Last week, I attended Guy Mirabella’s cooking class at The Essential Ingredient. I trawled through the long list of classes for weeks before deciding this was the one for me. The main factor that won me over was that the class was ‘meat-free’, which meant I could eat everything. It also promised to be ‘garden-driven’. This appealed to me, because even though my vegetable garden consists of a few straggly sticks of sage, I like to think that one day in the future I’ll have a quarter-acre block abundant with edible delights.
Guy Mirabella runs the cafe ‘Shop Ate’ in Mount Eliza. Interestingly, he began his culinary career designing cookbooks and has helped produce books for Stephanie Alexander, Christine Manfield and Charmaine Solomon. At the class, Guy insisted that he was not really a chef or even a cook; he said that he is simply a designer who enjoys cooking. I think he sells himself a little short. The man is multitalented!
We made several delectable dishes including cauliflower bread and butter pudding, eggplant chutney and a watermelon and bread salad. These are going to feature in Guy’s upcoming cookbook, which I can’t wait to get my hands on…
Guy declared that the word of the day was ‘rustic’. This was license to tear food rather than chop it, and to artfully pile everything on the dish rather than preciously ‘plate up’. Guy taught us that looks are important – but not in terms of perfection. As usual, food lessons can be applied to life.
Guy’s food is the kind of food that you can imagine eating on a fantasy Sunday picnic with a raucous group of family and friends who all bring a plate of lovingly prepared home grown goods. A bit like in a little Italian film on SBS!
I couldn’t leave without snapping up Guy’s last book, Eat Ate. As expected, it’s beautiful and I look forward to preparing some more of his ‘rustic’ recipes!