The hosting chef
The hosting chef
New and exciting truffle dishes will be prepared by Italian cooking’s promises together with a local top Chef from the restaurant which hosts the event.
Chef Trattoria Mollie
Mollie Ahlstrand was born and raised in Mekele, a small town in northern Ethiopia. Italian cultural influence is in evidence in most of this country because of the extended occupation and in migration of Italians, so it isn’t all that unusual for an Ethiopian with an interest in things Italian to seek a career in Italian cuisine. She trained with the well known chef Gianfranco Vissani whose restaurant in Braschi has the highest rating in La Guide De l’Espresso the Italian Michelin style guide. In Roma Mollie trained at Arturo’s restaurant on the Aurelia Antica, near the Vatican Colleges. Her pasta education comes from the intensive training in Bologna with Chef Roberta, she also trained in Padova where has learned to prepare the Ciabatta bread that was first developed there over 100 years ago, and she bake fresh for her diners every day.
“I want to share my knowledge of cooking as I observed in my training of how Italians eat and enjoy their meals gathering all together around the table sharing daily life conversations. My approach to cooking is similar to my approach to life. Keep it simple, eat only fresh foods, and balance my diet with an emphasis on fresh, organic vegetables with protein coming mostly from wild caught fish. Italian cuisine is a well rounded diet regime, and being bordered on three sides by the sea, it has many interesting and tasty ways to prepare fish. Pasta is a staple in the Italian diet, but is rarely eaten as the sole dish in the meal. There are numerous varieties of pasta and the sauces to accompany it, but should only be a part of the meal. Small portions, fresh foods and simple preparation are my guide to good eating. In my restaurant, Trattoria Mollie in Santa Barbara, CA, the diner will always find fresh and simple classic Italian cuisine.
I have been a guest chef for Grand Hyatt Hotels two times in Hong Kong and once in Dubai, UAE. And in West Palm Beach, Florida at the 2007 Internal Polo Convention this May. In 2008 I have been invited as guest chef and cooking instructor on the cruise ship Silversea on the Mediterranean.”