I cannot cook. More accurately, I don’t cook. As a full-time traveler with no home, cooking skills are rarely necessary. However, with my nine year anniversary of being on the road fast approaching, I’ve been toying with the idea of settling down again, of renting an apartment somewhere in Europe or Asia where I could take a break between extended trips. A place where I could cook a meal instead of eating in restaurants every night. So when Flavours Holidays invited me to experience one of their custom cooking, painting, or Pilates holidays in Italy, I chose cooking in Puglia, the southern region of Italy otherwise known as the “heel of the boot.”
I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting myself into. Cooking, you see, has always been a chore for me. Not only do I find prepping food to be tedious, I seem to be incapable of following a recipe. Recently, a friend who has attended cooking school suggested I try my hand at soups, as they all start with a simple stock made from celery, onions, and carrots. Last December, during my annual holiday visit with family, I took his advice. Five hours after chopping the first onion I ladled out a surprisingly edible bowl of split pea soup.
Encouraged, a few days later I attempted butternut squash soup. My online search for a recipe turned up nary a one that called for a stock made with onions, celery, and carrots. In my infinite wisdom, I assumed all the recipes were wrong and made the stock as before. Into it I tossed smallish chunks of the squash and set it to simmer. Eight hours later, the squash had finally reduced enough resemble soup, but it tasted truly horrible. I threw it down the disposal and gave up. Read More
Click on title of post to view photo in large format: Chef Antonio reviews what we will be preparing for the midday meal during my cooking holiday in Puglia, Italy. On this day, we prepared pasta made from scratch with broccoli rabe, one of the many delicious recipes we learned during my week with Flavours Holidays.