Little Italy in Sydney

Simili sisters sydney food blogger
Image via Bellavitae Blog

I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t know who the “Simili Sisters” were until yesterday and I am grateful for the introduction. Margherita and Valeria Simili have been making pasta since they were born and learnt from their mother at their home in Bologna.

They are well known in Italy and have had their recipes and stories published in many countries around the world. Their Ragù alla Bolognese is arguably one of the best in the world.

Luciana Sampogna  graduated from the Simili Sisters’ school in Bologna Italy, later opening her first cooking school in Auckland New Zealand, then Sydney Australia, followed by Venice Italy.  

sydney food blogger mike galvin
My friend Leanne and I

Yesterday I finally met Luciana when my food partner in crime Leanne and I attended the Saturday cooking school titled “Menu Classico” – The Long Italian Lunch. We were not disappointed, if you love Italian food it is probably the best $150 you’ll ever spend.

The Cucina Italiana Cooking School in Annandale is the closest you’ll get to Italy without heading to the airport. From the moment you open the gate and stroll down through the gardens to the Italian villa front door you’ve already forgotten you’re in the middle of Sydney. Welcome to Italia! 

“Three words came to mind immediately, authentic, tuscan villa and Italy. The Italian Villa in was built nearly a century ago by the Melocco Brothers.”

Leanne and I have had a long history of friendship and food, 20 years in fact. I wrote a blog about it titled “Great Italian Food” – have a read of it when you have some time. Yesterday for us was a great experience for may reasons but what enveloped that experience is our friendship and love of cooking and great food.

The menu yesterday included:

  • Risotto with Aromatic Herbs
  • Tagliatelle with Spinach Pesto
  • Ricotta Ravioli with Tomato Sauce
  • Scaloppine with Herbs
  • Semifredo al Caffe

There was so much I was going to write about after leaving Luciana’s Annandale school yesterday, including some of Luciana’s jokes that involved salting food, a turkey, Christmas and kale. As I typed out the jokes I realised it wasn’t my place to even try to recreate those funny moments. They were a few of many special moments during the 4 hours that made us laugh and more importantly provided insights into who Luciana is and her passion for all things Italian.

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Luciana and I with my signed book “Light of Lucia”

If you would like to find out about the salt, turkey and kale jokes I encourage you to book a class with Luciana and ask her for yourself. I’ve told a few people and I just don’t deliver it like Luciana. These are her stories to tell. My jaw is still aching from laughing.

The Cucina Italian Cooking School is sensational, authentic, educational, fun, delicious, beautiful and a little piece of Italy in the heart of Sydney.

Luciana is a passionate and very talented woman who loves teaching and talking to people about her passion, real Italian food.

Luciana also has a cooking school in Venice Italy. I have promised to go over for the day one summer and I hope Leanne can come along too. I’ve just researched the flying time from Bordeaux to Venice and it’s only 1hr and 55 minutes so I’ve got absolutely no excuse.

The Cucina Italiana Cooking School is a beautiful experience, one that describes so well the marriage between a culture and its cuisine. You’ll leave with a knowledge bank full of new stories about traditional cooking styles and techniques along with a newfound respect for Italian food.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, I would love to hear from you! Leave me a message below if you enjoyed the blog or contact me directly.

Don’t forget to follow me Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for all things food and places. For my Italian travel blogs, visit my friends Carrol & Sue, Australian based Italian tour operators Carolinasusi Tours. You can read my Italian travel blogs for Carolinasusi Tours here.

Mike X

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