Featured, Featured2, Food, Italian, Restaurant Reviews, Travel

Carrabba’s Cooking Demonstration

Last weekend, I was invited to Carrabba’s for a taste testing/cooking demonstration put on for food bloggers and their guests.  Luckily, they allowed my guest to be the 8 year old Bean.

It was great for little Bean to be able to sample some great food and  meet some real live chefs in person.

We signed in, got name tags and met the other bloggers.  The Carrabba’s hosts were very welcoming to all of us.  After a round of introductions, we headed off to the kitchen for a pasta cooking demonstration/class.

We learned all about the finer points of cooking pasta and some of Carrabba’s secrets for why their pasta tastes as good as it does.  They use the ratio of 1:1:1.  1 gallon of water, 1 ounce of salt, 1 pound of pasta for perfect al dente pasta everytime.  They also spend a lot of time researching every aspect of the cooking process—from the types of pans they use to where they get their prosciutto.  Attention to the details must be why their food tastes so good.

All of the chefs were so passionate about the food.  They got super excited just talking about it and sharing their knowledge with all of us.  (I love this photo–doesn’t it look like he is singing an opera about penne?)

They didn’t just talk about pasta–they let us eat some too!  This photo shows the pasta with their housemade pesto.  So good!

My favorite started with these frying garlic slices…..

And finished looking like this.  This pasta dish was perfect–light and flavorful! (I can’t remember what they called this but it is definitely something I will be ordering.)

Next, we focused our attention on this chef …..

who would be wrapping a pork loin with a specially sourced prosciutto,

slicing it into filets, grilling them and then covering with a port wine and fig sauce.

How can you go wrong?

The answer:  You can’t.  This was amazing.  It was served by an interesting side of zucchini covered with their Primadoro sauce.  It was really good and the perfect light accompaniment to the rich pork loin.  Stay tuned to Forty Cakes for the recipe.

Our final cooking demonstration on making pizzas was led by this guy, the face of Carrabba’s.  Like I mentioned, these guys are very passionate about food and cooking.

They explained the importance of using the freshest ingredients like basil, tomatoes, aged Romano cheese, and fresh mozzarella.  Unfortunately, none of my photos of finished pizzas turned out–but they were awesome.  Thin crust, perfect amount of cheese, and cooked to perfection.

After the cooking demonstrations, they sat us down and fed us.  There was so much food being passed around including the pork loins with the fig sauce;  Pasta Rambo (above) with shrimp, mushrooms, greens,

A great Parmesan chicken dish with an arugula salad (photo by Carrabba’s) , and their summer peach sangria!  (Warning:  I could have had many sangria’s….they were amazing and quite dangerous.  A combination of white wine, Absolut Peach Vodka and something else I can’t remember.)

They even brought out dessert!—Limoncello Bread Pudding (photo by Carrabba’s).  A combination of warm and cold–with summer flavors.  It was really good and I didn’t have to share.

The Bean was very happy too.  They brought out some pizza dough and toppings so he could make his own pizza.  Little touches like this are great when dining out with kids.  They really went out of their was to make the Bean feel special.  And, when kids feel special, so do their parents.

Thanks Carrabba’s for the opportunity to come and cook (and eat!) with you.  We had a great time.  If you want the opportunity to see live cooking demonstrations and find out about their new dishes, join their Amici Club. Amici Club members are the first to learn about new menu specials, receive exclusive offers and invitation only access to events such as Wine Tastings, Proprietor Dinners and Cooking Demonstrations.  Membership is free; sign up at Carrabba’s.com.

Disclaimer:  Carrabba’s did supply free meal and drinks to all bloggers in attendance.  My opinions of the event are my own.