Masterclass with Michelin Star Chef Viviana Varese & Chef Ritu Dalmia

Last week I went to attend an Italian masterclass at the Italian Cultural Centre. It was extremely exciting to watch a Michelin star chef in action as Chef Viviana took us through the paces.


Along with her was our own princess of Italian cuisine, Chef Ritu Dalmia. Although we would have loved for her to show us some of her recipes too, but this time she kept us utterly charmed with her wit and candour.


Chef Viviana made two risottos , very different from one another, showing us the depth and variety of Italian cuisine.


The two risottos were as varied as they could be. One was made in milk and water, the other in seafood broth and planktons. One was veg, the other non-veg. One was only spiced using a phenomenal seven pepper spice and the other had flavour built in it layer by layer culminating into a complex dish.


Both Chef Viviana and Chef Ritu told us the nuances of risotto making. They touched upon how it is quite literally meditative and therapeutic to make risotto – a perfect way to destress oneself.


Two points stood out for me while I watched chefs create magic – first was how Chef Viviana created a Michelin star dish out of a risotto , which in essence is a very rustic dish. The seafood broth, the use of the planktons in many forms, the dairy free aioli she made in front of us and finally the crunch and texture of the fried squid. The balance she managed between something so familiar yet so new was phenomenal to watch.


Italian cuisine is probably the most widely eaten cuisine in the world and in this masterclass, it was easy to understand why. Watching Chef Viviana though I was excited to see how chefs are taking simple Italian food to the next level.

As they say in Italian, per nuove avventure alimentari (to new food adventures).

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