Several weeks ago, Kitchenwares on the Square reached out and asked if I would be interested in taking one of their in-house cooking classes. I replied with a swift “YES!” for several very important reasons:
1.) I love risotto.
2.) I love to cook.
3.) I love attending cooking classes.
4.) Chef Sascia looks like Joe Manganello, topped with a charming Milanese accent.
Kitchenwares on the Square is an ideal spot for a cooking class. If you have never visited the shop, you can find it at 213 East Louisiana Street on the Square in Historic Downtown McKinney. (Click map pin below for directions.)
Anytime I enter Kitchenwares on the Square I am reminded of the kitchen stores I frequented when learning to cook in Florence, Italy back in 2003. Like so many European shops, Kitchenwares on the Square is filled to the brim with kitchen gadgets, wooden spoons, tea towels, serve ware, olive oil, pots and pans…you name it! The abundance of space, however, is very different from the tiny shops typical of Europe. Kitchenwares on the Square is kind of a kitchen Mecca…and buried in the back of the store, surrounded by kitchen paraphernalia of every kind, is a spacious cooking studio. This is where my evening began.
While I snapped a few pictures, attendees took their places at prepared stations: each containing a personal burner/ sauté pan, ingredients, a place setting and an apron. Chef Sascia began by introducing himself. He was born and raised in Milan, Italy and began cooking as a child in the kitchens of his mother and grandmother. In 1994, Chef Sascia arrived in the United States and was the executive sous chef in the Italian pavilion at Epcot Center in Walt Disney World. From there, Marchesi acted as executive chef at the Hilton Hawaii, Marriot Gaylord and the Culinaire International in Dallas, where he opened 4 restaurants. If that pedigree doesn’t impress you, how about Chef Sascia gained 2 Michelin Stars at his family’s restaurant in Bergamo, Italy before coming to the states.
*NOTE: Now Chef Sascia owns a catering delivery company called TX Cucina Italian, LLC. He and his wife, Michela, prepare a weekly menu in a commercial kitchen and deliver all over the metroplex. For more information you can visit his Facebook page by clicking here.
After listening Chef Sascia give us some basic information about arborio rice, we began creating Wild Mushroom Risotto while sipping Campari and soda, a typical Italian aperitif.
Heat the olive oil. Brown the mushrooms. Add some parsley. Remove the mushrooms. Add the rice. Brown the rice. Ladle chicken stock little by little. Stir. Add more chicken stock. Stir. Add more chicken stock. Stir…Return the mushrooms to the pot with the rice..Finally add parmesan cheese…
Eventually we ate our creation and it was DELICIOUS. (**NOTE: I had actually made risotto many, many times and felt relatively knowledgeable on the logistics of making this dish properly. But do you know what I was missing? Stir in a large pat of butter right before serving. People. I’m serious this is the key!!)
If anyone is looking for a fun and refreshing evening activity for date night, girl’s night or even just an evening alone can I tell you how impressed I was with Kitchenwares on the Square? Their cooking studio is spacious and clean. The instructor, charming and so knowledgeable.
For more information about upcoming cooking classes at Kitchenwares on the Square, please visit their website
*thank you Kitchenwares on the Square for sponsoring this post.