My good friend and inspiration

I met Vincenzo the summer of 2008. My friend Karin and I had signed up for a cooking class, starting at the “Il Capo” food market. Vincenzo talked about the vegetables, the fish and the Sicilian food. I felt connected, because of his enthusiasm for the fresh ingredients and the passion and understanding of the poor man’s kitchen.

At the same time, I felt he bragged about the Sicilian kitchen and the unique quality of the ingredients. I couldn’t resist challenging him to come to Norway. As a little girl I felt I had to defend the Norwegian seafood, I said: “We have just as fresh seafood in Norway! You can make exactly the same food in Norway. And you are welcome to try! Don’t tell me that Il Capo Marked in the heart of Palermo is the only place in the world that fish shines like silver!”

Vincenzo in Solund, west coast of Norway. Making Sicilian food with Norwegian fish.

Vincenzo took the challenge and came to Norway! During the time that has passed, he has run many Sicilian cooking classes in Oslo, Bergen and in Solund, and he has been in the marketing for Rema 1000 (a large Norwegian grocery shop chain), about how to make Sicilian food.

The first time Vincenzo visited Norway, my best friend Vigdis I drove with him in a small boat out in ocean,  at the west coast of Norway in the middle of the night, when the tide water was low and with a light from the boat, we picked big crabs from the seaside. During the stay we fished with our nets and picked fresh mussels.

I think I made my point. The Norwegian seafood is just as good as the Sicilian. But, I must admit, the Sicilian recipes flavored with honey, almonds, mint, pistachio, basil, pine nuts, saffron, cacao, oranges, garlic infused olive oil, capers, anchovy and tomatoes makes the seafood and vegetables even more heavenly!

Vincenzo at his cooking class in Bergen.

Would you like to attend to Vincenzo Clemente’s cooking class or book a table at his restaurant, Cin Cin in Palermo?

Read here


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