Mangiare Con Gusto – A Dinner With Chef Mario Damiani

Last weekend I had an invitation for a presentation cooking of Mario Damiani, a great chef cooking on demand in private homes and giving cooking lessons. He is doing a new website and the web designer needed some fresh good photos though.

The location was a perfect place: an old farm house with a thatched roof. The interior was old style but modern as well and well seen that here lives a designer himself. The kitchen not too big was perfect for cooking and Mario immediately felt once with it.

We were 7 persons in all: Mario, a web designer and his wife with two of their lovely children, the owner of the house and myself. Mario would cook for all of us while the web designer would take photos of his work for the new website.

The web designer had two cameras for taking some shots and especially doing a video of Mario, the chef, while preparing the food. And the chef was lightly nervous I would say.

The menu to prepare would be a typical Italian one: several antipasti, Saltimbocca with baked potatoes as main dish and Tiramisù as dessert.

The people were lovely and we were immediately all in a perfect sympathy between us. The web designer “danced” around Mario while taking shots, Mario trying to explain during the work. To me it seemed already a cooking lesson in a way.

Well, Mario started his cooking presentation with the Tiramisù as this one had to go into the fridge to cool out well. He had one of the girls as helper and very delighted to do some so special work. She loves baking and cooking and did her job perfectly after a short explanation. Mario is very gentle with children and has all patience to explain and never get nervous because one doesn’t understand the first place.

Meanwhile Mario cleaned the potatoes, cooking them before going into the oven to be baked with some salt and herbs (rosemary) on.

He prepared now the scampi with oil, garlic and parsley in a pan. He needed some help to do the cheese baskets while chopping peppers but female hands were soon there for help. Several pots on the stove, bubbling water with potatoes, vapor from scampi, bread in the oven in order to get warm and crispy.. Mario had all under control.

He put also peppers in the oven to skin them later and so the work had its flow as the chef jumped from right to left and trying to explain his moves.

The web designer was doing some photos, a video as well and Mario was concentrated on his work.

Well, but who is Mario? Mario Damiani is a very special person. I like him a lot, he makes me always laugh and in a way he is all the time in a sunny mood. He is in his mid fifties, from Tuscany and worked in the best restaurants and hotels all over the world. He came to Germany for love and has a beautiful little girl. He is specialized in cooking Vegetarian, Ayurvedic and of course Mediterranean style. And he is definitely a divine cook!

I have known him in the Hansemühle in Niendorf/Baltic Sea where we both buy our healthy, organic, fair trade flax seed oil.

During his preparation the owner of the huge thatched house started to prepare the table for all of us. Mario ordered him to put glasses for white and red wine, enough plates for antipasti and main dish and to do a nice full prepared table. It started to look great, we were hungry and Mario could not wait to sit a moment and relax. And so he did when the starters were ready.

We started our dinner with the antipasti: a great Caprese salad with real buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil, cheese baskets filled with green and red salad leaves and scampi and roasted aubergine with garlic, olive oil and different herbs.

We all were really done already after the starters! With wine, white and red, and fresh sliced bread it was a filling start for dinner. It was extremely delicious and our chef had a few minutes to sit down and enjoy his own meal.

But then he had almost gone back to the kitchen and started to prepare the Saltimbocca: fresh good looking meat slices with Parma bacon and a leaf of sage, cooked shortly in a pan and served with oven baked potatoes tossed in olive oil and rosemary.

When Mario was ready with the main dish they all had the delicious Saltimbocca, me as I don’t eat meat had the yummy roasted potatoes.

After all we enjoyed a piece of Tiramisù. He prepared it only with coffee, no alcohol in it as there were children. Normally he told us, he puts Grappa in the Tiramisù like in the Venice area. I know it with Marsala instead – a liquor of Sicily.

I had a lovely and really unexpected afternoon and evening. Mario is a great chef who knows well how to intrigue the persons around him. He knows a lot of cooking and prepares in a professional way. He is very flexible as he has no problem in different kitchens. Lessons can be hold at home of the persons. He cooks for as many people as there are and gives also catering in request.

A special thank you goes to Mario of course who made it possible for me to come to this event. And to the house owner that I could stay there as well. And of course also to the web designer couple which are lovely and make great jobs as I have seen on their website.

Thanks for this unforgettable experience!

For further information:
Mangiare con Gusto
Black Snapper marketing
Matthias Dohm design

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