There wasn’t a moment of consideration when we were invited to meet, learn from and eat with Gennaro Contaldo at L’Atelier des Chefs – (a cooking school in Central London). Yes Please! Genarro is Jamie Oliver’s mentor! The guy is a genius, a respected TV chef, a personality, an entertainer and above all he is an Italian!
Eat Pray Love” like Elizabeth Gilbert - whose trip was all about la dolce vita (we will soon see highlights of our Liz portrayed by Julia Roberts at the movies) or you’re just at home and the taste of Italy is just in simple ingredients like garlic, tomatoes and basil.
Amalfi has always struck as a typical Italian with his ancient Neapolitan gestures and mannerisms. You know, the one with all the tips of the fingers of one hand bought together pointing upwards and then shaken violently up and down depending on the degree of impatience. Is he a caricature of his own stereotype or is this how he always is – at home and elsewhere – a marveling Italian with spirit and ‘passione’, having a lifetime love affair with food.
This is a very nice book, "Supplement To The Italian Dictionary" by Bruno Munari you can learn how to speak volumes with gestures or at least understand what the heck the Italians are on about. (I always thought the one with the finger turning in circles pointing towards the ear means: you’re thick – but it means – Call me.. he he)
Gennaro is the new face of Bertolli for the new soffritto range of pasta sauces such as Basilico, Arrabbiata and Napoletana (the ‘soffritto’ technique is chopped onions sweating in the finest olive oil as slowly as possible to make a flavoursome base).
Whom better than this strong, vocal, humorous and fatherly figure we see on TV – a household brand and a household celebrity chef hand in hand.
Jamie’s Italian.’ Gennaro also gives private cooking lessons at his home in North London – you can check it all out on his website: www.gennarocontaldo.com
Etrusca and they were both teaching us Italian signs like, your brains doesn’t work, you’re breaking my balls and so on. Heh! Gennaro was rolling out the jokes, “in Italian, its funny”. Cultures always love talking about their culture and of course we had some pasta, one with mackerel and one with beef and Bertolli sauce. It was really nice. And a delight to meet Paolo and Gennaro.