Great Italian Chefs: Costardi Brothers’ risotto master class

Costardi Brothers’ risotto master class at Food at 52

I love rice and very often have it with my meals. It is just the way I was brought up in Brazil. We have rice all the time every day. One of the tastier Italian rice recipes has to be risotto. The Italians know how to make it special, half the rice grown in the country used in this famous dish comes from Piedmont.

The Costardi Brothers, Manuel and Christian,  run one of the most successful risotterias at their family Hotel Cinzia in Vercelli in Piedmont. You heard right! a restaurant where they specialised in risottos – how cool is that? I never heard of it before but I am longing to go now. The restaurant offers fine dining with over 20 risottos on their menu. That’s a lot of rice creativity.

Costardi Brothers in action

Christian is in charge of savoury dishes and Manuel (Manu) is in charge of desserts.  At their master class in London, they showed us how to make THE perfect risotto using the most in vogue pairing at the moment coffee and cheese,  and a demo of their star dessert – Meringata, or meringue 2.0 – what a show stopper and delicious too!

The brothers are featured on The Great Italian Chefs site which have lots of delicious recipes where you can have a go and be an Italian masterchef without leaving the house! 

Coffee and Parmesan cream risotto recipe by The Costardi Brothers

serves: 6 (starter)
    350g of carnaroli risotto rice
    1/2 carrot, chopped
    1/2 onion, chopped
    1/2 stick of celery, chopped
    1l hot water
    40g of butter
    30g of grated Parmesan or Grana Padano
    Lavazza Kafa Forest Coffee, to serve
    Sarawak black pepper

Parmesan cream
    150g of Parmesan, grated
    75g of cream

Beer reduction
    750ml of lager beer

Start by making a vegetable stock for the risotto. Place the chopped carrot, celery and onion in a large pan and cover with the hot water. Place over low heat and leave to simmer gently for 4 hours. Note that the onion was chopped in half and left to caramelised in a heavy bottomed pan/ for about 10 minutes and then added to the stock.

Meanwhile, prepare the beer reduction. Pour the beer into a large pan and place over high heat. Allow to cook until thickened and reduced by half, it takes about 10-15 minutes,  then remove from the heat and set aside until ready to serve

When the stock has about 30 minutes cooking time remaining, start the Parmesan cream. Pour the cream into a pan and stir in the Parmesan. Place over a very low heat and gently cook, occasionally stirring, for 30 minutes until thick and creamy

Strain the stock and discard the vegetables, keeping both the stock and Parmesan cream warm while you start the risotto. Heat a large pan over a medium heat, add the rice, note: not oil added! –  and toast for 2–3 minutes, stirring constantly to ensure the rice doesn’t catch or burn. The reason for toasting the rice is the heat starts to open each grain making easier to cook.

Season the rice with a little salt and gradually start adding in the hot vegetable stock, a little at a time, stirring continuously until the rice has cooked through and become creamy in texture – this should take 15–20 minutes

Near the end of this cooking time, remove the rice from the heat,  add the butter and grated pecorino cheese, the risotto becomes rich and glossy -mix well until fully combined. Add the warm Parmesan cream to the risotto mixture and stir well again.

 Add a pinch of Sarawak pepper and check the seasoning, adjusting if required

To serve, divide the risotto between serving bowls and swirl over the reserved beer reduction. Finish with a good sprinkle of the ground coffee and serve immediately

Coffee and Parmesan cream risotto recipe by The Costardi Brothers

The recipe for the meringue 2.0 can be found at GreatItalianChefs site.  For more on this event go to @Cooksisterblog lovely write p and fab pictures

 Here is the spectacular demo:
making ice cream with liquid nitrogen

meringue 2.0

meringue 2.0
Until next time why not join me on  InstagramTwitter, Facebook and Pinterest…X

I was a guest of Great Italian Chefs at this event. All views are my own .



  1. Rebecca Smith
    February 14, 2016 / 10:18 pm

    Sounds like a fantastic masterclass. May have to try the recipes

  2. February 14, 2016 / 10:45 pm

    Rebecca it was great fun a very insightful Rx

  3. My Life As A Mummy
    February 14, 2016 / 10:48 pm

    What a fantastic event! Although I am not a fan of coffee, the risotto sounds lovely!

    Laura x x x

  4. ana de jesus
    February 15, 2016 / 8:09 am

    Looking delicious! What a fun masterclass to be part of I might look for one myself.

  5. Rhian Westbury
    February 15, 2016 / 10:17 am

    Wow a restaurant just for risotto, that's a lot of choice! Looks like a great masterclass x

  6. Dannii Martin
    February 15, 2016 / 10:41 am

    I love the photo of everyone on their phones haha.
    Coffee in risotto is really interesting, and not something I would have thought of.

  7. Pasta Bites
    February 15, 2016 / 10:46 am

    What a fun event!

  8. Sarah Montgomery
    February 15, 2016 / 11:54 am

    Sounds fabulous! Love to go to a masterclass like this. 🙂

  9. Lynette Hammond
    February 15, 2016 / 3:51 pm

    Looks like a great experience and sounds like a delicious recipe. I am not a natural cook so I think a master class could be useful!

  10. Zoe Lester
    February 15, 2016 / 4:38 pm

    Looks like a lovely experience was had. Sounds delicious too.

  11. Mandi Morrison
    February 15, 2016 / 4:56 pm

    Sounds like a great time was had, the risotto sounds lovely and the photos look delicious!

  12. Leanne Dolan
    February 15, 2016 / 6:08 pm

    This looks and sounds like it was a great workshop. I'd love to go to something like this!

  13. February 15, 2016 / 6:10 pm

    That is such a cool process! The risotto definitely looks delicious!

  14. Nayna Kanabar
    February 15, 2016 / 6:15 pm

    What a lovely interactive and interesting master class.

  15. Stressed Mum
    February 15, 2016 / 7:09 pm

    It sounds and looks like an amazing experience, I love risotto, never heard of coffee in it before x

  16. Emma White
    February 15, 2016 / 7:11 pm

    oh wow this sounds and looks totally amazing my mouth is watering

  17. Jenny - Monkey and Mouse
    February 15, 2016 / 9:47 pm

    Wow, this looks great and fantastic masterclass. I love risotto. :)x

  18. Stella Olojola
    February 16, 2016 / 9:37 am

    Looks like you had a great time learning. Amazing.

  19. February 16, 2016 / 9:48 am

    Wow, a risotto restaurant! Now this sounds like my kinda place!:)

  20. Rachael Phillips
    February 16, 2016 / 10:06 am

    because he's vegetarian my boyfriend has a real downer on risotto (because it's the only dish ever to be offered) but i love it and a masterclass in it is just up my street. looks amazingXX

  21. February 16, 2016 / 2:29 pm

    This looks such an amazing experience – I love Italian food and would love to try proper Risotto. Great post and photos. Kaz x

  22. Catstello
    February 16, 2016 / 4:18 pm

    This looks + sounds so amazing!

  23. Melissa Zia
    February 17, 2016 / 12:42 am

    Wow this looks like an amazing masterclass! The ice cream looks lovely 🙂

  24. Idaintyit
    February 17, 2016 / 8:54 am

    Looks like a fab place! I some great recipes, thanks for sharing

  25. Tanya
    February 17, 2016 / 10:44 am

    This looks absolutely gorgeous, as do both the chefs! i adore risotto but would never think of putting coffee in it! Thank you x

  26. beautyqueenuk
    February 17, 2016 / 11:52 am

    What a fun masterclass to be part of and the food looks just amazing x

  27. February 17, 2016 / 3:41 pm

    What a fabulous masterclass, it must have been great to attend. I love the photos. GG

  28. Mellissa Williams
    February 19, 2016 / 2:01 pm

    What an interesting class. I would love to try a cookery masterclass as you learn so many new things. I would never have thought of adding coffee!