It is with pleasure that we invite our Guests to enjoy their time at Niasca while participating at a cooking course.
Our Courses are developed on the basis of the Ligurian kitchen. Liguria is the region of Italy where Portofino is located: it is a narrow strip of land facing the Mediterranean Sea, squeezed between the mountains of the Appennino Ligure and the water. In this hard land, all made in terraces as very uneven, the kitchen is based mainly on the many varieties of vegetables, that have always been available thanks to the mild climate of the area, on the different flours used by the population, on the olives and therefore on the olive oil (a genuine, rich and healthy ingredient in our everyday meals), on fish and on poultry. Meat such as cattle and pork and not commonly used in the ancient kitchen of Liguria.
Since this region is completely facing the sea, the population of this area in ancient times was mainly employed in sailing. This brought new influences from abroad, especially in the use of spices and salt (which was widely used to conserve the foods). Liguria is the first Italian region that used foreign spices in its’ dishes and this is not suprising as famous explorers such as Christopher Columbus were born in the town of Genova.
There was a substantial difference between the dishes prepared for the rich and by the poor, but even these were used to innovative tastes, never too plain but always quite elaborated and tasty, yet simple and based on the ingredients that one could find during a walk on the hill.
We are eager to introduce you to this special cuisine in a 4/5 hours cooking lesson with our Chef, who will however be happy to extend to you, on request, his knowledge on dishes of other regions, too (for example Pizza or meat dishes if you wish).
Our cooking courses can last from one and a half hour, to prepare just one item according to our Guests’ request, to up to 4 or 5 hours, for the preparation of an entire meal from entrée to dessert.
All our courses are tailor-made upon our Clients’ preference, however if possible we always like to start the acitivity with a short walk uphill to the spot called The Three Lakes to enjoy a nice fresh lemonade and the breath-taking view. On the way back to the Fondaco we stop at our aromatic herbs garden to pick the herbs that we will use during the course. We will then return to the Fondaco, where our Chef will be waiting for us to start the cooking lesson
All our lessons, that are totally hands on, end with the meal, including all the dishes prepared with the Chef. The lessons are open to up to 12 people, however it is possible to reserve a private course (with additional cost).
Depending on the time that you would like to spend with us, we propose the following specialities, based on the Ligurian traditional kitchen. Alternative dishes are available:
- Pesto with the mortar
- Nut sauce
- Marinara Tomato sauce
- Fish sauce (for Pasta)
- Hand-made Tagliatelle
- Pansotti (vegetable-filled ravioli)
- Hand-made potato gnocchi
- Caponadda and Cappon Magro Genova style (two elaborated antique dishes with fish)
- Octopus and potatoes
- Cuttlefish stew with potatoes
- Fresh fish Ligurian style
- Stockfish with olives and potatoes Ligurian style
- Stuffed Anchovies
- Stuffed squid
- Ligurian vegetable pie (polpettone)
- Baciocca genovese (potato pie)
- Crostata with our marmelade