Sunday, September 09, 2012

Alio Restaurant, Surry Hills

I continue my quest to move beyond cooking toast for dinner and enrol in a cooking class at Alio Restaurant in Surry Hills with VegeTARArian. Well, Tara enrolled us...but I went with her. And it was FUN! And I learnt...stuff. Stuff about cooking.

The class is run by Chef Dan and Tracy (one of the co-owners). They have a great rapport and their fun banter throughout the night gives me an idea of what it would be like to work in a professional kitchen.

Alio has a dedicated area in the  downstairs of their restaurant just for the cooking classes.  It's a great space - a large workbench + stovetop with enough room for us all to comformably sit around and watch the saucepan action.  At the back of the room there are communal tables where we get to enjoy the spoils of Dan and Tracy's hard work.

I LOVE demonstration style workshops so this style of learning suited me down to a tee.  Dan and Stacy were making us a full-on Italian Feast and I probably won't attempt to make everything from the class at home, but I was REALLY surprised at how EASY the Focaccia Bread was to make.  I had no idea making bread could be so simple...and it was incredibly delicious. The warmed olives were another simple dish - something I love eating and that would be super easy to whip up at home. And the Witlof Salad with Persian Feta + Pears...hello my new favourite salad! 

And the stuff I wouldn't make at home because I value my mental health too much?  

Risotto. I've tried to make stove-top risotto before and these guys made it look easy, but it just never ends well for me.  I cheat and add ALL the stock then bake it in the oven until it is Risotto-like. The homemade pasta was DELICIOUS, but seemed like a lot of work...maybe one day. Maybe.

The simple tomato sauce that accompanied the pasta was amazing, really easy so I'll be giving this (or something like it) a whirl at home. And the was beyond delicious. It's converted me to really enjoying this as a dessert...which is major as I've never enjoyed it in the past. Will I make it home? Nope - I'm giong to come back to Alio and eat here.

Alio is at 5 Baptist Street, Redfern.  Phone them on 8394 9368.

Alio on Urbanspoon


  1. Yum! The mushroom risotto was amaze! Loved the foccacia too

  2. Looks like a yummy class. I love italian tomato sauces for pasta. The best and so simple to make

  3. Hehehe. I'm a risotto cheater too.... Mine goes in the rice cooker. ;)

  4. Looks like so much fun! I love cooking classes - so fun to learn new recipes to try out at home..and you can't go wrong with a tasty looking Italian feast like that :)

  5. i absolutely love their focaccia bread! really enjoyed their class!

  6. Would love to make that pasta and risotto! I'm guessing Ashley was busy that day?

  7. Sounds like a lot of fun Miss Piggy and the food looks and sounds delicious!

  8. That's great that they have a dedicated area for cooking classes there! :D

  9. Can't wait to try this class! I pass Alio all the time but never knew they had cooking classes.

  10. Did you get to cook whilst there as well?
    Looks delicious! I find risotto so hard to make as well all the time. It never tastes that nice :(


  11. I am still perfecting my risotto (stove top), I really should give the oven style one a go :) Nice that they have the dedicated area, well set up.

  12. Yum! This all looks delicious. I love cooking classes and this one looks scrumptious. I've never bothered making risotto, but I love your cheat method, hehe.

  13. I think that one day to make pasta is soon Mel! You can do it!

  14. Alio has been on my list for ages.. how fun doing a cooking class there! The pasta looks awesome. Making me hungry...

  15. Thanks for your comments everyone!

    Mary - I've never cooked risotto in the rice cooker...I should give that a try!

    Raff - I hope that I can do it too. Watch this space!

    Excuse Me Waiter - nope, no cooking. Just watching during this class (and eating = the best part).

    Annie - I think Ashely might have been overseas when we did this class.

  16. Weird. A colleague at work just mentioned yesterday that he'd signed up for a class at Alio. I love it when new places pop onto your radar like that. Sounds like a good class. I, too, tend to go do classes and never make any of things i learnt there ... but return to dine at the scene of the crime. Great post. Thanks for sharing.


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