A wonderful atmosphere, delicious fresh food, and welcoming staff. We’ve just visited the Mediterranean Culinary Academy for a couple’s cooking class and we are thrilled to share our experiences cooking like a true local.
Over the course of the pandemic, many new hobbies have been discovered. Reading, gardening, meditation, painting and writing all grew in popularity during the lockdowns. Mine was cooking...
Having just moved out, I naturally started to use the kitchen more to experiment my culinary skills. My skills improved and I enjoyed testing out new recipes and preparing them from scratch. Thank you, Pinterest!
Although my new found passion for cooking was going great, I had a burning desire to up my level. I naturally turned to the Mediterranean Culinary Academy, for their hands-on cooking techniques and locally sourced ingredients. They had several classes available throughout summer, but the Rabbit Tagliatelle class stood out from the rest. Since it was a couple’s cooking class, I asked my brother to join me, who also happens to be my most trusted chef partner at home.
Prior to the event, Jessica from the MCA was extremely helpful and responsive to any questions that we had. She sent us the full recipes for the Tagliatelle, Rabbit Ragu, and Basque Burnt Cheesecake, together with information on the station setup, the various equipment to be used during the class, and some useful cooking terminology. Her tremendous organizational skills, gave me peace of mind, so much so, that I could already visualize myself cooking at the Pod.
The day finally arrived. It was Friday. And an unbearably humid day. We rushed over to Carob Tree in St Julians just after work. We arrived just before 6pm, leaving us just a few minutes to spare. In a Master Chef setting, we were seated at a the only available table. Yes, we were the last to arrive.
As my brother poured us both a glass of water, the chef instructor on the day introduced himself. His name is David and he has the most extraordinary story. From working in several Michelin star restaurants in the UK, to being head chef in a local restaurant, to setting up a vegan restaurant in Cambodia. He was accompanied by Kurt, who is the founder of the Mediterranean Culinary Academy. Together, they ran us through the schedule, explained some basic house rules, and invited all the guests to say a few words about themselves and why they joined the class. It was great to see the diversity in the class. There were locals as well as travelers, regulars and newcomers, all with a common interest to learn and improve their cooking craft.
With our presentations done and dusted, we gathered by our respective cooking stations to carefully observe David prepare the dishes. David was knowledgeable about the food. He explained everything thoroughly, even allowing the guests to ask questions. He started with the least complicated Basque Burnt Cheesecake, before moving to the rabbit ragu where he demonstrated the correct technique handling a knife. He also took the opportunity to show us other popular knife cuts which would be useful throughout our food prep. It was satisfying watching how perfectly he cut all the ingredients.
Once he finished, it was now our turn to work as a team and emulate the great work that David had demonstrated previously. We all dressed into our aprons and we were eager to get going. I decided to use my newly learned knifing skills to cut all the vegetables. My brother worked on the Basque Burnt Cheesecake, which did not take him very long to finish. The ovens were pre-heated from before we arrived, so he quickly popped it in to the oven and helped me with the meat, which was arguably the most complicated part of the experience. And David was happy to give us some individual attention to make sure we got it right.
While we left the mixture to cook for approximately an hour, we returned to our seats as David gave us a quick presentation on the different types of pasta and other key learning tips for the next phase of prep. The pasta! The dough was formed beforehand, so all we had to do was roll out the dough as thinly as possible to allow it to pass through the pasta machine. It was so much fun using the pasta machine, as we managed to get extremely long sheets of pasta dough. It was definitely a two-man job. Once we reached our desired pasta thickness, we started to cut the pasta into thick strips to make the tagliatelle.
When we went back to our cooking stations, you could almost taste the ragu, with its rich smell. We placed the pasta in boiling water for just a couple of minutes, and then mixed the pasta with the ragu.
Voila! The food was ready to be served...
We placed the food on our plates and made our way to the dining table. Kurt went around tables offering each guest a glass of excellent red wine to pair with the food. I must admit that it felt as if we were dining in a fancy restaurant. Then the dessert arrived and it was equally impressive.
I began to wonder how we made all of this great food!
Shifting from the chaos and excitement of cooking to the calmness and serenity of dining with a loved one, was a pleasurable experience. The class lasted over 4 hours. We left with not only our stomachs full, but some leftovers tomorrow! After the class, we hang around speaking with Kurt and David who were very kind enough to recommend certain other dishes to practice and to answer some of our questions.
The Mediterranean Culinary Academy are true professionals in local sustainable cuisine. They have carefully planned their classes to ensure that they are entertaining and educative. The Rabbit Tagliatelle was absolutely scrumptious and you are in time to book their next one on 1st October 2021.
If you want to up your cooking game in 2021, you really need to give this experience a go, you won't regret it! They have several different classes available throughout the year, so make sure to stay updated with them all here on Chitzo.
I know I will be returning.
We love to promote great experience, like the one at the Mediterranean Culinary Academy. Be sure to check out our what's on guide, www.chitzo.com, for more awesome events and activities.