Rivoluzione Culinaria

Working fairly close to Broughton Street, I had walked past Locanda De Gusti on East London Street many times, and as an avid fan of Italian food I had always been meaning to try it, so I was very pleased when the chance to review the restaurant and the cookery school came up.

Apart from the boring home economics lessons at school I have never been taught to cook properly. My mother is a cook so I learned by osmosis from her, and my style of cooking is pretty slap dash with very few ingredients ever weighed. Trying the cookery class was such a treat, and with head chef, Rosario Sartore, in charge it was a lot of fun and I would love to go again!

Locanda means an ‘Inn’ and De Gusti means to ‘taste good food and wine’ and that is certainly what you get at the bottom of Broughton Street, in abundance!

On arrival at the restaurant we were warmly welcomed and offered a large glass of wine (not again! Ed) and we met our fellow cooks for the evening. We gathered around a table in a private part of the restaurant and set about making shortcrust pastry under Rosario’s instruction. The shortcrust pastry would later create the base for our vanilla-infused mascarpone and raspberry tart, and as a first time pastry chef, it seemed a hell of a lot easier than I thought it might be!

Next the group followed Rosario into his spotless kitchen, and watched him while he demonstrated how to make up a number of things from the menu including:-oven baked cherry tomatoes and grilled Aubergines, but with a number of tricks and tips on the way, such as NOT to use virgin olive oil for cooking – something I do, but have not done since.

We then went back to our cooking table to slice up our Sea Bass for our main course of Sea Bass, Kale and Borlotti Broth with grilled polenta and Parma ham chips. Once the Sea Bass was sliced we headed back into the kitchen for more words of wisdom from Rosario and watched him work his magic with the Polenta and broth.

It was then time to sit down and have another glass of wine and chat before serving up our starter. This was really fun! Rosario dished up his perfect looking Grilled Aubergine and Halloumi sandwich, and we had to copy it. As you can see from our photos our presentation had much to be desired but it was all in the name of fun and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

After our yummy yet simple starter we went on to dish up our main and pudding to the same format – it was a great laugh and Rosario was an exceptional host and chef.

After dinner we had a chat with Rosario who is trying to start a bit of a revolution amongst Italian restaurants in Edinburgh. He is frustrated with the amount of ‘Italian’ restaurants who serve up the anglicised pineapple pizza and creamy Carbonara – Rosario is all about authentic Italian cuisine and with such amazing fresh produce on offer in Scotland he cannot understand why more seemingly Italian restaurants do not promote more traditional food.

Locanda De Gusti can accommodate private parties for up to 30 people in their private dining area downstairs, and I would certainly recommend booking a table here to try this fabulously authentic Italian. If you fancy it why not book into the Cookery School yourself. At the time of writing there was an offer on for the cookery school for £26PP (including 3 course meal) instead of the usual £60pp – a total bargain!

Locanda De Gusti, 7 – 11 East London Street, Edinburgh  0131 558 9581

The Reporter Food reviewer, Holly Jones, is a partner in The Lifestyle Company Scotland you can follow the company and their lifestyle tips on Twitter

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