Cooking class by Gabriele Taddeucci
Introducing the 2nd Week of Italian Cuisine in the World
The Italian Cultural Institute is pleased to announce a cycle of monthly cooking classes, each one of them dedicated to a different region of Italy. The cycle will represent an introduction to the 2nd Week of Italian Cuisine in the World, which will be held all over the world, including Sydney, between the 20th and the 26th of November 2017.
The third cooking class, held by Gabriele Taddeucci, Head Chef at Ristorante Balla, will present a series of dishes from the region of Sicily. During his demonstration the participants will learn the secrets to prepare authentic regional specialties such polpette di alici con cipolle in agrodolce (anchovy patties with sweet and sour onions) and casarecce con pesto alla trapanese (casarecce – a type of pasta – with Trapani-style pesto).
Sicilian cuisine shows traces of all cultures that have existed on the island of Sicily over the last two millennia. Although its cuisine has a lot in common with Italian cuisine, Sicilian food also has Greek, Spanish, French and Arab influences. The use of apricots, sugar, citrus, sweet melons, rice, saffron, raisins, nutmeg, clove, pepper, pine nuts, cinnamon (along with fried preparations) is a sign of Arab influences from the Arab domination of Sicily in the 10th and 11th centuries. Normans and Hohenstaufen influences are also found, such as in the fondness for meat dishes. Later, the Spanish introduced numerous items from the New World, including cocoa, maize, peppers, turkey, and tomatoes along with other produce. In Catania, on the east coast, initially settled by Greek colonists, fish, olives, broad beans, pistachio and fresh vegetables are preferred instead. Much of the island's cuisine encourages the use of fresh vegetables such as eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes, and fish such as tuna, sea bream, sea bass, cuttlefish, and swordfish. In Trapani, in the extreme western corner of the island, North African influences are clear in the use of couscous.
Gabriele Taddeucci’s passion for food began over two decades ago, with his first role as a pizza hand in his home city, Lucca (in Tuscany). Throughout Gabriele’s culinary career, he has fine-tuned his skills as a chef, working in restaurants throughout Italy, France, Switzerland, England, America and Australia. Gabriele has worked for a number of leading restaurants and chefs, such as Attilio Di Fabrizo, Executive Chef at Villa San Michele Hotel in Florence, and Giorgio Locatelli from London’s Locanda Locatelli. In 2008 Gabriele moved to Australia to work alongside Chef Massimo Bianchi and open Uccello at Merivale’s Ivy. Finally, in 2011 he met Stefano Manfredi and fell in love with his new restaurant concept at The Star, and in September of the same year he started working at Osteria Balla as Head Chef. In his role, he works closely with Stefano to deliver a modern interpretation of the Italian ‘osteria’ cuisine.
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