Melbourne! Caffé e Cucina - Gnocchi Class

Caffé e Cucina - 581 Chapel Street, South Yarra, VIC 3141

Now being an Italian myself, it’s hard to find a restaurant that my set of Nonna’s couldn’t cook circles around. However, Melbourne seems to have quite a few traditional Italian restaurants, one of which is Caffé e Cucina. The food is simple, the menu is only a few pages long and it’s not cluttered with every form of pasta and sauce they could name. The interior makes you feel like you've walked in off the streets of Rome, dim lit with posters and awards plastered on the walls and tables placed wherever they can fit. Finally, the people. If you want traditional food, listen out for the traditional accent, everyone at Caffé e Cucina is Italian which aids to the perfect European atmosphere. All they need now is for Chapel Street to trade their pavement to cobblestone.

On The Chopping Board (OTCB) was invited to attend their gnocchi making class with their head chef Nicola Roberti from Marche, Italy who took over the kitchen last year. They had four classes over the past month which sold out within 48 hours. After attending, I (Christina) am not surprised.

All ready to master the art of Gnocchi
The class began with a coffee and introduction of names. We were then led through the dim lit restaurant up a thin stairwell and through to another room decorated with posters and photos. This area is also for upstairs dining. The staff placed 13 places around the chef's table, each with a bowl of flour, parmesan, an egg and a potato masher. According to the staff, this is cheating as most Nonna’s would use forks to mash the potatoes. I now have a deep respect for all Nonna’s cooking gnocchi with a fork, there is a reason you are so strong. The class was simple and informative.

Potatoes delivered and ready for dough creation
After handing out the pre-boiled potatoes, Nicola took the class through a series of steps and answered any questions from the participants. He then went around and checked everyone’s dough to ensure it was soft and smooth enough.

Gnocchi dough - approved and ready for cutting
After receiving the tick of approval from Nicola we were asked to roll out our dough and cut it into 2cm pieces, they were then placed in a take-away container.

Gnocchi cut up and ready for home
Lunch and wine were also included in the day. Gnocchi, of course, was on the menu. We were given two choices of sauce, Gnocchi alla Sorrentina, a classic red sauce with mozzarella or Gnocchi ai Quattro Formaggi, a four-cheese sauce topped with balsamic glaze. I opted for the traditional red. It was simple and beautiful. The sauce was rich and there was no need for any meat, just the gnocchi.

Gnocchi alla Sorrentina

Some of the lovely staff at Caffé e Cucina - Mirko, Nicola, Lorenzo and Roberta
I loved that the participants left feeling confident to make gnocchi at home for their families, even though I am aware my Nonna will judge incessantly.
The class price was $99.00 and included the following:

- Coffee or tea on arrival

- Gnocchi class

- Lunch

- One glass of wine

- Goodie bag including your Caffé e Cucina apron, a 25% discount voucher for the restaurant and the recipe.

So instead of hogging the recipe, I have decided to share it with our OTCB readers. View the complete recipe on our recipe page.

We’d love to see how your gnocchi turned out, let us know when you’ve made them by tagging  @onthechoppingboard in your social media posts.

Things to know:

· Due to popularity, Caffé e Cucina will have more classes over the year so keep an eye out.

· If you want to dine at the restaurant, I would recommend booking online for the popular evenings as it is a small venue.

· Vegetarian and gluten free options are available

Caffé e Cucina Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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