Matteo and Fiona appropriately met at a winery in Australia when Matteo was visiting the country on a working holiday visa. Fiona has long been involved in the wine industry, most recently exporting wine and Matteo was a chef from Italy. When cross cultural relationships bloom “home” always involves multiple countries. They ultimately moved to Northern Italy for a number of years before moving back to this part of Australia.
Matteo has long enjoyed preparing food; being born and raised in northern Italy he was never far from the kitchen. He remembers being introduced to the art of pasta making by his grandmother. Later he studied Food Science and Technology at college and more recently spent five years at the Academia Barilla in Parma, Italy.
Combining their wine and culinary talents Matteo and Fiona opened casacarboni in late 2011. Since then they have turned this once vacant building into one of the culinary epicenters in the small town of Angaston and a culinary destination in its own right when visiting the Barossa.
This is a small town (about 2,000 people) and the community feel is very much alive here. Friends will drop off fresh produce, farm raised animals from time to time and the Carboni’s will share some of their own products with these friends. A number of artisan producers are located nearby.
The Cooking Experience
Both an Express Class (90 minutes) and a Standard Class (3 hours) are offered. Typically the 3 hour class is offered on Saturdays where participants will have the opportunity to join Matteo at the nearby Barossa Farmers Market – where you will select fresh produce and ingredients from local farmers.
The focus here is on freshly prepared Northern Italian cuisine using locally sourced ingredients. Their particular recipes are meant to easily be made at home and do not require especially hard-to-find exotic ingredients. A recipe booklet with any dishes prepared that day is included with the admission of the class.
Returning to the kitchen you will join Matteo in cooking several dishes. He will already have some of the base ingredients prepared. This is a social experience – and guests are invited to help out as little or as much as they like. Matteo is a patient teacher and can explain the fine culinary art of how to properly use a knife, the finer nuances of salts, and certainly where to purchase a pasta roller machine (hint: his is made in Italy).
But the main thing is to have fun while cooking. As Matteo says, “cutting pasta isn’t rocket science”!
One highlight includes how to prepare pasta from scratch – this is not a quick process. It involves hand kneading the dough, letting it sit for some time, the correct way to put it through the roller and then how to cut it into the desired sizes. You will also have a hand in making dessert – one such delicacy is the delicious Bonet. You know this can’t help but be good when you see ingredients such as eggs, butter, suguar, cocoa powder and rum! Oh and the infusion of fresh rosemary during the boiling process gives this a very unique and expressive flavor.
But one of the highlights of this class is when you sit down and actually taste the efforts of your work! A table in the enoteca (in front of the kitchen) is prepared for lunch – the dishes you cooked are paired with with a European wine (and there are plenty to choose from as evidenced from all the French and Italian bottles that line parts of the enoteca).
Matteo is proud to show you the cooking implements handed down to him from his nonna (grandmother). Old knives, a broom whisk for managing flower when making ravioli and other pieces. His culinary heritage is strong and his love of working in the kitchen is clearly evident.
By car, Casacarboni is located about an hour and 15 minutes from central Adelaide. Location: 67 Murray St, Angaston SA 5353, Phone: +61 415 157 669
#ad I have been commissioned by and will be working with Tourism Australia for this program and resulting content.