The glass door of the Cime di Web cooking lab in via Rodi 16 in Bari invites you to enter the bright and warm environment on the ground floor of an ancient and délabré building in one of the city’s neighborhoods close to the sea, Madonella. In front, in plain sight, the fruit and vegetable boxes of the shopkeeper from which Francesca and Valeria, souls of Cime di Web, get their supplies for their cooking school.
In Bari the Francesca and Valeria cooking lab
It has a slightly bohemian air this corner of the capital of Puglia and this, along with the fact that Francesca was born and raised a short distance from here, has led her to create here her “kingdom”.
It’s raining outside and it’s cold, but once inside we are hit by the warmth of Francesca and Valeria that warms the black and white room where you can breathe the air of the house and where the long convivial table is welcome and where at the end of the lessons taste the dishes prepared together!
But the real accessory is their smile together with the way they welcome us.
Let’s start by name: Cime di web, why?
“The idea of the blog and the name was born in 2013 with the aim of initially proposing only gastronomic advice and then as a virtual place where tradition meets research and experimentation” – says Francesca. “A year and a half ago, then, the site was born to collect a little ‘all that together with Valeria we propose here: cooking classes, recipes at the base of which there is always a meticulous choice of products based on their sustainability environmental”.
“In this kitchen, equipped but not too much as it could be a house, we hold courses mainly practical and intended for non-professionals, divided into a dense schedule full of original proposals. We provide this space and our expertise to celebrate with friends and cook with them”– adds Valeria.
Their meeting dates back to about a couple of years ago.
Francesca, grown up in a family for which the table, conviviality and food have always represented something magical, immediately admits that the kitchen has always been her favorite place, where since childhood her grandmother assigned tasks suitable for her age. Her path of study led her initially away from this passion: she graduated in Communication in Rome, but soon after she attended an internship in Food and Wine Consulting. And since the appetite comes with eating, she enrolled at the University of Gastronomic Sciences of Pollenzo, to bring together her great passions: cooking, eating and studying the culture of food.
From there she moves to Paris, where she starts collaborating with Laura Zavan, author of books and culinary designer. Then the start up of Ottanta, a revolutionary project with the aim of bringing transalpine the craftsmanship of Apulian dairy products and creating quality products “made in France” with Apulian cheese and French organic milk.
Valeria, also she from Bari, has approached the magical world of cooking thanks to her grandmother and dad, who have passed on their love for food, so much so that at the age of 10 the question “what do you want to do when you grow up?” she always answered “the Cook”. She also deviates her path and graduates in Law but immediately after enrolled in the training course at the University of Flavors of Perugia, to follow her great dream as a child. She then continued with an internship at the Mercure Villa Romanazzi Carducci Hotel, under the direction of Chef Felice La Forgia.
This is their path before creating Cime di Web where, together, they hold cooking classes in this bright open space on the street level. But not only. Cime di Web promotes local products and raw materials, satisfies the demands of alternative menus and organizes catering and dinners.
The courses are events dedicated to the passion for good food. Designed for those who are not familiar with the stove, or for those who want to discover the tricks and secrets of chefs, pastry chefs and other professionals, spending a few hours in company.
“Passion and creativity are the only access requirements to create dishes that represent a traditional cuisine seen in a modern and innovative way” – they say in unison.
What courses are offered? And which ones are the most requested? From the traditional to the most innovative ones such as the 0 km menus, vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, those proposed, while the most popular lessons are regional and international cuisine, especially Thai.
“Our culinary heritage is vast! For each region there are extraordinary culinary traditions that express the best of the territory: a heritage that must be defended and handed down. But cooking is also culture, meeting and mutual enrichment, so it becomes fascinating to discover the traditions of other countries, as well as learn how to cook without some ingredients such as gluten or food of animal origin. Everything can help to unleash the imagination and create original recipes that we propose here and collect on our site. Where there are ideas for special occasions, party menus to recipes and essential strategies for organizing your own party”.
More and more in tune they continue to tell us about their activity that develops in a well organized work area with a large central island, around which they can work up to 12 people at the same time, each with its own job. All the equipment is of quality but for domestic use, so that you can reproduce at home what you have learned during the lessons.
Before saying goodbye, let us ask what is the secret of your agreement?
“Trust above all else and also the ability to translate dreams into reality” – respond together. And lightness and complicity, we add.
(Cover and recipes photos are taken from the website www.cimediweb.net)