By Mudassir Raja
It was an event carried out to re-affirm the need to have healthy and nutritious food in our lives, and at the same time, an opportunity to highlight the unique qualities and popularity of Italian cuisine.
‘Cooking Class With Ambassador’ was an exclusive event with Pasquale Salzano, Ambassador of Italy to Qatar, where he exhibited his cooking skills in presence of Giorgio Schifferegger, a master chef visiting from Italy at Sawa Restaurant – Marsa Malaz Kempinski.
Kempinski at The Pearl-Qatar is hosting the event to celebrate Italian national day today. The cooking class – that was attended by around 15 people, enthusiastic about learning how to cook Italian cuisine – was arranged to promote Italian food that will be served on the national day celebrations at the hotel.
The food enthusiast – coming from diverse backgrounds, took keen interest in the cooking class with the ambassador and Giorgio, Executive Chef at Kempinski in Venice.
As they prepared ‘Spaghetti Vongole’, ‘San Clemente Tiramisu’ and ‘Mozzarella in Carrozza’, both the chef and the ambassador explained the background, history, ingredients and culture of the Italian cuisine to the gathering. The food enthusiasts, who followed the cooking guidelines with keenness, showed deep interest in the historic nature of each of the cuisine in Italy.
Talking to Community, Ambassador Pasquale expressed his happiness to be a part of the cooking class highlighting the Italian cuisine. He said: “I am very happy today to be here with an expert chef from Italy. The chef will oversee the preparation of food to be served at the Italian national day (today). We will have all Italian food. In the cooking class, we have all Italian cuisine showing the people how to cook the food. We show that eating Italian food means eating healthy Mediterranean cuisine that is made by very simple ingredients.”
He added: “The purpose of the cooking class is to make people aware of the importance of eating well and having healthy food. You know it is not an easy task to find the right way to eat. Sometimes, especially the young generations are pushed by commercial people to buy very unhealthy food which can be very bad for the kids. At the same, it is an opportunity to promote Italian cuisine and culture in Qatar.
“Since I am from Naples, one dish that we cook today is exactly from my area. It has a very simple recipe but it is very delicious. There is a love for Italian cuisine around the world. Many people have been asking for cooking classes teaching them how to cook Italian cuisine. This is also one of the reasons that we are here today.”
Chef Giorgio has been associated with Kempinski in Venice for over two years. He is good at preparing both traditional and modern Venetian food. “Today in the class, I am going to cook traditional street food from Naples because our ambassador here hails from the area. It is a little present for the ambassador. I will also present a recipe from my own grandmother. Each plate or recipe has its own story in Italy.”
The chef is excited and proud to introduce the Italian recipes with the people of diverse cultures in Qatar. “I am proud and it is a pleasure to explain how great Italian cuisine can be. I think I am a small ambassador of Italian cuisine here. I am sure that with the skilled team of Kempinski here, we will offer good Italian food for the guests attending our national day celebrations.”
Raghu Menon, Cluster General Manager, Kempinski, welcomed the guests and the chef. He said: “The main purpose behind hosting this cooking lesson was to create an appreciation for Italian cuisine. We are going to host the Italian national day. I have interesting discussion with the ambassador and decided to introduce the amazing Italian cuisine and teach some of the local fans about some basic Italian cuisines. It is an appreciation of all things Italian – cuisine and food.
“We have 12 aspiring Italian chefs in the class. I am sure by the end of this session we will have a handful of Italian chefs. People are passionate about Italian food. It is going to be a fun time.”
Thamer Ali al-Kuwari, an engineer by profession, is a food and fitness enthusiast. He takes interest in all sorts of cuisines. “I am always interested in Italian cuisine. It is well known worldwide. Here, we have a visiting chef from Italy. I am really happy to have a class with him. It is an opportunity to learn more about the Italian cuisine in the right way.
“I am actually interested in all cuisines but it is always better to learn about something from its authentic source. It feels like home cooked food. Actually, Italian cuisine is known for many things – meat, shrimps. It is very inspiring to see how they put together the fresh ingredients and prepare their food. I am a fitness enthusiast and I always look out for my food intakes as well.”
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