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MCA launches next set of cuisine home-cooking courses

The Mediterranean Culinary Academy (MCA) will soon launch its latest round of courses, which will share with home cooks the essence of Mediterranean and Arabic food, and how it can be prepared.

In the ‘Cuisines of Greece and Turkey’ course, students will be able to master the art of making mezze and crispy filo pastry from scratch, while also gaining insights into the wide array of grains, olive oils, herbs and spices used in the cuisine of both eastern-Mediterranean regions.

Meanwhile, the ‘Cuisines of the Maghreb and Arab Levant’ course takes students on a culinary journey through the eastern coasts of the Arab Levant. Home cooks will be guided through the process of baking a traditional bastila, and creating a tajine with authentically-prepared couscous.

With each course taking place over four sessions for a total of 16 hours and covering a different region each day, home cooks who need only to have a basic knowledge of the kitchen can develop a better understanding of the cuisine and wines of that region.

The relaunched courses follow the success of an earlier round held at the start of the year, and maintain the academy’s core principles of sustainability, working closely with local farmers and using only locally-produced seasonal ingredients.

“For us, this gives us the opportunity to refine the content which we teach, perfect our selection of wines to pair with what we cook and adapt our recipes for a completely different season of incredible, local produce,” says MCA chief culinary officer Stephen La Rosa.

La Rosa, who graduated from the Culinary Institute of America, has worked in top Michelin-starred dining establishments Per Se in New York, Quince in San Francisco and Hélène Darroze at The Connaught in London.

Culinary scientist Michael Camilleri has an equally impressive CV, cooking at L’Atelier Crenn in San Francisco and assisting in the research for a culinary book series Modernist Bread, before being hired by Heston Blumenthal as a development chef at the Fat Duck Experimental Kitchen.

Also in the MCA team is Alison Azzopardi, who has worked at the Sofitel West Sussex, the acclaimed Hotel du Vin in Cambridge, and now runs Trabuxu Bistro in Valletta.

Completing MCA’s expert line-up is Keith Abela, who brings a unique knowledge of seasonal ingredients from his extensive farming background, has worked under Albert & Michael Roux at The Grand Jersey Hotel and regularly gives lectures, talks and live-cooking demos on Maltese TV and radio.

The ‘Cuisines of Greece and Turkey’ course will be held between June 9 and 30, while ‘Cuisines of the Maghreb and Arab Levant’ will take place between June 6 and 27. Each course is priced at €299, which includes the use of all equipment, wine and food to be used, and will take place at the Mediterranean Culinary Academy at No. 4 Sappers Street in Valletta.

New courses and one-off workshops are frequently added to constantly-updated Mediterranean Culinary Academy website at www.mcamalta.com.

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