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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Umama-mia! Laura Santtini at Divertimenti

Following Laura Santtini’s epic Easy Tasty Italian book launch last week at her parent’s legendary Belgravia restaurant – Santini - last night Laura shared her wit, wisdom and larder secrets to a room full of cookery enthusiasts at Marylebone’s Divertimenti Cookery School. At the same time she sneaked in a sneaky sneak preview of her new range of scratch cooking preparations Easy Tasty Magic prior to their debut in Selfridges Food Halls on Monday.

Stripping away the jargon Laura guided us merrily through the scientific philosophy of Umami (the fifth taste) and taught the assembled crowd how to apply these principles on an everyday basis with simple, cheap ingredients. Favourite recipes were broken down into their raw ingredients and technically but engagingly discussed. As Laura joked “There’s a scientific explanation as to why we think George Clooney is gorgeous, in the same way that there’s a scientific reason why Spaghetti Bolognese is delicious.”

Guests were treated to demonstrations and we all gobbled up generous tasters of some of Laura’s favourite recipes: a basic Risotto Alla Parmigiana, a chicken “Roll, Wrap and Splash” and a special but “very secret” recipe for a Baron Verde lemon, basil and vodka dessert. As well as showing the group her own recipes and methods for creating Flavour Bombs, Laura gave inspiration for how to develop original spice blends from common larder staples.

With free-flowing wine, copious amounts of mushroom risotto and a star performance from a sturdy risotto-stirring gentleman, guests were treated to a hugely successful and highly entertaining evening. We left hoping for an invitation to one of this sassy Italian’s home dinner parties one day.

Simple, original and delicious.

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