Well, Jamie, it's about time! When I heard that this cookery school was launching, my first thought was "how has this not happened sooner?" I've been watching his TV shows and recreating his recipes for over 15 years; and I really believe the way that Jamie makes culinary skills feel accessible is one of the main reasons I've come so far. It brings me joy to know that his team of talented chefs will now be passing on what they know to food lovers of any ability.
Located at the back of Jamie's Italian in the Westfield at Shepherd's Bush, the cookery school is spacious and decorated pretty much like my ideal kitchen (of course). I was privileged to be invited along with some of my favourite foodie friends to a pasta masterclass with the Italian master himself, Gennaro Contaldo. What a guy.
Gennaro hails from the Amalfi coast, and talked us through the story and versatility of pasta. I love how the best dishes are anything but complicated. All you need are the freshest ingredients and the most basic techniques... and the pasta speaks for itself. To demonstrate, Gennaro taught us one of his favourite filled pasta – pea, mint and ricotta. With a snip here and twist there, he had made a whole variety of different shapes in no time. Ravioli, cappellacci, tortellini, mezzelune; just saying the names makes me hungry all over again!
This perfectly-cooked filled pasta swirl on a bed of tomato and basil is by Gennaro. And that plate of ravioli drowning in butter? Yeah that's mine. Not even ashamed to admit that I finished every last drop.
Thank you so much, team! I thorough recommend booking a lesson with these guys. Classes range from a few hours to a full day – there's knife skills, Japanese cooking, Vietnamese street food, pizza for pros, and loads more. Happy learning!