Brighten your winter with a “Hands-on Cooking Experience”

Winter in St Francis can be rather laid back. With late sunrises, early sunsets many don’t get to enjoy their early morning or evening beach walks. Even paddlers, canal swimmers and runners have to rush after work to get their exercise fix before dark. And of course the weather doesn’t always play its part either, the past weekend a example which even reduced the popular morning market to but all but a few diehard vendors.

Fortunately several of the hospitality purveyors come to our rescue with food & wine pairing dinners as hosted by Sarah at Dune Ridge and the beer spin off to these tastings at the St Francis Brewing Company. Then we have the occasional fund raiser events such as the “Els for Autism” event to be held at St Francis Links on 22nd June that was such a huge success last year.

But there is a new event on the calendar that will be held the last Thursday of each month from June through to November. Receiving a late invitation to the inaugural event last Thursday it promises to be a lot of fun and a novel way of dining out whilst learning a few cooking tips along the way. We speak of “Cooking with Mauro”, a concept devised by Anne of Baud’Au Health and Beauty in the Village and Mauro of Mauro’s Restaurant at Port St Francis.

At his the first event the gathered participants were given a lesson in making the perfect pizza. Now most of us enjoy the odd pizza but actually making one from scratch would never enter our minds for it is far easier to pick up a few to go as a family treat. Of course as an alternative one can always buy one of those pizza bases and concoct your own topping but these usually end up as soggy, unappetising renditions of the real thing. But as Mauro demonstrated to a group of enthusiastic participants at “Cooking with Mauro” last Thursday evening, it really is not that difficult.

Demonstrating step by step from mixing dough, kneading it to a perfect consistency and finally, rolling it out to a nigh perfect circle with the ideal thickness, edge and centre, Mauro guided the partakers through the process.

Of course a pizza without the topping is nothing more than a tasteless flat bread so next step was how to add the topping, most importantly the tomato paste. And it was here that you will need to attend a class on making this tomato paste for Mauro, although stressing the importance of the tomato, did not divulge the process or ingredients of making it. Surprising was how little cheese was added before the selection of other topping choices.

Demo done the group set about making their own pizza. Well not all managed to get the shape quite right first time out but all sat down to enjoy their creation and judging by the empty plates at the end of the evening, all were perfectly happy with what they created. A truly fun evening with a little wine and plenty of laughter! Certainly a great way to spend a winter’s evening.

The next “Cooking with Mauro” will be held at Mauro’s Restaurant on the 29th June starting at 5:30pm and this time participants will cook in the actual kitchen. If you would like to be part of this fun evening best you call Mauro and book for there is limited space available.

Some photos of the evening and the results.

Cooking with Mauro

Preparing to make pizza

Adding the pizza topping

The real deal pizza

Ready for the oven

Ready for the oven