protected DOP recipe? Every step, from the farming of the ingredients to production of the product is regulated to ensure its authenticity. So the next time you’re at your favourite Italian restaurant, make sure you ask them if they use DOP ingredients, because if they don’t, it’s not real Italian food!
Anyhoo, after walking us through all the necessary steps and specific techniques you can master to bring out the ingredients’ rich flavours, we were given the opportunity to taste the recipe. And… I. WAS. SOLD. The Chef & The Dish is the real deal.
Let’s Get Cooking
I recently reached out to The Chef & The Dish team to see if I could share one of their coveted recipes with you guys and they said YASSSSSSS! #woohoo! Oh, and it’s not just any recipe, the NOLA Seafood Seasoning below comes from Chef Gason, an award-winning chef who was recently named one of the best in Louisiana by the American Culinary Foundation. If you love southern cooking, this recipe is for you: his seasoning is perfect for any grilled, broiled, baked, or pan-fried shrimp or fish.
Here’s what you’ll need:
2 tablespoons of granulated garlic and onions
2 tablespoons of black pepper
1 teaspoon of powdered oregano
½ teaspoon of powdered thyme
1 teaspoon of lemon pepper
¼ teaspoon of powdered basil
¼ teaspoon of cayenne
Here’s how to make it:
Simply mix all the ingredients and store in an airtight jar. When you’re ready to feast, shake the seasoning onto shrimp or fish, cook and enjoy!
If you’re hosting an upcoming dinner party, want to create a dish that will transport your senses abroad or just want an opportunity to learn from top chefs around the globe in the comfort of your own kitchen, I strongly suggest you check out The Chef & The Dish. Insider scoop: they have a promotion right now where you can join their mailing list and get $25 off your first tutorial. Seriously, what are you waiting for? Let’s get cooking!