When it comes to running a food business, the ‘frontman’ counts. It’s essential to have a dynamic personality that people gravitate to, a natural charm that entices us off our seats.
Fortunately, Benita Salvatore, the proprietor of Kilometre Zero cooking classes, has personality in bucketloads.
“Ciao e Benvenuti!” Benita greets fellow foodies enthusiastically as they arrive. “Hello and welcome!”
Benita herself has arrived earlier, tool kits in tow to arrange her work area ready to take an Italian cooking class in our home. As host, all I had to do was arrange the dining table and drinks for guests. Simple!
A first-generation Australian, Benita spent her childhood at her mother and grandmother’s apron strings, listening and watching as they cooked recipes handed down through generations. Later the family enjoying the food they’d prepared as it was eaten around the communal table. It was inevitable that, as a young mum herself, Benita would turn out to be a great cook.
There’s nothing quite like Italian food to make you feel like part of a group. It’s like a great big hug. Eat Italian with friends, it’s said, and you’ll stay friends for a long time.
It’s that passion that Benita is keen to share with Gold Coast foodies, her face beaming even as she carries all the equipment and ingredients into our home to hold the class.
There are several options for classes ranging from two to three courses, menus originating in three different regions of Italy: Umbria, Lazio and Abruzzo, with prices per head outlined on the Kilometre Zero website, as well as dietary adaptions available on request.
Together with a bunch of five other foodies, we’re learning the tips and tricks for cooking up an Italian feast from Umbria, including making our own pasta at home, learning how simple it is to make bruschetta (with a little trick), cooking Napoli sauce to a family recipe, and tiramisu to a recipe from the other side of Benita’s family.
It’s always the asides that make a class for me, the little tips that I haven’t known, the shortcuts or substitutions that make a dish a cut above the rest. Over three and a half hours In Benita’s class, I learn how to improve the texture of my Napoli sauce, presentation tricks for tiramisu and the pasta-making equipment that could change my life!
Following the class, Benita emails us all the recipes for the dishes we made in class, her own family classics that will soon become our own home favourites.
Passionate about her heritage, Benita leads a class full of culinary tips and family stories. Several times she tells a joke and even breaks out into song as she cooks.
Using recipes simple enough to cook easily at home, this class is a total pleasure mostly because of our teacher. Benita’s enthusiasm for making fresh, simple, delicious Italian food makes us fall in love with Italy all over again…and we don’t even have to leave home to visit.
NOTE: Class details can be found on the Kilometre Zero website.
Good Food Gold Coast dined as a guest of Kilometre Zero.