Cooking in Milan

The cooking lesson from heaven

I took a cooking lesson while visiting Italy. The host Lydia created a serene welcoming, entertaining and informative environment. We walked into her apartment and she had appetizers, bruschetta and wine waiting. She worked around my crazy dietary restrictions to teach us how to produce a feast.

Bruschetta with tuna and Calabrian chilis

We found out later that the cheese pictured below was non-dairy. I could not tell the difference.

We started the lesson by learning tiramisu which was mixed in the machine pictured below. Lydia spoke Italian and some Spanish. I understood more than I thought I would. I couldn’t fully speak what I thought, but I was able to understand. We tried using Google translate, but my phone kept locking up. Lydia even introduced us to her man, Bimby. Who is Bimby? He is a personal robot chef. His cousin is known as Thermomix.

Bimby - also known as Thermomix

I liked to observe all the differences of Italian and American culture – down to the spices:

Pepe Nero Black Italian pepper

We learned about Calabrian chilis and how to breadcrumb fish.

Breadcrumbs mixed with a tomato, Calabrian chilies and salvia
Pressing down the breadcrumbs on the fish

We smacked meat imagining it was our ex’s of the past.

Then we breadcrumbed it and ate it


After the hustle and bustle of the city, it was nice to just relax in a real environment. While the food in Italy is the best in the world, homemade Italian food is out of this world in another solar system. It was also interesting to see the differences and similarities in international cooking. For example, we used a Bimby which is a robot chef but also panko breadcrumbs.

Tiramisu finished

It was interesting to see the inside of a real person’s apartment – especially the kitchen. The food was phenomenal. Fresh, flavored and made with love. It was also interesting to learn the host’s story and how she had to pivot during COVID from a stylist to a chef.

The most poignant part of the night took place during sunset. The sky turned all colors of purple and orange and we mentioned our train/bus journey from Milan and she said, “This is Milan.” There was more to Milan than the Galleria and the Duomo.

Lydia sent us home with the leftover tiramisu. I left feeling like we had been to a relative’s house; great conversation, I learned something, amazing food, and goody bag. We opted for a cab home. As we drove through the darkened streets, I watched the graffiti whiz by, people convene at late night cafes, and saw new pockets of Milan open and close before my eyes.

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