Cuisine International November, 2003 Newsletter
Oct 30, 2003 11:45 PST
Cuisine International November 2003 Newsletter
Welcome to the November 2003 Newsletter. What a beautiful fall we are
having here in Texas. We have just moved into our spacious new office
with a view of downtown Dallas. What a joy it is to sit here at the
computer looking out over the green trees. It makes it a pleasure to
come to work every day.
Dick and I have just returned from Italy and we have found a new and
Hint: it is up north! You will be able to see it soon. I need to sort
out the pictures, text, etc. and then get them to Craig to put up on the
site. Be sure to visit soon.
If you haven’t visited the Cuisine International website lately, you
will notice that Le Baou d’Infer will not be offering classes during
2004. The classes have been full with a long waiting list, but Alex
said he needed to take a break to work on some other projects. This
will include a new book and an exciting new venture in London. I will
unveil that surprise in the near future.
Cuisine International is entering its 14th year of working with the
Hotel Luna Convento in Amalfi and the changes in the hotel over the
years has been phenomenal. Owner, Andrea Barbaro, is busy remodeling
and creating new suites that are extremely luxurious while maintaining
the old world feeling of tile work, frescos and pieces of antique
furniture. They are planning an exciting May season with the cooking
classes and would love to have you join them. Here are some of the
comments we received from the people that attended the classes in
“I remember something fun every day that we did on our wonderful trip to
the Amalfi Coast. I would recommend Cuisine International to all my
friends. Enrico, Rosemary, Andrea and all the staff at the Luna
Convento made for an unforgettable week.” Ann T.
“ The Luna Convento cooking school more than met my expectations. I
cannot believe how caring, attentive and sincere everyone was. Enrico
and Rosemary are worth their weight in gold. Thanks for making us feel
so at home!” Ann W.
Diane Kochilas is cooking up lots of fabulous opportunities in her
Glorious Greek Kitchen. Look for those details soon. She will be in
New York for a couple of weeks and we will be plotting and planning.
Look for something offered during the Olympic season.
A cooking teacher with a group and a couple we sent to Borgo Bernardini
for the Coselli School of Tuscan Cuisine have reported back to us with
glowing comments. The cooking teacher, who has taken groups to nearly
every region in Italy and has booked through us for over 18 years, said
this was the most professional and most fun school she has ever
attended. That is truly a high honor given that she takes groups to 4
schools a year. Bill & Vicky W. said, “the cooking school at Borgo
Bernardini exceeded our expectation. Valter is truly charming and the
villa fantastic: a true 5 star holiday. We will recommend it
Because of moving to a new office, we have put our travel on hold until
after the Christmas Holidays. Then we will be back on the road
searching for new and exciting locations for cooking holidays and
revisiting our existing clients to update ourselves on their doings.
Wine of the Month
When my husband asked me what I wanted for dinner for a special
occasion, I immediately asked for his sea bass. No one can fix sea bass
better than Dick. We sat down to a delicious dinner featuring Dick’s
sea bass, green salad and wonderful homemade whole grain bread. Dick
had chosen a wine that had been recommended as a very nice white wine to
go with fish for our special candlelit dinner. It was truly one of the
best we have ever tasted. From the Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte winery in
Bordeaux, we had the Grand Vin de Grave 2000 White Bordeaux. As we
learned the best time for drinking is between 2002 and 2010, we bought a
case to enjoy.
The Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Gris grapes for this wine are grown in
soil consisting of gravel dating from the Gunz or Nebraskan glacial
period. This soil has natural drainage that forces the roots to sink
more than 6 meters into the soil to seek nourishment in the form of
water and mineral salts and the pebbles in the topsoil reflect the sun’s
rays, helping the grapes to ripen beautifully. Grapes have been growing
on this land as early as 1365. The present owners, Daniel and Florence
Cathiard, are enhancing the tradition of excellence of Smith Haut
Lafitte by combining the most modern winemaking techniques and age-old
traditional methods: organic compost, return to small wooden vats,
ageing on the lees in barrel, etc.
The wine can be found in several locations. Check with your favorite
wine shops to see if they have the wines or can order it for you.
Then to our surprise, our daughter Tami went to work for Caudalie, a
skin care company that utilizes the anti-oxidant properties of the
grapes. As we were visiting about her new job, we discovered that the
Cathiard family owns Caudalie as well. The company also owns spas
around the world using Caudalie products. I have been using some of the
samples that Tami was given and fell in love with the products. If you
would like to try samples of Caudalie products you can call the company
based in Dallas at 214-826-1615 and ask for samples to be sent. You can
also visit the website: www.caudalie.com for additional information.
As Cuisine International is a family owned business, it was a pleasure
to discover another family doing the same with parents and children
involved in the enterprise.
Recipe of the Month
Venetian Cooking in a Venetian Palace owner, Fulvia Sesani, offers this
fabulous risotto recipe this month. This is a very typical Venetian
dish and is a little different than those made in Tuscany.
Risi E Bisi [Rice and Pea Soup]
1 small onion
3 ounces Pancetta, diced. [Italian bacon]
5 ounces Italian rice [Arborio – Carnaroli – Roma]
6 cups boiling chicken stock, approximately
2 cups shelled peas, fresh or frozen
1-pinch fennel seeds
Grated Parmesan cheese
In a saucepan heat the butter, add the onion, cook a few minutes and add
the Pancetta. Cook until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the
rice; cook stirring for a few minutes. Add more broth as soon as the
rice gets dry. Continue cooking 10 minutes then add the peas. Continue
adding broth and stirring until the rice is don: about 20 minutes in
all. Add the fennel seeds.
Remove from heat and add 4 more tablespoons of butter and as much cheese
Shake the pan vigorously to combine all the ingredients. This is called
“mantecare” the rice.
Serve with extra Parmesan cheese. The final project should be of a soup
consistency so you can tilt it back and forth in the plate: “to the
Until next month, we wish you peace and joy along with good food, good
wine and enjoyment with family in friends. At the end of the day, this
is what matters in life.