Getting down and dirty with Michelin 2 Star Chef Claudio Sadler to cook a three course Italian meal was just plain awesome. Sadler is one of the big Italian chefs, and I’ve known about him for well over a decade from my earlier days in Milan, Tokyo, and Beijing. So when the opportunity to cook with Sadler as part of the Italian World Cuisine Summit came up, I wasn’t going to pass it by.
Earlier in the week I had done a more tamed down cooking demonstration with Italian Michelin 2 Star Chef Marco Sacco and a bunch of middle-aged housewives, but to actually have Sadler yelling at my incompetence in the industrial kitchens of the Shangri-La in Hong Kong with a full Italian media crew filming was so much more fun.
So on the menu was (1) Pancake (Calzone) Stuffed with Burrata and Turnip Greens, (2) Risotto with Toasted 27-month aged Grana Padano and Powdered Trumpet Mushrooms and (3) White Chocolate Panettone Cake with Fresh Fruit Salad. Seemed simple enough, but after three hours of preparation and cooking, I started to realize that cooking Italian Sadler style was anything but.
As a food blogger and a guy who does an immense amount of eating, it doesn’t take a whole lot of skill. It’s pretty easy to sit back, eat (and drink), and form an opinion on a meal. But to actually see Chef Salder in action prepping and executing each dish helped remind me how talented and accomplished any chef with a Michelin star really is. It takes some real skill to consistently turn out quality dishes one after the next for an entire restaurant.
Eitherway, bottom line, my cooking class with Chef Sadler was informative, fun and tasty, and if you’re ever in Hong Kong and want to hone those Italian culinary skills, know that the Kowloon Shangri-La hosts weekly classes at Restaurant Angelini.
I won’t go into too much detail on the recipes for all the dishes since they’re really long, complicated, and oh so so high in carbs, butter, oil and sugar. But to save myself future tweets @3starbackpacker asking for the recipes, I will share my favourite dish of the class, which was the Pancake (Calzone) stuff with Burrata and Turnip Greens. If you’re not interested in recipes, you can stop reading here.
Otherwise, for those interested in a Sadler recipe and actually going to attempting burrata and turnip green stuffed pancakes, continue reading. For ingredients you’ll need: 100 g all-wheat flour; 80 g flour; 50 g wheat beer; 8 g fresh yeast; 1 egg; 250 g milk; 3 kg broccoli; 250 g mozzarella cheese; 10 g chopped pepper; 2 garlic cloves; 100 g bacon; 100 g olive oil; 400 g fresh tomato; and salt & pepper to taste.
For preparation, first, mix together the flour, milk, egg, beer and yeast and let the mixture rest 2 hours at room temperature. This will serve as your pancake mixture. For the filling, you will need to clean your broccoli, boil it, let it cool and then chop it into little bits. Separately, cut the bacon into fine strips, and then degrease in a frying pan together with garlic. Combine the garlic and bacon with your broccoli, and then add in diced mozzarella cheese, chopped pepper, salt and pepper. As an additional step, sauté a clove of garlic, add fresh tomatoes and cook for 20 minutes. Season to taste and throw into mixture.
For the cooking part, preheat a pan and grease with olive oil. Pour in the flour mixture until hardened, and then fill the top of the flour mixture with the broccoli mixture. Fold the flour pancake in half and finish cooking in an oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 5 minutes. To top it all off, you can throw on a table spoon of tomato sauce on top, and then even throw in a nice creamy burrata sauce, which you needs to cook at 65 degrees Celsius for half an hour with milk and a dash of salt. Unfortunately, there are no recipes listed for the sauces, and this is all I have from my notes. Happy cooking!