Cooking School Fourth Day – Grapes, Olives, and Fish

Chromulous Structure Side View - Nice

Chromulous Structure Side View - Nice

Chromolous Sculpture Front View - AMAZING

Chromulous Sculpture Front View - AMAZING

This day of cooking school was spent on the bus and not in the kitchen.   However, it was GREAT.   We drove up to a lake region where the cold air from the alps is funneled down into the area along a deep lake creating the perfect climate for grape growing.   It is called the Francicorta region famous for the production of Italian Spumante.   We went to the Bella Vista winery – the crown jewel of the region.   I loved this winery being a systems engineer as everything was so carefully thought out and very artistic.   It was both elegant AND functional.   There were these little surprises every where you looked – and pointed your camera.   One sculpture, while it was interesting, didn’t illustrate the WOW factor until you looked at it through your cameral lens – where it became a christmas tree ornament with the evergreen in the background.

I had read the book Super Crunching last year and remembered reading about a guy who had created a model that analyzed number of weather factors of the main wine growing regions of the world to determine where the best wine would be produced.   He had it down to a science.  I inquired about how they used weather “metrics.”   I was told that they cut apart three onions and after three days, the onions that sweat the most, that is the month they are going to get the most rain.   Personally, I think there is a little more to it than that.   I predict it’s more like they have to cut apart these three onions on the second full moon AFTER Christmas (sometime in mid-february, early march).  Then this tells them when the next six months will have the most rain.  I will test it out later this year and let y’all know.

I just loved the geometric design of the winery.   Since I am still working on my own geometrically designed house in Nevada, I got some fantastic ideas.   The triangular tables in their conference areas where amazing.   I loved the pervasive use of arches, circles, triangles, ovals, squares that were everywhere.  I’ve used the similar design approach in Nevada – just not on this grand a scale.

Summary of geometric elements at the Bella Vista Winery

Summary of geometric elements at the Bella Vista Winery

We left the winery and went to the lake for a lunch on an island that was fish, fish, and more fish.   We were served five different types of fish.  Nice lunch.   THEN we were served four more types of fish.   More nice lunch.   Two hours later, extractating ourselves from that restaurant, we headed for the Olive oil pressing plant.   By now, my pants were getting tight.  HOWEVER, I had three pairs on.  As we were told it would be very cold on the boat to the island restaurant.   Recalling the cold dank day the day before, I was prepared.  I am happy to report, today with only one pair of pants on – they are still loose.  How I can go to cooking school, eat for over five hours per day, sit on a bus most of the day and lose weight is beyond me.   I think my regime of exercising a lot and eating healthy may just not be that healthy for me.

The olive oil pressing plant was very small – they were a neighborhood processor that processed all the olive oil for the surrounding olive growers.   At Academia Barilla we learned about three types of olive oils – Tuscan that is very strong and good in soups and on breads.   Ligonia olive oil – that is very delicate and good on fish.  And Sicilian olive oil that is mild and good on salad.   The olive oil we tested at the plant was an extra virgin (only pressed once) and good for salads and bread.   The version I tasted was unfiltered.   That was pretty darn bitter.   More hazing.

2 Responses to “Cooking School Fourth Day – Grapes, Olives, and Fish”

  1. Jean S Says:

    Actually, we used a bit more of “wind metrics” when I was growing up. When the moon was in the 7th house and Jupiter aligned with Mars, we’d stand down wind from someone who would cut the cheese. If you smelled onions, you could expect alot of rainy days and mondays (that always got folks down) If not, we’d look forward to let the sunshine in. (Of course this was the dawn of the age of aquarius, now we just get together for whatever the weather, the weather will be)

  2. Italian Cookery Schools- A Toast To These Schools! | Cooking Advice Says:

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