Thursday, May 10, 2012

Cooking Class with 1-Michelin star chef Igor Macchia at Mandarin Oriental KL

Michelin star chef Igor Macchia was recently in Mandarin Oriental KL (9-10 May 2012) cooking up delectable dishes for lucky KLites. Thanks to Mandarin Oriental KL, I got to attend his cooking class on the 9 May where we were shown how to make three dishes, followed by a dinner (menu as per cooking class plus one additional course) complemented by wines from one of Italy's most respected wineries, Frescobaldi

Chef Igor Macchia of La Credenza, Italy

Chef Igor Macchia developed the passion for food at a young age. He spent many years experimenting and creating his style of cuisine, as a chef and a pastry chef. In 2005, he opened La Credenza in Torino, Italy which was awarded 1-Michelin star a year later. 

As you all know, I love cooking so the chance to attend a cooking class with a Michelin star chef was fantastic!  Chef Igor was very friendly and shared many great tips with us. The cooking class was both very fun and educational. I will share the recipes for these dishes in the next few weeks.

We started off by learning how to make ravioli/tortellini (my first time making fresh pasta!). Chef Igor makes it look effortless but it's not as easy as it looks! But I think with a little practice, we can all make pasta at home too. The dough is made by mixing flour, egg yolk, water, salt and olive oil.

Tip #1 - when working with your dough, put the dough into the pasta machine gradually to form a thin sheet. This will give a nice texture to your pasta.

Tip #2 - always work in a cool environment or else the dough will dry easily.

Tip #3 - when cooking pasta, always use boiling water and salt.

Tip #4 - how do you know when fresh pasta is cooked? They will float to the top of the water. If you choose to freeze your pasta, you do not need to defrost them before cooking. Just place the frozen pasta into the boiling water and cook.

Tip #5 - To make your own sundried tomatoes, just place quartered tomatoes with olive oil in a preheated oven at 70C for approx. 3 hours.

Putting the dough through the pasta machine to make a thin sheet

Piping fresh buffalo mozzarella and basil mixture onto the pasta

Participants joining in the fun!

This is the tortellini that I made (Chef Igor say "not bad" and he used it in his demo dish)

Ready to dish up

Lots of ooh-ing and ahh-ing as Chef Igor plates the pasta.... very impressive! Looks pretty on the plate

Tadaaaaa... homemade buffalo mozzarella tortellini / Vegetables / Tomato sauce / Basil

Next, Chef Igor demonstrated a seafood dish .. Salmon Roll with spinach and potato served with a leek and tomato sauce. This is one dish I would definitely try and recreate at home.. great for dinner parties.

Tip #6 - For this dish, it is better to use instant mashed potatoes as the consistency / texture is firmer and thicker.

Tip #7 - When rolling the spinach-salmon-mash to form a "sausage" (see photo below), put a little water on the work surface as it will make it easier for you to roll.

With a little assistance from Chef Reto Weber of Mandarin Grill, I managed to make a decent looking salmon roll ;)

Not bad, right? 

 Salmon roll / Spinach / Potato / leek / tomato sauce

Chef Igor then showed us his version of tiramisu. Lots of siphoning action and foam. I couldn't wait to try the special tiramisu that he made. Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts, I have to say Chef Igor's tiramisu was absolutely delicious but not so easy to recreate at home!

Chef Igor's special tiramisu

Very light!

Baby Sumo and Chef Igor

Chef Igor took this photo of me eating the tiramisu he just made! He said "now it's my turn to take photos of you" LOL

After the cooking class, we went downstairs to Mandarin Grill to enjoy a 4-course dinner (menu same as cooking class plus additional main course of braised beef cheek). I enjoyed all four courses, with my favorite being the main course and dessert. The pasta was perfectly al dente and the accompaniment of tomato sauce was not overpowering and went well with the pasta. The salmon roll was delicious, as you know I dont favour cooked salmon but this was really nice. This was quite a filling dish, thanks to the mashed potato coating. The leek sauce went well with it, I wish there was more sauce!

Mandarin Grill

Frescobaldi wines

Santa Maria Morellino Di Scansano 2009


Danzante Prosecco NV


The braised Wagyu beef cheeks was fabulous, it was nicely gelatinous with a melt-in-the-mouth texture. Chef Igor tells me that the beef cheeks was cooked sous vide. I liked the tonka bean flavoured with green apple sauce as well. Oh-la-la.

Braised beef cheek / Tonka beans flavoured with green apple / Vegetables
Marchesi de Frescobaldi Nipozzano Riserva Docg Chianti Rufina 2007


Chef Igor's special tiramisu - a perfect end!

At the end of the dinner, all participants were given a goodie bag... inside was a customized apron, a recipe book with a group photo and individual photo with Chef Igor, macarons from The Mandarin Cake Shop (yum!) and white chocolate brittle (OMG soooo good!). What a nice touch! Thanks again to Mandarin Oriental for the lovely experience.

A little birdie told me that there will be more interesting cooking classes like this happening in coming months at Mandarin Oriental KL, join their Facebook or Twitter for more info!

Full set of photos available to view here.

Price: RM255++ per person (cooking class and 4-course wine pairing dinner).

Location: Mandarin Grill, Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 03-2380 8888

GPS Coordinates: 3.155514, 101.711555

*First photo courtesy of Mandarin Oriental KL. 


  1. Yen, this is such an exciting cooking class! I mean, disregard of the Michelin Star, the courses were attractive enough! So did you get invite by the hotel to attend the class? I feel like I have been doing a class with you after reading this! Ah, wish that I am in KL now, will be dying to attend classes like this, hahaha!

    Happy Mother's Day!

    1. Jessie, I was invited by Mandarin Oriental for the cooking class. I really enjoyed it very much, cooking classes like this are invaluable... anytime better than reading through a recipe book. I will share the recipes soon, they are all winners!

      Happy Mother's Day to you too, have a nice and relaxing weekend.

    2. Oh, so you were in the Masterchef(Food Blogger version) too? You must have known Wendy from Table for 2 or More? Small world, small world! We are heading to an orchard tomorrow morning, 80mins drive from Sydney, finger cross that the weather is fine & my hubby won't get loss. We are going to pick some fresh persimmons. The picking season will end in 2 weeks, hopefully there will still be lots of fruits hanging on the trees! Planning for visiting more orchards in summer when berries, plums, cherries, peaches & nectarines are in season! Have a great weekend!

  2. Wow..... nice food.... handsome chef....

  3. Wow, seems like an interesting session with the chef, get to learn new things too! The tiramisu does look very good, wouldn't mind a bite! XD

    1. Definitely a great experience for me. I love cooking, so it was good to be able to have a hands on session with a Michelin star chef. I'm going to try and make my own pasta soon.

  4. looks like a really fun time! and i'm sure it'll be interesting to recreate the salmon roll at home :D

    1. Haha if I manage to make it 70% as good as the chef's, I would be very happy!

  5. I like the goodie bag! The recipe book look so cuteeee...

    1. It was a nice touch. We all left feeling delighted!

  6. Replies
    1. I'm sure there will be lots of cooking classes when you're back!

  7. Wooo...those tortellini look so cute ;-)

  8. The cooking class looks so fun and the best is you can have a nice meal after that! :D

    1. Haha yes, would be torture if can only cook and cannot eat! Hehe.

  9. Woohoo! Pro already. Now you can teach me. Or better still...cook for me. :P

  10. You are lucky to learn from great chef, never cook this kind of fine dining Italian meal before, looking forward for your recipe.

    1. Will try and share them this week. Too many backlogs!

      Am really fortunate to have this opportunity to learn from a great chef.

  11. salmon roll looks good! :) i wish to enjoy the cooking class too

    Latest: Crown of Pork Experience

    1. There are lots of upcoming cooking classes like this.


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