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Valentino Pasta

The Black Belt Lessons

Maybe it’s because I just watched my 6yo son get his Gold Belt, or the countless episodes of Kung Fu Panda I’ve watched On Demand but I have martial arts on the brain right now. The commitment, skill and discipline to achieve such a goal is impressive if your name isn’t Po. Can I really relate pasta making with the years it takes to become a black belt? Lol, I suppose not…interesting title though so I’ll keep it. Pasta Ninja-whiiTTaa!!

Since December I can’t tell you how many pounds of pasta I have made. Most of them leading to just one other small piece of info but still overall failures. The weather affects how the flour absorbs water. The type of grain affects how it’s dried. Blah. Blah Blah. It would have been so much easier to make a mediocre dried pasta, but that’s not what we set out to do. Well, good news is, that I have learned so much in the last three months that this last batch dried perfectly and looked great in my opinion! When I cooked some of it, I felt that great texture I was looking for and was very happy…I am ready.

Tomorrow I head to Oakland, Ca for the week to work with two amazing pasta makers from Italy. They are making great pasta with great ingredients and grains just as I want to do. They have trained with the best pasta makers in Italy. Small true artisan companies that have been around for over 100 years in some cases.  They have graciously agreed to teach me some of what they learned. I’m hoping these will be my black belt lessons. I hope I have gotten enough understanding that I can take that quantum leap in my skills.

I know it has taken longer than I originally anticipated to be in production, and selling pasta. This, I believe is the final push. Wish me luck.

7 Responses to “The Black Belt Lessons”

Author comments are in a darker gray color for you to easily identify the posts author in the comments

  1. Traci Hanke says:

    Good luck in California, Jeff! We are so excited for you!

  2. Neva says:

    This is so exciting! You are truly blessed not just with your talent but with these great people willing to share with you! I’m so excited for you…I have sooo many customers waiting to try your pasta…so GO MAKE THE PASTA, honey! Good luck, be safe…I love you, Mom

  3. Marsha says:

    I love that you’ve posted this from the leaping-off point, career voyeur that I am. I’m wishing you much success and have a feeling that you’re going to do REALLY well. The proof’s in the pasta. Delicious.

  4. Jeff says:

    I’m the same way. I figured it would be fun to look back on some day. Im excited to see what the future holds!

  5. Jay Killeen says:

    I hope the training you went through turned out well. I don’t think it is so silly to think that applying the lessons of a martial artist to making pasta would be effective. The shared skills included practicing a process, understanding the variables the influence performance and also implementing this with the passion and energy so that it reflects who you are.

    It is why people much rather home made food than something developed on a production line.

    Pasta making, like studying the martial arts, is a skill acquired through perseverance and refined through dedication to perfection.

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