With lockdown over school holidays, it means more time to cook and share delicious meals with loved ones. I've let veteran restaurateur Lucio Galletto into my kitchen and have been surprised at how easy it has been to recreate his deliciously simple traditional Italian dishes.
Founded by Roberta Muir, who previously headed up Sydney Seafood School at Sydney Fish Market and was instrumental in the COVID-pivot to home meal kits. She explains "It's all about connecting passionate home cooks with great chefs and top quality producers and provedores to inspire more people to enjoy home cooking."
Muir knows what she's talking about as she has spent most of her career being a conduit between home cooks, chefs, producers translating 'chef- speak' into 'home-cook-speak'.
Having hosted 6,500 classes with more than 300 chefs and co-written cookbooks with leading chefs Alessandro Pavoni, Giovanni Pilu and Janni Kyritsis just to name a few.
BE INSPIRED focuses on a new cuisine or cooking style each month in collaboration with a leading chef.
Starting with a month oftraditional Italian with Lucio Galletto in July, Malaysian with Simon Goh from Chinta Ria in August and Vietnamese in September with Mark Jensen from Red Lantern.
You can sign up for
a month of expert guidance,
receive 8 videos (6 savoury and 2 sweet) plus one expert guide introducing the theme,
two fortnightly deliveries with all the premium ingredients
create 4 generous two-course meals
detailed written recipes.
option to buy wines paired to each dish
Such good value at $296, it equates to $37/person for each 2 course meal, so it beats take away while delivering a fun cooking experience that the whole family can be involved in.
The kits contain brands such as Pepe Saya, Vennella cheese, Salumi Australia, ALTO olives, Herbie's spices and Mutti tomatoes along with premium meat, poultry, vegetables and herbs. Even opening these products feels like a treat as they products that I haven't tried before.
Muir explains the BE INSPIRED recipe kits "provides a lot of flexibility." "Some couples take it in turns to cook for each other, or cook together for a weekly date night while other people use it as a great way to get the whole family into the kitchen together."
Entertaining is a breeze as the menu is already planned and the shopping is done. It is recommended a 2- course meal each week.
Roberta finds "people are mixing and matching the recipes and side dishes to suit their own situations and tastes which is what we're all about – making it easy for people to share good food ….in whatever way works for them."
We signed up and started off our month of traditional Italian with a cracker dish of pistachio crust lamb rack, pan fried radicchio and roasted potato. It was absolutely incredible.
Having visited the town Bronte in Sicily famous for pistachios, it brought back fond memories. From learning how to put the crust together, prepping the potatoes, pan frying radicchio which softens the bitterness and brings out a touch of sweetness, cooking this dish wasn't as intimidating as I first thought.
And the torta caprese for dessert. Hearing that this was one of the best loved chocolate cakes originating from the island of Capri, another place I had visited, I couldn't wait to replicate this dish.
Such a simple cake made with eggs, chocolate and ground almond. We loved this dish so much it was requested for an up and coming birthday.
I couldn't believe I've never thought to cook spatchcock in chilli, garlic & lemon before. We sopped up the sauce with the bread rolls. The dish was offset perfectly with insalata rossa, a salad of bittersweet radicchio and completed with the delectable ricotta and hazelnut torte draped in mascarpone cream.
Spatchcock in chilli, garlic & lemon with Insalata rossa
The kids and I were fighting for the last spoonful of cream and torte, luckily I won that round.
"Fend the kids off Ricotta Hazelnut torte
With the cool winter and keeping Covid at bay, Tuscany's famous La ribollita soup was one tasty vegetable soup. We made this a day in advance so the flavours could develop. The classic Saltimbocca alla Romana was something new we hadn't tried before, pounding out veal, searing the prosciutto and sage complemented by spinaci al limone, sauteed spinach with lemon on the side.
And of course, great food deserves excellent drinks, we also purchased the matching wine for every dish and loved the Italian range that was provided by Roberto Dessanti of Euro Concepts.
You can order a box of the matched wines by the month or fortnight, or single bottles. There's even Prosecco and Roberta's special Negroni sbagliato cocktail blend to get your evenings off to a sparkling start!