Come cook with Valentina Harris
Valentina Harris – Food Writer, Cookery Teacher and Chef
With a heritage like Valentina’s, it is no wonder she is such a well-respected authority on Italian food and food culture. Tracing her family history back to 1369 through the illustrious Sforza dynasty, Valentina is the youngest member of a large Anglo-Italian family of gourmets. Educated in Italy, Valentina brought her qualifications for teaching and cooking from Rome to London in 1976, where she built her reputation primarily as a private chef until the publication of her first award-winning cookery book in 1984; Perfect Pasta.
An award winning author of over 40 books on Italian food, Valentina is also an experienced and enthusiastic teacher, sharing her food philosophy of seasonal local produce served with minimum fuss and maximum care. She continues to teach regularly at highly respected establishments and we are delighted to have Valentina teach here at Denman as part of the WI Cookery School.
As the proprietor, principal tutor and regulator at Cucina Valentina Ltd, Valentina organizes culinary adventures across Europe, and is a regular face at food and drink festivals in the UK as producer and host of cookery theatres and food presentations. She is also the Ambassador for the Delicious Magazine Food Produce Awards and more recently she has been invited to host a Foodie tour in Italy in association with Kirker Cultural Holidays and Harden’s Best Restaurant Guide. You will also find her appearing on radio and television from time to time.
As one of the founders of the London chapter of Les Dames D’Escoffier, Valentina is committed to strengthening the position of professional women in the world of food, beverage and hospitality. As a result of her position as Chapter President, Valentina has access to hundreds of female culinary professionals in all fields, including cookery schools, retail, PR, media, productions etc. throughout the USA.
Valentina’s Foodoir, her long awaited book of family memoirs and recipes: Fiori di Zucca, was published by DBP in June 2013. This was followed by the publication of a revised edition of her famous book Risotto! Risotto! in 2017 with Absolute Press/Bloomsbury Publishing and was nominated for Best in the World in the International Gourmand Awards. Her latest book is The Italian Regional Cookbook, published by Lorenz Books. This is the compilation of a previously published series of 5 books on regional Italian cookery and the culmination of 8 years research and work.
Valentina maintains strong links with Italy in order to strengthen her ties with and maintain her expertise in Italian cuisine. She has a great love for the south of Italy, and spends her summer holidays happily exploring the region of Calabria and all its culinary riches.
If you would like to meet Valentina and learn some of her fantastic Italian cookery secrets then why not book one of the following courses today!
Summer in Tuscany (Day School): 30 July 2019
Sharing a collection of recipes from her home in Tuscany, Valentina shares Tuscan cuisine, largely based around the principles of the Mediterranean Diet, i.e. plenty of fresh vegetables and olive oil and always simple, rustic and delicious. These dishes will be perfect whether they are enjoyed in a sunny English garden or on the Italian Riviera. Find out more and book today: https://www.denman.org.uk.bookinglive.com/book/add/p/2650
Christmas is Italy (Day School): 26 November 2019
There are so many delicious treats that are made in Italy at Christmas time. Learn about the classic dish of Tortellini in Brodo, tiny pasta pockets filled with different meats and flavoured with freshly grated Parmesan and plenty of nutmeg, floating like little clouds in a rich chicken broth. Make Panforte, that hard, flat confection that comes from Siena and is richly packed with nuts, candied fruit and spices; and Ricciarelli: orange scented almond biscuits that are so light and chewy, traditionally coated in a mantle of icing sugar so that they resemble snowdrifts. Finally, make the delicate hazelnut biscuits sandwiched around a chocolate filling known as Baci di Dama, which means Lady’s Kisses. All these sweet treats will make fabulous Edible Christmas gifts for your family and friends to enjoy.Find out more and book today: https://www.denman.org.uk.bookinglive.com/book/add/p/2651