City Bites

Pasta meets philanthropy! Absinthe hosts Pasta 101

Pasta 101 was born three years ago when food blogger Anne Waters asked whether Patrick Garland, chef/owner of Absinthe, would teach her how to make tortellini. He hosted Waters and a few friends for a pay-what-you-can pasta-making session. It was a lot of fun and the chef realized that DIY lunches were a great way to raise money for charity.

Well, it’s happening again! Garland is hosting one of his much-anticipated Pasta 101 courses later this month, with proceeds going to the Parkdale Food Centre.

Patrick Garland, chef/owner of Absinthe restaurant. Photo: Justin Van Leeuwen
Patrick Garland, chef/owner of Absinthe restaurant. Photo: Justin Van Leeuwen

The scoop: For $100, Chef Patrick promises to school you in some nifty pastas that go well beyond the usual fettuccine and spaghetti and meatballs. Indeed, though he hasn’t finalized the menu, he mentioned to City Bites that he’s contemplating letting lucky participants in on the secrets of his Cannelloni al Funghi or perhaps Tortellini with Smoked Trout Mousseline.

The details: Pasta 101 will be held at Absinthe on Sunday, January 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The perks: With participation capped at 30, you’ve got front-line access to chat to (and quiz) chef Garland as he demos his pastas. You’ll enjoy cookies and tea or coffee while you get your hands dirty floury, then a full three-course meal featuring the two pastas you just helped to create. There will be dessert and wine! Added bonus: you go home with the recipes.

City Bites Hot Tip: The art of making homemade pasta is time-consuming and takes patience and practice. With that in mind, City Bites recommends stopping by Absinthe for dinner a few times after your class to truly appreciate the beauty of a well-executed pasta dish. Think of it as vital research for you own pasta-making endeavours.