Sunday, April 12, 2015

Casa Artusi Philippines

ALTA of Ascott Hotel in BGC was the location of yesterday's Casa Artusi. For those who do not know what Casa Artusi is, this is the information from their website:

"Casa Artusi’s beating heart lies on La Scienza in Cucina e l'Arte di Mangiare Bene (The Science of Cooking and the Art of Eating Well), a culinary treasure trove of almost 800 recipes culled from home cooks in every corner of Italy. Written by the father of modern Italian cooking, Pellegrino Artusi, the book features not only the core of Italian cuisine, but also the unique heritage that is anchored on rich culinary traditions. Learning at Casa Artusi is achieved through a well-rounded home-style approach inspired by the man who is said to have united many homes through gastronomy.

Margarita Araneta Forés, the visionary behind the M brand, spent years in Italy to learn the fine art and science of Italian cuisine. Working on home kitchens from Florence to Milan, Forés was able to hone her mastery of the local cuisine by exploring markets for the freshest ingredients, and dining at the best restaurants to familiarize with the flavors. With her passion for Italian cooking ablaze, Margarita wanted to share traditional concepts, secrets, and techniques. She then collaborated with Casa Artusi to bring a world-class culinary center closer to home.

From the historic town of Forlimpopoli in Northern Italy, Casa Artusi was established in Manila as the first and only Asian offshore campus of the renowned center. Built to cater to Filipinos and international food lovers, Casa Artusi aims to provide a culinary center that hones the art and science of home-style Italian cooking. At Casa Artusi, learners are provided with culinary knowledge that is deep in history and is rife with wisdom."

Casa Artusi in Manila is the first offshore campus of the prestigious Italian school and I was lucky enough to have been invited to be part of the class where Chef Margarita Fores taught how to make Italian appetizers paired with cocktails. At first I was very intimidated at the thought of learning Italian cuisine since I am one of those who either cook my pasta to perfection or end up throwing it out since it is no longer edible. However, Chef Gaita (as she is fondly called) was very pleasant and cheerful that I found myself enjoying the class and not having any qualms at all. 

my classmates: Tess, Melissa, and Jepp
I was also lucky because I was chosen to be the guest co-host for this segment of Listed, a show on Lifestyle Network and I got to work with such an awesome host, Mr. Walter Demesa. He was very supportive since he knows that I do not regularly do this and he was so easy to work with. 

Walter Demesa of Listed and I
Now to talk about the food. Chef Gaita prepared 7 appetizers and 4 cocktails. It was actually more than what was planned but Chef Gaita loved the dynamic of the class so much so she added more much to the delight of the participants. 

The ones that truly stood out for me were the following: 

Fungi in Umido (Stewed Mushrooms) and Piselli Colla Carnesecca (Peas with Bacon)
I am really not a fan of peas so when I saw this, I was a bit hesitant. Chef Gaita said that snow peas were one of the most unappreciated food  ingredient and in my head I was like, "coz it doesn't taste good!" However, the way she cooked it actually changed my mind. It was fresh, it was crispy, and it was tasty. I actually had about 4 of these babies.

The mushroom was cooked two ways; one was with tomatoes and the other was plain. I personally liked the plain one because you can taste more of the mushroom that way and I am a mushroom girl. I love almost any kind of mushroom so I may be a bit biased with this one.

Mortadella Mousse
This one was so easy to make that I am still amazed and I cannot wait to make this for my friends and family. There were only 4 ingredients and they were all placed on a blender and mixed. It came out looking like this. I loved it. It looks so feminine that you feel like it was prepared with love. As for the taste, it was very pleasant and appealing to the palette. It would definitely make a great appetizer as it leaves you wanting for more which in my opinion is how appetizers should be.

Cotolette Di Arugusta (Lobster Patties)
This was my ultimate favorite amongst everything that Chef Gaita cooked. I must have eaten 5 of these at the very least. It was just too good to pass up. Imagine lobsters being fillet and then wrap in bread crumbs and cooked. YUMMY! It was just too good. DELICIOSO is how they say it I believe.

Salsiccia Coll'uva (Sausage and Grapes)
This one came as a surprise to me. I never thought you could cook grapes and have it as part of a meal. I've always thought of it as something you just munch on. I love the pairing of these two because the taste complemented each other and I had to stop myself from eating so much because I was consuming bite sized meals more than I should. 

However the true star of the show was the Vitello Tonnato or the Veal in Tuna Sauce. OMIGOSH. It was simply too good. It was cooked to perfection and the tuna sauce, I could use it with crackers, salad, veggie dip, and even on roast chicken. It was AMAZING. 

Casa Artusi  also offers other classes which you can view here and on their Facebook Page. For those who are curious to learn more about Italian cooking or just want to have a simple degustacion, I suggest you try Casa Artusi. After all, can you really resist this? 

the cocktails


  1. I attended something similar several years ago with CCA. This is one event I would love to attend, too.

  2. The food looks very unique. Others are not even familiar to me. Still, it looks delicious! Looking forward on trying it one of these days.

  3. You're such a lucky gal! How was the co-hosting stint? XD


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