The second cooking class on our trip to Croatia was an optional one but several of us were keen to experience another class…this time in Split!
We arrived on time at 10 am to be greeted by a selection of drinks and I am not referring to tea, coffee, juice or water! Though this was available. There was raki and some delicious liquors – orange, walnut and a berry flavored one. I had never imagined a cooking class where alcohol was offered before you were part of a hands on class which included various knife skills. Whenever I think of this part of the day I smile when I think of my friend Janet who poured a large glass of a colourless liquid from an attractive glass bottle. You guessed it….she mistook water for the raki bottle and I turned to speak to her when she took a large mouthful! Fortunately a sink was right behind her. It still makes me smile. Sorry Janet!
However I understand that classes normally include visits to local fruit and vegetable markets as well as a fish one prior to the start. We did this the previous day! So that was perhaps the reason for the refreshments.
On with determination to obtain the most out of our 100 euro class. We were presented cooking aprons in a beautiful blue…..sadly these weren’t souvenirs but may I am one of those few strange creatures who collect aprons! Along with cake tins…see earlier blog. But they have to be useful.
The chef gave us the menu which we were to prepare…under his guidance of course. There was a risotto which happened to be the best I have ever eaten and surprisingly there was still some left as one of the group appeared to spend most of the preparation time tasting the sauce and sampling the wine. No names mentioned here. Bread rolls were made from scratch and were delicious. Being the pedantic person I am insisted that they were all the same size and shape. There were two starters….a fish carpacio and a tuna tartar which were delicious due to the freshness of the fish and tuna. We had a fish casserole, a salad and a typical dessert a creme caramel flavored with orange.
The chef had an interesting tale to tell of his life. From a 3 star Michelin star restaurant which he closed overnight when the mafia came knocking on his door for handouts. He moved his restaurant equipment one night and family the next. An amazing story. I am sure he is a much happier and healthier father and husband leading a more relaxed lifestyle.
More wine and great food and it was time to say goodbye. Sadly the promised recipe sheets were not emailed so we only have the great memories and photos.