Before taking a cooking class at Portobello with Chef Tony Mantuano, I thought I knew how to cook Italian. Throw some noodles in a pot and heat up a little marinara sauce, maybe splurge a bit and throw in some garlic bread. I exaggerate, but only slightly. Thanks to a class with Chef Tony, I now know how to cook at least a few dishes as the Romans do.
Inside Disney’s Springs’ wonderful Italian eatery Portobello, the class was held in a large section of the dining room configured for optimum viewing of James Beard award winning and Top Chef Master finalist, Tony Mantuano, and his wife Cathy as they took us through preparing a five-course meal that you might find today in a nice restaurant in Rome.
Also on board was Wine importer Pierluigi Gaeta who guided us through wines, each paired expertly with the dishes the Mantuano’s were demonstrating. I have to say, I found a few new favorites to stock my wine cabinet with.
Here’s a taste of what the experience was like:
If you look Italian food & wine at all and want to learn more about it then I can’t recommend taking advantage of the opportunity to be taught by Chef Tony and Cathy enough. And there’s good news, there’s another class, with a new menu, coming up June 11th from 12 to 2 p.m..
The Piedmont-themed cooking class will take attendees on a tour of the Northern Italian region, teaching them how to whip up traditional and seasonal dishes such as Risotto Primavera with spring vegetables and Grana Padano and Brisket braised in Barolo with polenta. The cooking class offers five courses paired with Italian wines. The entire class includes:
Pizza with Zucchini and Zucchini Flowers
Wine Pairing – Arneis, Damilano
Wine Pairing – Gavi “La Meirana“ Broglia
Risotto Primavera with Spring Vegetables and Grana Padano
Wine Pairing – Dolcetto “San Luigi” Pecchenino
Brisket Braised in Barolo with Polenta
Wine Pairing – Barolo “Sottocastello“99 Ca’ Viola
Zabaglione with Berries
Wine Pairing – Brachetto d’Acqui, Marenco
The Italian cooking class is $50 per person plus tax and gratuity and reservations can be made by calling 407.828.8996. For more information, please visit www.portobellorestaurant.com.
Everyone I spoke with at the class I was invited to attend said it was the best value on Disney property. Not only do you get the class, you get an amazing meal and excellent wine pairings. If you want to go, I recommend making reservations at the soonest.