Sunday, March 11, 2012

Cooking Class across the Bay - Italian Breads Workshop

Kitchen on Fire - Hands on kitchenMijo and I finally managed to find a weekend to use the Gift Certificates we got for Christmas. (Thanks Judy and Joe!) - a cooking class session at Kitchen On Fire! Kitchen on Fire or KOF is a company based in Berkeley that specializes in cooking classes and workshops. I wanted to signup for a KoF cooking class in February, in time for Valentines, but we were both busy with pager duties at work last month. Mijo even carried their pager for three straight weeks. (Unbelievable!) Luckily, there was one class that I found very intresting in their March calendar. After a couple of phone calls, we were able to register in their Italian Breads Workshop with Chef Maria Capdevielle.

Kitchen on Fire - Schiacciata d'UvaWe signed in as soon as we got there and got ourselves a nametag and a workshop handout containing four recipes - Sage and Parmesan Focaccia, Cheese Stuffed Focaccia, Schiacciata d'Uva and Piadina. The venue is a ultra big kitchen that doubles as the class room. As expected, the class was full and we were greeted by the teacher for that day, Chef Maria Capdevielle and her aproned assistants. There must have been seven or eight of them. At first, she demonstrated how to make a simple dough for the bread. This will be our base dough for the other bread recipes. She's very thorough and explained why temperature is key in bread making. I also learned that protein in starch creates elasticity in breads. I also learned that being generous with the olive oil is a must when making Italian breads.

Kitchen on Fire - Schiacciata d'UvaWe were broken down to four groups - one group per recipe. Though we will be baking all four bread recipes, one group will be demonstrating an assigned bread. For our group, we were given the task to demonstrate how to make Schiacciata d'Uva or flatbread with raisins and grapes. Since we also got the chance to make the other three breads, I kindof enjoyed making the savory focaccia breads better than our semi sweet bread. Well, all I can tell you is that all of our breads are such a success!  After the workshop, I updated my 'List' and noted that I will be baking and baking and baking just focaccia the entire year until it becomes my second nature. . I kept the recipes from the workshop and put it in between the pages of our Italian recipe book.

Kitchen on Fire is located in Berkeley's Gourmet Ghetto and they have two locations. One on Shattuck Ave and the other one is on 7th St, both are in Berkeley. To learn more about Kitchen On Fire, visit their website at To learn more about Chef Maria, please visit her website at


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