May 02 2010
Mark C O’Flaherty
Enrica Rocca has more than just roots in Venice. Her family have lived there for generations, and her canal-side open-plan loft home in what was once a palazzo laundry is built on the only solid ground in the city. Her home also doubles as her cookery school; here she hosts informal but informative sessions in the art of Italian shopping and cooking. When I visited her last summer for a crash course in how to prepare squid and cook a very fine spaghetti alle vongole, it opened up a wonderful insider’s perspective on the city.
Enrica takes you shopping to the carnival-like Rialto market (pictured: Enrica sampling scampi in the market), explains what to look for and what to buy, and then teaches you how to cook the ingredients back in her kitchen. The experience is more dinner party, and fun, than classroom lesson. The prosecco and the chit-chat flow, and you’ll pick up as much interior design inspiration (such as her eye-catching brightly-dyed springbok-skin stools) as fundamental Veneto foodie rules (always use the salted pasta water for your sauce). Enrica hosts classes regularly in London, but for the authentic, full-on experience I suggest you head to Venice.
Half-day classes in Dorsoduro, Venice, from €120. Classes in London are £170 per person, or £300 for two, and take place at Borough Market and Portobello Market.