Missing Italy and Spain

Sorry folks. I went quiet for a while after Wednesday 19-Jun. C’est la catastrophe.

I made it to the Poland demo on Wednesday but missed the practical the next day. I missed out entirely on Italy, also on Thursday, and Spain on the Friday too. Boo! I want to learn as much as possible. I want to cook as much as possible. But, with less than a week to my Intermediate exams, I was felled by food poisoning.

The 5 absences I’m permitted per term disappeared in 36 hours. Poof! Gone. Miss one more session and I'd have been in an appeal process to determine whether I would pass through to Superior Cuisine. Somehow I managed to muster enough will to get my dishevelled self into school for the late afternoon session on Friday, which happened to be the first demo in a charcuterie trilogy. I hadn’t eaten a bean since Wednesday night and I was still badly dehydrated with a clamouring headache. But I was confident nothing was going to come up or out of me. Without wanting to be too graphic—24 hours earlier I could’ve cut steel given the exit velocity of liquids from my body.

After welcoming us back, chef warned that charcuterie is the type of food most renowned for causing food poisoning. Brilliant. Perfect timing. And I love charcuterie. Anyway, for now, what did I miss in Italy and Spain?

In Italy it was Ossobuco avec Risotto Saffron et Gremolata with Tiramisu for dessert. The Ossobuco was made with veal shin.

Ossobuco with veal shin, saffron risotto and gremolata


And in Spain, Gazpacho Andaluz followed by Paella made with chicken legs, baby chorizo, prawns, mussels, squid and Bomba rice spiced with saffron, espelette pepper and smoked paprika.

Gazpacho Andaluz

Paella with chicken legs, baby chorizo, prawns, mussels, squid and Bomba rice

A big thanks to Riddles for sharing photos and method notes.

I missed 2 demos, 3 cooks, and lost 2 study days. Bummer.

To cap it all, team mates told me the Ossobuco was the best dish so far. Sob.

And the Paella was probably second best. Weep.

I’ll try to sit in on the missed demos when the next Intermediate groups come through.

I’m glad to be on the mend now. I’ve lost time and momentum. My energy is still low and, if I’m honest, my enthusiasm too. Think about it. Stuck at home and resigned to missing school, I couldn’t even revise. Who can face reading about food theory, recipes and cooking methods when feeling nauseous? Not me. On the plus side I did catch up on some much needed sleep. I’ll bounce back. I love cooking. Right now, with 4 days to the exams, I need to crack on with a couple of practice cooks. Give me strength.

In the next post I’ll pick up the charcuterie again.