Flavours Of The Valley – Cooking School

So last year a very new thing happened to me – I actually won a competition.  I don’t think I have ever won anything of significance (seeing that I can’t actually remember being that lucky).  When I registered for the Good Food and Wine Show last year I also entered a competition to win 2 tickets to a cooking school.  I had forgotten all about it (as you do when you never win anything) and then a phone call came along saying that I was the lucky winner.  WooHoo!  I didn’t really believe it until the tickets arrived.  Yay me!


The cooking school is in the Kangaroo Valley, which is just 2 hours south of Sydney.  Flavours of the Valley is run by Toni and Rob Moran and is set in bushland just outside the small town.  I was fortunate enough to have two tickets so I decided my husband should join me and we would celebrate 18yrs of marriage and learn a few new skills at the same time.


So we started off making pasta.  The flour was already measured out and the tools of the trade (a fork, a pasta machine and a pasta scraper) were all we needed.  I must admit, I have never made my own pasta before but figured it couldn’t be that hard.



I found the kneading a little tricky (not the action itself) but just getting it to a workable state.  But both Paul and I got there in the end.  We then had to let the pasta rest for a while whilst we moved onto the business of cooking the rest of our three course meal.


Because there were ten students in total, each couple had particular tasks to perform which would, in the end, bring a whole meal together.  Paul and I worked on the warm Caponata Salad which formed part of the Antipasti.

Caponata Warm  Salad

Figs with Blue cheese and Procuitto

Cannellini Brushetta with rocket and mozzarella

Stuffed Zucchini Flowers





In terms of skills level, both Paul and I found the salad quite easy and so we happily checked out what other people were doing and asked questions of not only our instructors but also other students.  Everybody seemed willing to learn and willing to share what they were doing with those watching on.


We eventually returned to our resting pasta and started rolling out the pasta sheets (with the aid of a pasta machine).  This took a lot of coordination, although I am sure we would get better at turning the wheel, feeding the pasta sheet and catching the thinning pasta as it is feeds through the machine.   It was certainly a two person job – thankfully Paul and I were learning together and should make for many a fun afternoon when we make our pasta machine purchase for the home.


Making the ravioli was a  little tricky as we learnt the “traditional” way and the “cheats” way.  Both ways are valid and worth practising both.  The results were spectacular.



And now the Cannoli – oh my!!



Also we didn’t get to make too much of this, although both Paul and I had a chance to deep fry the cannoli.  I was pleased to have a go at this as I normally have an aversion to any deep-frying (too much hot oil).  But I am happy to say that it wasn’t such a big deal and I am slowly getting over my misgivings.


Paul and I really enjoyed our time at Flavours of the Valley.  Having never attended a cooking school before it was certainly something I really found helpful.  Probably the best part was having a try at the pasta (it was also the most frustrating…but I will get better).


It was also lovely going with my wonderful husband of 18yrs.  It was a different way of celebrating and something we could bring home and do together.  I can see pasta creation afternoons happening…


So thanks Toni and Rob!!  It was fun and I hope we’ll be back!




5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bells
    Apr 16, 2012 @ 21:33:57

    So glad it turned out to be good. The pasta making is something I’m envious about. When you’re here this week I’ll show you the pasta machine I’ve never used and discuss the finer points!


  2. David Hilyard
    Apr 16, 2012 @ 23:23:04

    Food looks great, Adele. Making your own pasta is very satisfying. Glad you had fun together. And cannoli – how cool!


  3. Sonia
    Apr 17, 2012 @ 07:10:20

    Awesome adele! Sounds fun and a lovely weekend away as well!


  4. Paul
    Apr 17, 2012 @ 13:12:18

    I agree that the cooking classes were fun! Initially I was nervous due to my lack of cooking practice however it wasn’t too bad and there were others there with the same. Loved spending time with my wonderful wife too.


  5. Trackback: How to Make Pasta « Delly and Bells Go on a Food Safari

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