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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Valentine's Day Cooking School for Lovers at the Gritti

Valentine's Day in Venice, cooking with Aphrodisiacs and 24k Gold
Part I


The Gritti Palace Hotel was built in 1525 as the residence of the Doge of Venice, Andrea Gritti

Gritti's School of Fine Cooking Introduction
"The best things in life are immoral, illegal or they make you fat"

Our bedroom at the Gritti

Cooking with Club de Doge Executive Chef Celestino Giacomello

Assistant Chef, Gene and Executive Chef Giacomello

Partridge and black Truffle Quenelles in Consomme
Yes, we did eat the 24k gold

Shopping with Chef Giacomello at the Rialto Market

Gene flirting with Carla Coco, our expert in gastronomic history, guidebook and cookbook author who guided us with expertise and charm through the history of Venetian Food.

Veal Fillet Medallions in Foie Gras Pastry Case, Toasted Hazelnuts with White Port Sauce and Vegetable Brunoise

We also learned how to prepare:

White Chocolate Heart with Passion Fruit Jelly
Terrine of Giant Prawns in Curry-Flavored Pastry Case with Pumpkin cream
Banana Mousse with Chocolate Heart and Caramel Sauce
Saffroned "Chiche" in Truffle-Flavoured Robiola Cream served in Parmesan Wafers
Duck's Breast in Honey and Chili Peppers with Whisked Potatoes and Ribbon-shaped Vegetables
Champagne Mousse
Veal Fillet Medallions

Note:  Should you have a hankering for anyone of these or all of the recipes,  I will only be too happy to send them on to you.

After each cooking session we would take a break and reassemble in Gritti's beautiful Dining Room to enjoy the same dishes we had learned to prepare a few hours earlier.   Only this time our meal was prepared by Chef Giacomeli's assistants

In the lower right picture, our interpreter and guide, Antonia

Each day and after each sumptuous meal we would go for a 4-hour stroll through the back streets of Venice visiting historic sites or just walking and admiring. Our wonderful guide and interpreter, Antonia,  took us on a different route and every day, we had a new experience.

Part II to follow

Happy weekend, my dear blogging Friends


Today I'm linking to  http://nominimalisthere.blogspot.com/


  1. I have to confess to you that I read your Venetian posting and actually started salivating! What a great weekend you had!

  2. O.K., your photos basically define my dream vacation. Overwhelmingly envious of this experience! I've heard of arrangements like this but seeing your photos makes it more of a reality. I do follow one blog "Kate's Gascon Kitchen" . Kate runs a farm in So. France and conducts weekend and month long cooking/butchering farm stays. Dreaming....

  3. The recipes would be nice but....I want the room at the Gritti!! ;)

  4. Like your other commenters, I'm drooling just about equally over your room at the Gritti and the food! This truly defines the perfect holiday to me. Cannot wait for part 2 ...

  5. Dear Mark, The Valentine Day visit to Venice and the cooking school was special...just being in Venice is special. Venice may be my most favorite city in the world...but there are a few I haven't seen yet.

  6. Dear Snippets/Sarah, Did I read this correctly, "cooking/butchering farm stays" in France? That takes courage. Reminds me of my early days when I helped make sausage.
    Note: I have answered your questions in my Etsy shop. Thank you for your interest and compliments.

  7. Dear Theresa, Aren't you going to Venice very soon? If you have time, why not stop in at the Gritty and have a cocktail at their exotic bar.

  8. Dear Karen, It was a special experience, a once in a lifetime experience. Now I'm ready to push up my sleeves and head for a simple farm and learn how to cook a few country dishes.

  9. What a beautiful experience that must have been. Learning to cook such beautiful dishes in such an inspiring place is a dream come true. What always amazes me about Venice and palaces such as the Gritti is that you can actually picture the noblemen wandering around so many years ago!!! Were you also there during Carnevale? I would love to experience that one day! Beautiful pictures of everything :)

  10. Hi Barbara, The Carnevale had already been celebrated. Have never been in Venice during Carnevale, must be quite the experience. Venice is spectacular especially when you can stay overnight...after the crowds have left.

  11. Gina, this is the most über fabulous post I'm reading today! It sounds like a true exciting experience and oh your room ! :-)
    My cousin called me from Venice last week where he was staying just for a few days work..wish i could have joined him !

  12. Dear Lala, I was watching a television show last night featuring foods of Venice. I realized one important fact....do not go to Venice in the height of tourist season...it is too crowded, the shoulder seasons are perfect.

  13. Ummm, I almost don't have words for this, Gina – a feast for all senses! What could be more perfect than this experience you and Gene had? Rich, sumptuous, exhilarating! Thank you so much for sharing it. xo – g

  14. I am jealous! What a wonderful opportunity!

  15. Dear Georgianna, This is your kind of place. Venice is the most beautiful place, especially in the Spring. I can just imagine what you, with cameras in tow, could accomplish in this most special spot on earth.

  16. Hi likeschocolate, thank you for visiting my blog. I appreciate every comment from my lovely readers. It makes it all worthwhile.

  17. Hi Gina, Thanks for your timely post on Venice! I am so excited to be going back. When we were planning our wedding we narrowed the location down to the Gritti or the Danieli. The Danieli was chosen but we did have tea at the Gritti and it is a gorgeous hotel. Thank you for joining my party, Gina.

  18. Hi Sherry, Have not been to the Danieli. Will have to stop in for a drink. It's the Dolomites and Umbria for us this September.

  19. Hi Gina,
    I just discovered your wonderfull blog with so amazing photos and a very big inspiration.
    St Valentine is approaching and I want to prepar something really special for my husband, could you, please, send me recipy for banana mousee with chocolat heart and caramel sauce, if you still have it?

    Thanks in advance and have a nice day


    My e-mail: terezia.belkova@mail.t-com.sk

    1. Hello Tereza, I tried to send an e-mail to you but it was returnede by postmaster.