Matteo Guidicelli Learns How To Make Fresh Pasta With Chef Margarita Fores In Italy!
The Italian way of the pasta is all about making and enjoying the art of fresh pasta, made from scratch—and that’s Matteo Guidicelli’s lesson with Chef Margarita “Gaita” Fores, named Asia’s Best Female Chef, during their tour around Italy.
Matteo and Chef Margarita flew to Italy for The Crawl Italy on Metro Channel, and there they got to see and experience good wine and good food, two of the beating hearts that make the country. There’s no shortage of both in Italy, but if you just don’t know where to start, better take cues from Matteo and Chef Margarita’s culture-packed itinerary.
Chef Margarita even brought Matteo to where she grew up and studied Italian cooking.
“Tita Margarita has been in the industry for a long time, and me, I’m just starting in the restaurant business, but Italian food is very close to us so we enjoyed every bit of it,” Matteo says about the experience. “She even cried sometimes, going through the places she grew up in, but it was very nice to see and experience how everything started for her.”
If Chef Margarita was a little emotional about Italy, it’s because she lives and breathes Italian cooking. At the heart of her title as Asia’s Best Female Chef are her successful Italian restaurants Cibo, Grace Park, and Lusso, to name some. She spent years in Italy to learn and master the art of Italian cuisine before bringing it back to the country.
Last month, she was also bestowed with an honorary knighthood from the Order of the Star of Italy, making her a Cavaliere dell'Ordine Della Stella d'Italia for her huge efforts in fostering relations between Italy and the Philippines.
Heading to Casa Artusi
One of Matteo and Chef Margarita’s stops during The Crawl Italy was Casa Artusi, a brand that is very close to the chef’s heart. We can remember that Chef Margarita opened the very first franchise of Casa Artusi outside of Italy to the Philippines in 2012, upon the suggestion of the former Italian ambassador.
“Being able to represent that kind of organization for me is a real blessing. It’s almost like a knighthood in itself! It helps me push for Italian cuisine with a brand that’s known for representing the best of Italian culture and cuisine,” Chef Margarita shares. “Casa Artusi is really for hobbyists and that’s pretty much how I started with my work. I never went to formal cooking school, [so it’s very close to my heart].”
And at Casa Artusi Italy, where it all began, Matteo also learned about the different kinds of pasta and how to make them. Spoiler alert: there’s so many, some of which we can’t even dare pronounce!
As a budding chef himself and owner of Italian restaurant Da Gianni Cucina Italiana in Alabang, Matteo has his own flair when it comes to cooking authentic Italian cuisine. But the experience, he says, has opened him up to different cooking techniques from the place that stands as the epitome of great Italian homecooking. “Different cooks have different techniques. So it was very nice to go to Casa Artusi because that’s where some of the best chefs come from. It was a good learning experience, that when we come back home, we can share it.”
Apart from learning about fresh pasta making, Matteo and Chef Gaita also visited the age-old but restored convent of the Church of the Servi where Casa Artusi was actually located, and the Casa Artusi Museum dedicated to the father of Italian cuisine, Pellegrino Artusi.
And inside the museum was a palayok that Chef Margarita brought to Casa Artusi herself!
Overall, the trip to Italy was a learning experience—an emotional one at that—for both chefs, who have roots from the country. Chef Margarita says, “The trip was actually so heartwarming. Our ages are very far from each other, but I felt like Matteo and I, we’re both kindred spirits. Being both Italian, we bonded, and we felt strongly about the same thing.”
She even adds, “I told him we should do a part 2 so he can show me where he grew up, as well!”
Catch Matteo Guidicelli and Chef Gaita’s gastronomic tour of Italy on The Crawl Italy, airing this December on Metro Channel, channel 52 on Sky Cable and channel 174 on HD.