Posted by: Kerry & Jim | 13 June 2013

Cooking with Chef Paolo

What a fabulous experience! Today we attended Chef Paolo Monti’s cooking class just outside of Lucca which of course ended in eating the prepared dishes accompanied with local wines.

We chose the ‘Favourite Recipes’ class which are a collection of Chef Paolo’s tried and true recipes that are all very do-able in the home kitchen. The ingredients are all available in Australia so we were very happy we had made the right choice.

The course was held in his workshop at the back of his hotel & restaurant La Cantina di Carignano and was very hands-on.



We started with beautiful fresh ingredients and Chef Paolo showing us some basic kitchen skills.

We then went on to prepare the stocks and sauces.

And the tuna.

From here on we got a little busy and I forgot to take photos, but the results were fabulous.

Appetisers consisted of:

Mozzarella with fresh Tomato Sauce


Fresh Tuna Tartare


Shrimp Salad on a bed of fresh Fennel and Orange


Mussels sauté with Celery, Carrot and Sambuca


Entrees comprised of three pasta dishes which were prepared and eaten without photos (oops!). Spaghetti with fresh Tomato Sauce, Butterfly pasta with a Creamy Mozzarella and Tomato Sauce, and Pasta with Pistachio Sauce and Shrimps. They were so good, yet so easy to make, although we didn’t make the pasta – only the sauces.

We prepared three main dishes.

Tenderloin of Beef with Grapes, Truffles and Balsamic Vinegar.
Pork tenderloin in Cream and Lemon Sauce.


Grilled fresh Tuna with Lettuce Sauce (amazing taste)


And finally dessert of Semifreddo with Almond Crackle.


We shared the experience with Matt & Emily from New York. They have both just graduated from university and are on a two week holiday in Italy.



We may go back again as the ‘fresh pasta and sauces’, the ‘pizza, focaccia and bread’, the ‘risotto, scaloppine and carpacci’ and the ‘fish’ courses would all be worth doing.


  1. Hi Kerry & Jim, Thanks for sharing your menu with us. I could almost taste it! So enjoyed your France experience, and Italy is off to a great start with the food. Rob has just been over to Germany, Italy(Bari), Switzerland & Amsterdam for 2 weeks. His photos of railway tracks/machinery just didn’t seem very interesting after looking at your amazing photos!
    Look forward to another exciting day in your life.
    F x

    • Yes I agree, their isn’t much of a comparison between our holiday pics and Rob’s train tracks.

  2. The food looks amazing, no more BBQ’s when you return home.

    • Well worth doing. We really enjoyed the day.

  3. Looks and sounds fantastic!

    • Yes, just wait until we have you for dinner. You will be impressed.

  4. Wow and yum! We are sitting in Cairns … until Wed morning or maybe a couple of days later. We bought a Jeep — well, it’s actually a Holden Colorado. Waiting on a nudge bar or we’d have it by now. Continue to enjoy yourselves. Debbie & Kevin xx

    • That sounds great – they have a good reputation. Keeping enjoying the travels.

  5. Hi Jim and Kerry,

    You will be pleased to know that the vegemite is in the suitcase, not long till we leave now, we were going to do a bicycle tour around Lucca what do you think, worthwhile?



    • Great way to see Lucca and it is very popular as it is flat and not too strenuous.

  6. Awesome! I love Italian fare…… Gloria Franke has invited Shane & I for a Wood Fired Pizza night on Sat. Al Franke made the pizza oven himself and sounds like Glorias going all out to knock up the best pizzas in the West!
    I reckon if I was in Italy I would gain a least a kilo or two per week.

    • The good thing about being here is that it is very hilly so we are getting plenty of exercise to walk it all off.

  7. Looks great and sounds like it was fun, the eating part would have made my day. See you both in September, flights still not quite organised but hope to have finalised today, off to Geraldton to see Olivia as Col has not seen her for about 8 weeks.

    • We could do another class when you are here.

  8. Master Chief next for you two!! What a great thing to do and marvelous presentation. Often we don’t make time to do such things on holiday but wonderful that you shared the experience. Just think of all those delicious meals you are going to make on your return! Hope you were able to keep the aprons. X J

    • No we didn’t get the aprons – but we did get the recipes.

  9. G’DAY JIM & KERRY Once again,thanks for another e-maill,there all great to receive. Our eldest son Brendon and his girl Kirilee did the same sort of cooking course in Bali and also loved it. I can imagine you both enjoying some yummy meals over there but maybe bring some back to us. Anyway they all sound scrumpious (excuse spelling}. Keep enjoying your holliday,stay happy. All is wonderful in Jurien Bay. Weather is gorgous during the day but we are having cold early mornings and sometimes freezing nights,no rain yet or not much anyway. Thats it for now. Take care Love Jean & Mike X0

    • Great to hear from you both. We will cook for you when we next catch up.

  10. Do you do weddings…..looks great

    • Perhaps need a little more experience before we take on any catering engagements.

  11. Yum!

  12. Kerry and Jim,

    We had a great time! The pictures look fantastic, although we’re not sure they do the deliciousness of the food its due justice. Enjoy the rest of your stay, and please let us know if you ever make it to Manhattan for Christmas.

    Matt and Emily

    • Thanks…..we will see you in New York one day!

      • What a cute young couple with whom to cook. He is very studly and she looks like a delicious Pumpkin. The kitchen and food look delicioso! Bravo!!!

        Matt’s Dad

      • We agree – they were great company!

  13. OMG, cooking, by the look of the result we might book you two for the runners annual dinner when you return

    • After todays experience we can cope with anything1

  14. Sounds like fun…and delicious too.

    • Way to much good, but we kept going.

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