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Italian Cooking With Silvia Cianci

Updated on January 23, 2019
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Silvia Cianci is an Italian Corporate Executive Chef, cooking her Mediterranean recipes and sharing healthy eating with all of America.

Italian & Mediterranean Cooking At Its Best!

One of the great undiscovered talents in the cooking world, Italian born Silvia Cianci, is getting ready to spread her wings. She has had several opportunities to show her talents publicly by placing high within several cooking competitions. She won the 2009 People's Choice Award in the St. Louis Kargill Taste of Elegance pork cooking competition, and was one of three finalists, out of 16,000 submissions, in the 2010 5th Annual Cavit Gourmet Pizza Classic competition hosted by Bon Appetite in New York. Now, she is taking on her latest venture by sharing her Italian & Mediterranean cooking skills and knowledge across social networks and the internet.

Abruzzo born and bred, from her hometown of Lanciano, Silvia began her cooking education at a very young age - cooking with her Nona (grandmother) in the kitchen after grade school. Then, as she grew older and her parents began traveling more and more, she found herself enamored by all of the different flavors and dishes that she was exposed to in other regions of Italy, as well as within other countries in the Mediterranean. She continued exploring these flavor profile intricacies and similarities into adulthood, where she finally began looking at cooking as a profession instead of just as a passion. She cooked in the kitchens of Italy, and then migrated here to the U.S. at the age of 27. The United States began to expand Silvia's education to include American cuisine as well as other cooking methodologies and techniques which are popular here in the U.S.

Silvia continues to educate herself and to grow professionally by studying the writings and methodologies of some of the top chefs in the industry, as well as traveling back to Italy each and every year to keep herself in touch with her roots within Italian cuisine. Now, she begins a new venture that will take her even further and will allow the rest of America, and possibly the world, to come with her.

Showing How Much Fun Cooking Can Be!
Showing How Much Fun Cooking Can Be!

Cooking is a Passion!

Cooking is an art form, there is no doubt about it. However, unlike painting or sculpture, with enough study, practice, and effort, everyone can learn how to do it well. I'm not saying that all of you can be amazing Chef's. However, I'm saying that all of you can become talented cooks - you just have to reach your full potential.

Just like any other art form, cooking requires passion. If you don't love to cook, or at least enjoy learning new things, then you will not enjoy doing it. However, as any golfer can tell you, sometimes it takes that one perfect execution to begin fueling a desire to come back. It is that one success that begins to fire up a passion inside of you, and sometimes achieving that success is the most difficult step.

So, I have now taken it upon myself to not only help you to achieve that very first cooking success, but to continue doing so again and again. I will show you how to cook a specific dish with each video, or how to conduct one cooking preparatory task properly. This will allow you to learn cooking techniques properly, and to build your cooking knowledge until you can rely upon your own cooking instincts. I was born with it, and now will share it with you!


Cooking With the Right Tools - Pans

Cooking with the right tools starts with having the right pans. This isn't negotiable. If you want a consistent level of heat across the entire surface of the pan, you have to invest in a nice set of pans. I recommend All-Clad, as they are the best professional grade pan you can find. I use them at work and at home, and I haven't looked back at any other manufacturer in years! You definitely will expand your collection later on, depending upon what you like to cook and what you want to learn how to cook. Eventually, you'll need a good cast-iron skillet, perhaps some crepe pans, and maybe even a griddle. However, for now, you want to focus on a nice set of pans that will allow you to make sauces, boil pasta, blanche vegetables, and cook a really good cut of beef. Remember, there is no substitute for a high quality pan when it comes to cooking.

Cleaning and care is important as well. Always wash them by hand, using Dawn or Palmolive dish soap. Also, wash them as quickly as you can to keep food particles from staying in the pan for too long. You can wait until after the meal to clean up if needed, but try to put some water in the pan to keep the food from hardening in place. This minimizes scrubbing, which also extends the life of your pans - especially non-stick pans. Never accidentally leave the flame on beneath an empty pan. Superheating the pan can damage it, and you want to cook the food - not the pan.


Cooking With the Right Tools - Utensils

The right utensils for any cooking starts right here. You want the best utensils for the job, and ones that will last. Depending upon whether you have non-stick All-Clad pans or not, you will want to use the right tools. Do not use metal utensils on a non-stick pan. Always use non-stick utensils with a non-stick pan. Otherwise, the metal utensils will scratch or damage the non-stick surface, and your worthwhile investment will be very short-lived. Treat these high quality products as they deserve to be treated, like an expensive car or piece of expensive jewelry, and they will last you forever.

Cleaning and care is important as well. Always wash them by hand, using Dawn or Palmolive dish soap. Also, wash them as quickly as you can to keep food particles from staying on them for too long. You can wait until after the meal to clean up if needed, but try to soak them in water to keep the food from hardening in place. This minimizes scrubbing, which also extends the life of your utensils - especially non-stick ones. Drying by hand is recommended, as water can contain acids or cause oxidation upon your metal utensils.


Cooking With the Right Tools - Bowls & More

Remember when your mother made you wash her plastic mixing bowls? Everyone had them, after plastics became all of the rage - and they were lighter and cheaper than glass mixing bowls. However, now we know that over time plastic degrades and (sometimes) can release harmful chemicals as they do so. You do NOT want to put this into your body! So, my recommendation is that you buy yourself a nice set of glass mixing bowls, or a high end set of stainless steel mixing bowls. You cannot find a replacement for quality when it comes to cooking ingredients and the tools that you use while you're cooking.

Cheap tools and ingredients reflect in your cooking. If you're cooking, and you're cooking with a worn or low quality utensil... you're thinking about that the entire time that you're using it. Having your mind distracted by negative thoughts about your ingredients or your tools will impact the quality of your work. It's the same concept of someone working in an office that is messy with a low quality computer, or a person working in a clean office with a high quality computer. Which one do you think is more productive and produces higher quality work?


The Cooking Mindset

Have your mind set in the right place is essential regarding the quality of your outcome. If you're stressed and distracted from what you're doing, you will make mistakes and it will reflect in the final result of your dish. Whatever you day, whatever happened, you must push it outside of your head when you're in the kitchen. Instead, you need to focus on your cooking plan, your ingredients, and your methods. You want to be extremely focus on how you treat your ingredients, what order you perform the steps of the various dishes you are preparing, and upon the quality of the execution of each step. You want to bring your "A" game in everything that you do, so that when you are looking at each completed dish you know that you did each step correctly.

If you're learning to make a dish, or to perform a specific method required within the preparation of a new dish, 99% of the time you won't get it right the first time. This is when you reflect upon each step and each method to see if you can improve upon yourself and and every time you make the dish or execute the method. However, as you're proficiency grows, both in method and in execution, you will simply find yourself admiring your work. I can tell you, there is no better feeling than seeing the eyes of your family and guests light up whenever you serve them an amazing dish.

© 2010 PrometheusIV


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