Wow, this is our first BLOG and we are so excited. to share our experiences with from the kitchens of Mia Cucina School of Cookery. My earliest memory goes back to the late 60's when I would be sitting in the kitchen sink watching my mother place marzipan and fondant over wedding cakes, and then very delicately, decorating the cake with the finest of flowers made from royal icing. I grew up in a home where there was always a cake in the oven, the pickling of cucumbers and herring, the tasting of freshly minced raw fish to check its seasonings, and the licking of beaters covered in sticky sweet icing.. I had no idea that I was learning from the best - my mother and her mother. My grandmother, Bobba Sophie, never seemed to leave the kitchen, as she too, always had a cake in the oven, chicken soup on the stove, boiling tongue in a pot and pickling chokos for chutney. Sophie loved nothing more than to hear the door bell ring. Out came the tea pot with fresh tea leaves, the good china and the polished silverware. We always knew there would be something delicious to eat: Sophie’s boiled fruit cake that was still a little warm from the oven, the cheese on crackers with the last batch of pickled cucumbers. The ‘piece de resistance’ was Sophie’s hazenblozen - very fine crispy tuilles of pastry, dusted with icing sugar.
Above is a pic taken for Australian Gourmet Magazine in the early 90's with Bobba Sophie on the left, my mum Railea on the right, and me, centred with the family samovar (Russian teapot) which was brought out of Russian to Australia by Bobba Sophie's parents in the early 1900's. Bobba Sophie recalls her father placing the samovar each Sunday in the handmade wooden wheelbarrow, and wheeling it down to the park where all the locals came to him for their hot water. A true family heirloom which shall be past downs to generations and generations. So cooking was an essential part of growing up in my family home. Supporting the local Fete from as young as I can remember, filled our home with delicious treats. In our younger years in the 70’s we ran the ‘Sweets Stall’. Boxes of apples were donated by the local green grocer, for the biggest job of all. We had to blunt the old thick wooden skewers from the butcher, to then stick into each apple which was then dipped in a vat of boiling red toffee. While I was still at school, I worked at in a boutique kitchen shop, assisting top chefs like Mogens Bay Esbensen, Stefan Manfredi, Damien Pignolet in the cooking school. I then ran my own Chocolate program, demonstrating handmade delicacies. I continued on to study food at a tertiary level, and with a keen eye for photography, I combined both my passions and became a Food Stylist. Developing, creating and setting new food trends in the eighties was incredible. Australians were traveling further abroad and our produce and taste buds were growing ever so quickly. Today I run a boutique cookery school, Mia Cucina School of Cookery. I now share the knowledge of the past generations with my students and with my own four children – Shoshi, Phoebe, Issi and Asher - who enjoy nothing better than making hollandaise sauce for their poached eggs, or rolling out homemade shortcrust pastry for an apple pie. So we love food. We love eating food, and we love nothing more than spending a day in the kitchen. Sharing, laughing, eating, eating, experimenting, trialing, testing, making notes and eating some more. I suppose we want to share our wealth of knowledge with you from our kitchen and help you out whenever you need support. Anytime you need a questioned answered, and you need a response, and we shall be here for you. We want to inspire you to jump into the kitchen and have some fun. Providing easy to read recipes, simple instructions with readily available ingredients and creating fabulous dishes.