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
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!
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.