October 26, 2017


Cooks in Case Italian Pop-Up returns to Kitchen Garden Café

Fans of authentic Southern Italian home cooking will be excited to hear that Cooks in Case (www.cooksincase.com) return to Kitchen Garden Café in Kings Heath with their third pop-up event ‘A CASA’ from Thursday 30 November to Saturday 2 December.  Flying in to Birmingham from their home towns of Bari and Locorotondo, Monica and Valentina will be cooking specialities from the region of Puglia for three nights, and the new Autumn menu promises tempting smoky flavours and comforting treats, perfect to warm up the chilly autumn evenings.

The Menu

The evening includes a delicious four course menu featuring recipes that have been passed down through generations.  The cooking in Southern Italy is characterised by simple dishes and high quality, fresh, seasonal ingredients.  The ticket price of £35 a head also includes a chef’s surprise taster of the day (this time with a Bari street food theme) and a generous welcome aperitivo with olives and taralli.

Highlights of the new menu include; on Thursday and Saturday La Genovese, deliciously tender slow-cooked beef served with onion reduction and rosemary oven potatoes, pasta al forno (oven baked pasta) with mortadella cured pork sausage, tomato and scamorza cheese and a healthy and traditional seasonal favourite of lentils and rice flavoured with bay leaf, tomato, garlic and chilli.

Friday’s menu includes a tasty salmon and courgette lasagne and a beautiful dish of stuffed cuttlefish, a typical dish in Bari, the port city known as the city of fishermen (città dei pescatori).   Valentina will be cooking her father’s recipe of pollo stufato con prugne, chicken stew richly flavoured with prunes, cinnamon and onion.  All three evenings vegetarians can enjoy a Bari Vecchia (Old Town) classic, a creamy potato gratin stuffed with herby garlic mushrooms, finished with a breadcrumb and parmesan crust.  On Friday the veggie primo is a rustic timballo (pasta bake) of butternut squash, walnut, smoked scamorza and pecorino with a béchamel sauce. 

One of the most popular features of A CASA’s previous menus has been an antipasto of the exquisite burrata cheese (the creamy cousin of mozzarella) and this Autumn it will be returning, once again from the same small supplier in Puglia.  This time it’s served with an exquisite cherry tomato confit and rosemary focaccia (Thurs & Sat), or caramelised onion and a tomato focaccia (Fri).

What is Cooks in Case?

The Bari and Birmingham venture Cooks in Case is a collaboration between Birmingham arts producer Judy Owen and her partners Monica Contini and Valentina Comunale who live in Puglia, all of whom share a passion for the region’s culture and in particular its superb cuisine.  A CASA is a sensual experience allowing diners to enjoy the tastes, aromas and sounds of Southern Italy in the buzzing and warm atmosphere of a family-run trattoria.

Judy Owen spoke on Cooks in Case’s return to Kings Heath and what those attending the event can expect from the event;

“We are delighted to be returning to Kings Heath with home cooked traditional specialities from the beautiful Italian region of Puglia.  We would love diners in the city to experience the true flavours and atmosphere of Southern Italy, and hope we can add to the rich and varied foodie scene in Brum with our authentic alternative to the chain pizzerias that proliferate in the city centre.   A CASA offers a chance for people to come together to linger over simple pleasures: great food, great wine and great company.”

Monica Contini explained what Cook in Case’s means to her and how happy she is to be working with Kitchen Garden Café again;

“Cooking is our passion. We love to introduce to English diners, dishes that we learnt to cook from our fathers, our mothers and our grandmothers, as well as some excellent wines from our region.  We are so happy to be able to collaborate with Kitchen Garden Café in Kings Heath.  With its warm, rustic and informal atmosphere and magical courtyard filled with plants and fairy lights, it is the perfect place for us to create a little corner of Puglia in Birmingham”.

Event Info

To find out more about A CASA and get all the information you need about this wonderful evening of Southern Italian flavours, aromas and warm hospitality check out the event here or visit Cooks In Case’s Facebook or Twitter. Make sure you take a look at the amazing venue of Kitchen Garden Café on their Facebook and website

To book and for menus and more information please contact Judy:

info@cooksincase.com   Tel. 07984 803175