Posted in Experience

How to chose the perfect cooking class? 5 tips

I know, you are visiting a town and then you decide to take part to a cooking experience or to a cooking class. Maybe you also booked it before you left, ’cause you found it online. But you don’t know the cook and you don’t even have people you can ask informations to.

So these are some tips to follow when you chose a cooking experience


  1. don’t have cooking classes and cooking experiences at the restaurant if it’s monday. In Italy on that day the most part of shops are closed or they work just half the day. Fish is not fresh (at least if you are not at the seaside) and sometimes restaurants offers you ingredients of the previous week.  You should follow this advice also wheh you are just searching for a fish restaurant on monday. Don’t order meat either. It can have the same kind of problem. Above all if the meat is covered with sauces.


2 When you ask for a cooking class experience, sometimes you are offered to create pizza or make handmade pasta. This is not a problem, but remember: in Italy nowadays contemporary women don’t make home made pasta because they don’t have time and industrial or hand made pasta that you buy at the pasta shop,are perfectly ok. So it’s not as traditional as they make you believe. Then, remember that pasta is made of flour, water, salt and eggs. So, in itself,  it’s not particularly expensive. If you then do it in a restaurant and you are many “students”, it is because the restaurant is gaining a lot. It’s much better to ask to learn how to cook typical dishes, also because in Italy we have so many recipes that you don’t even immagine. 

3 Always about pasta. According to my experience, many people think that it is enough to do it onc,e to learn how to do it again at home. Nothing could be more wrong (and frustrating). Better to opt for dishes where the technique is clear and repeatable anywhere 

4 never think that a cooking experience should cost little. In addition to the lesson or show cooking, you are paying for the raw material that if it is good, has a cost. You are paying the time of those who follow you in this experience and if that person is with you for more than 4 hours, you can not think of paying a few euros. Especially if the experience is not standardized as the “usual” cooking class based on pasta or pizza. Moreover, as there are cheap restaurants, there are also restaurants where quality is paid. And it is a rule to be applied in every field

5 when you start the cooking experience, pay attention about the ingredients. When you do a cooking experience, pay attention to the ingredients. Preferably those in which the packages are and started on the moment



Posted in Recipes

Sardine’s pie RECIPE

There is a part of Sicily in me and in my blood. I love the sicilian food because it’s rich, tasteful, original, unique and when I eat it there is something that comes up to my mind, like the way my mother used to cook. We always think that good fish is the very expensive one, but we ignore sometimes that there is some kindo of fish which is tasteful and also very healthy, like sardine. Here the Sardines’s pie recipe

Ingredients (Recipe 4*4)

6oo gr of sardines
50gr of pecorino grated cheese
50gr of parmigiano reggiano grated cheese
50 gr of grated bread
1 garlic
Extravergin oil, salt and pepper

How to prepare it:

Wash the sardines and remove the central bone. arrange them in a pan with baking paper. pour, after having mixed them, the cheeses, the breadcrumbs, the garlic cut into miniscule parts. add salt and pepper and bake at 170 degrees in a preheated oven. cook for 20 minutes. serve hot on a vedere of fresa salad

Enjoy and buon appetito (TLCCJ)


recipe of sardines pie

Posted in Recipes

Exotic rice salad recipe (VIDEO)

Cold rice in salad is a typical Italian recipe to be enjoyed in summer.

That said, I also like to change for this I invented this version a bit ‘exotic, but complete because in addition to the vitamins of vegetables, there are carbohydrates of rice and salmon proteins.


200 gr of sliced ​​salmon
1 pepper
1 fishing
1 tropea onion
300 gr of Basmati rice
40 ml of soy sauce
1 tomato
1 lemon
a teaspoon of turmeric powder
a splash of black pepper powder
a glass of coconut milk


Clean and shape the fruit and vegetables by boiling, meanwhile, the basmati rice. Pour into a bowl the cubes of tomato, pepper, peach, Tropea onion and salmon into small pieces. When the rice is ready, drain it and pour it into the bowl to add the soy sauce, the squeezed lemon juice, the turmeric, the pepper and the coconut milk that previously, had poured into another bowl, mixing them.

Is that yummy enough? (TLCCJ)

Posted in Stories

The Lake Como Cooking Journalist’s Guide is online HERE

There’s a new guide in town, guys, and it’s mine: well, it’s not the first, but I’m quite sure that you will appreciate The Lake Como Cooking Journalist’s GUIDE.


What’s that and why did I decide to publish it? Ok, Now I’m going to explain all the reasons. I’ve decided to publish it because I met a lot of people from all over the world and they always told me that it’s actually hard to find a smart but complete guide dedicated to Lake Como, also because, most of the time, they are not written by locals, that mean by someone who actually know the entire lake – that is me -.

Second this guide is digital, so you can watch it on your smartphone or on your tablet; you can also publish it – if you are a paper lover – before you leave for Lake Como, but remember to see it before online,because there are numbers of links.

Then I decided to create a complete guide but you won’t find all the places, but just




On Lake Como Cooking Journalist’s GUIDE you will find tips about how to get to Lake Como from all the airports by car or by train; how to travel on Lake Como, how it’s preferable to visit also if you don’t want to stay in the “Touristic” district, but you want to discover lovely, nices, interesting and not famous places. This is a real insider guide. But it was written by a journalist. It’s trustable.

And now, I wait for your comments (TLCCJ)


Posted in Stories

The anniversary of Grand Hotel Tremezzo is the Christmas of Lake Como

Here on Lake Como there are luxury hotels which are considered historical icons; Grand Hotel Tremezzo is one of these.

Every year, the first saturday of the month of july,  the GHT celebrates its anniversary: last night it was the 108th. And every year the magic of the hotel, which opens its doors to all those who wish to celebrate it, is  renewed.

A celebration that has its liturgy which always begins with the “aperitivo time” on the beach of the hotel. Then, after one hour, the hosts start to visit the hotel with its  wonderful treasures: the spa, the restaurants, the garden, the music room, the shop.

Rivers of Pommery Champagne flow in the cristal glasses, but also Italian Spritz and Vodka. The celebration always finishes at about midnight with the spectacular fireworks on the lake and opera music that accompanies the show.

All the people are welcome. This is the magic of Grand Hotel Tremezzo  whose birthday has been renamed by locals  Natale Comasco (TLCCJ)

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Posted in Recipes

Cacio and Pepe recipe (VIDEO)


It’s hard for me to find something that I don’t like to eat, but pasta and especially Cacio and pepe is one of my favourite recipe. So I’m going to tell you how to prepare it. But if you want, you can join me on Lake Como and cook it together.

Cacio and pepe recipe

2 tsp black peppercorns
170 gr of fusilli (but you can also use spaghetti)
80g pecorino romano, at room temperature, finely grated

Toast the peppercorns in a very hot and dry pan. Boil some salted water and then add the pasta; the pasta should be covered but not by much. Stir occasionally during cooking and after few minutes minutes into the cooking time, scoop out some hot water into a wide bowl to allow it to cool slightly with the pecorino cheese.  After that put the cheese and the pepper in a large, heavy bowl or pan and beat in some of the pasta water very gradually to make a creamy sauce.  Add the pasta and toss furiously while adding enough of the water. Serve hot!!! Buon appetito



Posted in Recipes

Velouté of anchovies and pumpkin

Sometimes people think that velouté is a typical fall/winter recipe.  You can actually eat whenever you like and if you like to smell the flavour of the sea, maybe ancovies is the kind of ingredient that must be there.

For this reason I want to introduce you to the  pumpkin and clams flavored velouté with anchovies recipe.  Once I read a book edited by Irene Rizzoli for Mondadori Electa. It is dedicated to the world of anchovies and it is titled Alice o Acciuga?. As I really love anchovies, I found this recipe which tastes really good and you can find it on the book at pag. 177.



400 gr pumpkin peeled

2 small potatoes

1 leek

1 small onion

4 anchovy fillets

1 130 gr jar of clams in brine

1 sprig rosemary

1 bunch parsley

extra virgin olive oil

salt, freshly ground pepper


PREPARATION (Preparation time 50 minutes)

Sauté the chopped onion and sliced leek in a saucepan with 2 spoonfuls of oil. Chop the anchovy fillets and dissolve them in the oil. Add a pinch of salt, the diced potatoes and pumpkin, and a few needles of rosemary. Cook for a few minutes, then add 1.2 liters of hot water, cover and cook for 30 minutes. Drain the clams, add their liquid to the soup, and simmer for 5 minutes in an uncovered pan. Purée the soup to a cream with the hand blender. Season the clams with peppe, a little olive oil and chopped parsley, then mix in two-third of them with the velouté. Pour the soup into individual bowls, garnished with the clams and serve with crispy pumpkin-shaped croutons.

(Recipe from Alice o acciuga, edited by Irene Rizzoli, Mondadori)

Posted in Stories

Lunch with Pupa at Agriturismo Castello di Vezio

Here on Lake Como there are unspoiled locations that maybe you don’t even know; one of these magical places is Agriturismo Castello di Vezio. Here, there is a lovely but strong woman who believed in her dreams and she worked very hard to realize them. And she did it. Pupa is the owner of Agriturismo Castello di Vezio and she is, now  a friend with I manage cooking experiences with for foreigners who want to live a different food experience on Lake Como.

But we both work hard. We are always very busy, so for once I wanted to cook just for us and take our time .

For this reason I prepared two of my favourites recipes:

spaghetti with basil pesto,  citrus fruits and shrimps and Sicilian orange salad with swordfish

If you want to enjoy the pleasure of food with us, you can do it living the real cooking journalist experience at Agriturismo Castello di Vezio.



view from agriturismo castello di vezio lake como

Posted in Recipes

Linguine with basil and citrus fruits pesto and shrimps

As you have read in the previous post, few days ago I visited my friend Pupa at Agriturismo Castello di Vezio and I cooked Linguine with basil and citrus fruits pesto and shrimps.

Here the recipe:



1 lb of linguine

4 cups of fresh basil

juice of one orange, of half a lemon and of half grapefruit

1 clove of garlic

1/2 of pine nuts

1/2 spoon of curry

half a glass of extra vergin oil and salt and pepper (to taste)



Boil the water for the pasta and add a pinch of salt or a bit more. Clean the shrimps and cook them in a cooking pan with a bit of extra vergin oil and a bit of curry for few minutes.

Wash and dry the basil and add it to a mixer. Squeeze the citrus fruits and add the juice to the basil with the garlic, the pine nuts and salt and pepper.

Mix all the ingredients. When the water boil, add the pasta  and cook according to the instructions until the linguine are al dente.

Drain the pasta and serve it in a big dish. Top the pasta with pesto and shrimps. Mix and serve while it is hot.


Posted in Stories

The first story of Viviana, The Lake Como Cooking Journalist

It’s been a long time I haven’t written a blog; yes, I’m a journalist, or better, I’m The  Lake Como Cooking Journalist and for my job, I always write.

But writing articles – VM-MAG – it’s not like writing a blog or stories. However this is the place where I’m supposed to write stories, so I will do it. And the first is about how I got here.  I mean, not to a physical place, but to this digital location, or as I like to call it, this BLOG EXPERIENCE food location.

Well I’ve been loving food for all my life. When I was a child my mom use to prepare the genoa pesto using an old mixer with a light blu gummy top. Nowadays the scene in my kitchen is the same, but instead of me there is my daughter and at the end, she usually take a spoon and she finishes the rest of the pesto sauce in the big glass. YUMMY

If I were asked to tell you my favourite meal, it would be very very difficult to give an answer:

I like salty food, but I can’t live without black chocolate;

I adore raw seafood, but also the perfect fish soup prepared by my father;

carbs are considered evil from many people, but if I don’t eat pizza once a week, I completely go crazy;

So the answer is that I probably love food because food make me feel comfortable and because recipes  connect me with my past, with my family, with my friends, with Italy and Lake Como where I live.

Food is feeding and feeding is love