Lorenzo Fantini, Cibi e Libri, Genoa

There is something truly delicious about attending an evening vegetarian cooking class here in the old section of the city of Genova ...

It’s about listening to the Italian language flow around me, enjoying the fact that I was there as a photographer and simply allowed to observed ... only surprised into laughter when the teacher, Lorenzo Fantini, informed me that I would receive free food if I asked in Italian.

I knew nothing vegetarian in the language and had to whisper to a course member while Lorenzo’s back was turned however, Lorenzo has children and of course he overheard as I was told ‘riso’ for rice and then realised that ‘curry’ sounded fairly similar, if not the same.

I was given a plate of delicious tasting curry-flavoured rice, with zucchini and other things I didn’t recognise.

Being out in the world, a world where I don’t know the language, is always a challenge for me however it is one that I seem determined to seek out.  With this wandering comes so many highs and lows but Thursday evening was surely one of the highs.

Lorenzo began with an introduction to the vegetarian world and then started in on a simple but tasty tortilla chip recipe.  The class made their own batch after watching and tasting his work.

He followed this with a stirfry, inviting pupils to smell ingredients ... the ginger root, spices and soy then to see how he handled the vegetables.  A bottle of organic wine was opened and people sat down to eat and talk until Lorenzo set to work on another dish, using the wok once again to create a new dish using leftovers.

Much approval from everyone convinced me the night’s course had been a success and I slipped away, taking myself hot and sweaty self back to the apartment to recover.  They were 3 of the nicest hours I’ve spent here in Genova.

If curious about attending one of Lorenzo’s courses, you can contact him at Cibielibri – a Genova la gastronomia vegetariana at via Ravecca 48, telephone 010 246 7050 or email him at info@cibielibri.it