Castello di Potentino
58038 Seggiano GR
About the weekend:
An immersive weekend of cooking simple, home style Southern Indian food in a medieval Tuscan castle.
Indian food is much loved but often hugely misrepresented outside of India. The western understanding of Indian food swings from naan & greasy curries to randomly adding turmeric & spices to food. Cooking good Indian food isn’t complicated and this weekend sets out to show just that. With a few basic spices that are available worldwide and using vegetables and produce from the farm at Potentino, Avinash and Swati will be cooking up home style food from Southern India.
They will cover a few essentials of home cooking: making a typical south Indian veggie lunch using vegetables from the Potentino farm, making breads, cooking with lentils, basic marinades and spice mixes, fermented batters for dosas & idlis.
More than just simplifying Indian cooking, they want to show people how versatile regional Indian food can be. How it can easily adapt to good quality veg & produce from the land you’re in and without losing authenticity. How it can be effortlessly healthy, clean and natural without pretence.
All this in the stunning settings of a medieval castle in a magical valley in Tuscany with wines by Charlotte Horton and gin by Alexander Greene.
Full board including all wines and lodging at the castle for three nights.
Two days of cooking sessions with Avi and Swati
If you have any questions before booking, do not hesitate to get in touch with Alexander and he will help you with any queries you may have.
Friday- Day 1
Charlotte introduces Castello di Potentino followed by a wine tasting along with a few Indian snacks.
A brief overview of the workshop and what to expect (simple, casual and fun) Indian food and wine matching myths followed by a 3 course dinner
Saturday – Day 2
Saturday morning: Vegetables, Lentils and Salads
An Introduction to basic Indian ingredients
Over view of the geography of the sub continent – facts and figures, terroir and different weather conditions
Major factors that influence the food in India like religion, caste system, wealth, history and foreign invasions and western influences and migration.
Intro to regions - Karnataka food
Visit to the farm to pick a few vegetables
Lentils and pulses for winter months, how to cook with them and nutritional value
Prepare a few simple veg dishes with what’s around us (broad beans, asparagus, peas)
Dal, pulses and stir-fried dishes.
Lunch - Typical veggie meal
Sat dinner – Breads, Barbecue and cooking on fire
Intro to Spices, Chillies and spice mixes, simple marinades
Where and how they grow
Flavours and how to use them
Health benefits and natural remedies
Flat Bread making- Wholemeal, Ragi, Rice (gluten free)
Marinated Kid goat on spit and local porchetta with coorgi masala
Marinated grilled vegetables/ fish (if we can get any)
Sunday – Day 3
Sunday brunch - Fermented batters, Sunday specials and Anglo Indian food
Dosa, Idli and chutney making with classic potato or chicken combination
Other unusual breakfast dishes like Poha, Uppit, Vada
Snacks and street food (pani puri making)
Sweets and flavoured ice
Sunday dinner - One-pot meals
Biryani or similar
Pickling to take home
Sweets and ice
Monday – Day 4
Depart after breakfast.
About Castello di Potentino:
About Avinash & Swati:
With roots from Bangalore, India - Avi moved to the UK in 2005. He worked at Claude Bosi’s kitchen at Hibiscus and with John Hoskins’ MW at The Old Bridge Hotel. In 2008, the late Rose Gray offered Avi an opportunity to join the team at The River Café where he worked for 10 years. Their ethos for the finest seasonal ingredients, treated with simplicity and respect, resounded with him.
Yearning for freshly cooked meals from home, he now spends his time cooking and developing recipes for delicious Indian food. He uses high quality ingredients that are seasonal and locally available at his Modern Indian pop ups. Having successfully run them in Berlin, New Delhi, Copenhagen and London, he wants to eventually turn this into a London restaurant.
Swati is a marketer by profession and a trained cook. She has always worked in hospitality - from hotel sales in India to managing marketing and events for London restaurants. An avid home cook, her cooking has influences from her home state of Maharashtra, street food of Mumbai and her second home Bangalore. She currently manages marketing for workplace caterer Fooditude in London while also assisting Avi with his food pop ups.