FAIRFIELD — Cooking students at Il Fiorello’s Kitchen in the Groves fell in love with the food Sunday at a Valentine’s-themed cooking class and four-course dinner.
Chef Marvin Martin, of Robert Mondavi Winery, taught students how to make dishes that included cannellini and kale soup – with a secret jalapeno oil – fresh lemon pasta with caviar and a citrus salad with avocados.
Some of the students helped Martin dice, slice and roll some dough, but many were content simply to watch and later devour.
Il Fiorello owners Mark Sievers and his wife Ann want to create a monthly cooking class that uses healthy, seasonal foods.
Martin’s first class last year focused on holiday appetizers.
Joi and Judy McNeil used many of the recipes from that class for holiday meals.
The McNeils enjoyed the dishes during Sunday’s cooking class, though Joi McNeil said that some of her boys would stick their noses up at the sight of kale and caviar.
Martin demonstrated how easy it can be to prepare a home-cooked meal using fresh, seasonal foods. Cutting and rolling the pasta was a bit time-consuming, but the fresh pasta cooked in just minutes.
The caviar was certainly a delicacy. At $490 a can, it was by far the most expensive dish on the menu, and the cooking students made sure to eat every last bite.
Bonnie Falk and Lisa Pearson, of Suisun Valley, said they liked their first class at Il Fiorello, a local olive oil company. Both enjoyed the relaxed, down-home experience of the class.
And that’s partly what the Sievers hoped students got out of it.
“We’re getting people cooking in the kitchen and making it fun,” Mark Sievers said.
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