The Everyday Gourmet: The Joy of Mediterranean Cooking

In partnership with
Chef Bill Briwa,
The Culinary Institute of America
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134 Reviews
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Course No. 9284
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Course Overview

Tapas. Olive oil. Clean eating. Three of the biggest trends in the world of food aren’t really trends at all—they’re hallmarks of the close-to-the-earth style of cooking known as Mediterranean cuisine.

With one foot rooted firmly in tradition and one balanced on the cutting-edge, Mediterranean cooking is both quintessentially classic and utterly contemporary. It’s one of the most flavorful, fresh, and varied cuisines in the culinary canon—not to mention one of the most healthful styles of eating in existence.

Numerous studies have demonstrated this oil-abundant diet’s power to reduce your risk for heart disease, and there’s evidence linking it with the potential to prevent diabetes and cancer as well. While such a thing as an ultimate, silver-bullet diet may not exist, the Mediterranean diet is as close as it gets. And it just so happens that it’s also simple to prepare and a pleasure to eat.

Across 16 informative, inspirational lessons, The Everyday Gourmet: The Joy of Mediterranean Cooking reveals how you can revitalize your culinary repertoire and take full advantage of the benefits of a Mediterranean diet by creating iconic regional dishes right in your own kitchen. Presented by Bill Briwa, a renowned chef-instructor at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, this course is filled with detailed demonstrations of the techniques, ingredients, and signature dishes that make Mediterranean cuisine so delectable to the palate and beneficial for your well-being. As you embark on this culinary journey through Morocco, Spain, Italy, southern France, Greece, Turkey, and Tunisia, you’ll discover a wealth of revelatory recipes to return to and a newfound knowledge of how to use Mediterranean flavors and methods in your everyday cooking.

Dish after satisfying dish, you’ll see that this healthful approach is far from a “diet” in the restrictive or temporary sense. Rather, it’s truly a way of life—and a wonderfully robust, vibrant one at that.

Tour the Mediterranean without Leaving Home

As you explore the diverse countries that make up the fabric of the Mediterranean, Chef Briwa helps you identify the common threads woven throughout. You’ll explore each culture’s cooking traditions, techniques, and ingredients, while teasing apart their flavor profiles so you can approach Mediterranean food with more understanding and confidence, no matter what your level of expertise.

Filmed at the CIA’s Greystone campus in Napa Valley, California, and featuring dozens of chef-tested recipes, these lessons teach you how to make delectable dishes and complete meals that reflect the flavors and traditions of each region.

Get clear instructions and tips for making:

  • starter soups, such as stracciatelle and avgolemeno;
  • flavorful mezze and tapas, from dolmas to flaming bartender’s chorizo;
  • bright salads made with purslane, mesclun, and other tender greens;
  • hearty main dishes, such as ricotta gnocchi, seafood tagine, and Turkish hunkar begendi; and
  • simple desserts like coffee granita and poached apricots with yogurt and pistachios.

Whether he’s demonstrating how to make pasta from scratch, temper eggs for hot yogurt soup, or fry up the perfect golden-brown falafel, Chef Briwa walks you through the entire process step by step, so there’s nothing left to the imagination. With his guidance, you’ll no longer be intimidated by any Mediterranean ingredient, be it a whole artichoke or an entire fish.

Cook Iconic Mediterranean Dishes with Authenticity

Whether you’re cooking for one, a family of four, or a dinner party of eight or more, these lessons provide an array of menu ideas to please everyone at your table. Chef Briwa introduces you to the full spectrum of Mediterranean fare, from street food to dishes worthy of a fine dining restaurant, arming you with recipes that can be quickly whipped up on a weeknight, as well as more labor-intensive dishes that are sure to impress a house full of guests.

You’ll learn how to make time-honored favorites from paella to bouillabaisse like a local, and how to work with the bevy of exotic ingredients prevalent in this rich culinary tradition.

  • Sweet spices: Cloves, ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon—spices we often relegate to holiday baking—are frequently used in savory dishes throughout North Africa.
  • Spice blends: Signature seasonings such as the za’atar, dukkah, and herbes de Provence imbue food with distinctive flavor and aroma.
  • Harissa: Hailing from Tunisia, this chili paste lends heat with rehydrated and pureed dried chilies, garlic, coriander seed, and caraway.
  • Salt cod: Popular in the south of France, Spain, Italy, and Greece, this cured fish is a uniquely Mediterranean delicacy.
  • Preserved lemons: Cut into slivers, these impart sourness in lieu of vinegar in cultures where alcohol is forbidden.

You’ll also learn the nuances of sherry and gain confidence in working with traditional Mediterranean vegetables and proteins, including lamb, poultry, and most notably fish, as this is very much a coastal cuisine.

Last, but certainly not least, is olive oil—a nutritional powerhouse you’ll learn to incorporate in everything from eggs to vegetables to a chocolate dessert.

Cook Alongside an Accomplished Chef

Taught by a culinary educator who has spent much of his illustrious three-decade career sharing his craft with audiences around the world, this course delivers a depth of instruction you can’t find in the pages of a cookbook or a superficial television demo.

You’ll feel as though you’re in the kitchen being treated to a private lesson as Chef Briwa shows you the fundamentals of cooking these iconic dishes from prep to plating, and illuminates how history has influenced the evolution of each country’s remarkable cuisine.

Whether you’re searching for culinary inspiration or a more heart-healthy way of life, look no further than The Joy of Mediterranean Cooking. From the very first lesson, you’ll be ready to start experimenting in the kitchen—and fully convinced that healthy food can be delicious food.

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16 lectures
 |  Average 34 minutes each
  • 1
    Tastes of the Mediterranean
    What is Mediterranean cooking? Start your exploration by learning to cook some of the small dishes that populate menus around the region. Watch as Chef Bill Briwa creates pinchos morunos, or skewered food in the style of the Moors; a brandade of salt cod, which is popular in many Mediterranean countries; and dolmas stuffed with rice. x
  • 2
    Butter and Cheese: Northern Italy
    Turn your attention to northern Italy, which-with its pastureland and cooler climate-has far more in common with the cuisine of northern Europe than it does with other regions of Italy. Learn to scratch make ricotta gnocchi, vitello tonnato, and tiramisu, plus a quick hors d'oeuvre that makes the most of any leftover ricotta. x
  • 3
    Classical Italian Cuisine: Central Italy
    As you move south to the milder weather of central Italy, watch a step-by-step demonstration on making pasta from scratch for a savory pappardelle with ragu Bolognese, along with a salad accompaniment of bitter greens that serves as a digestive, and a simple first course-stracciatelle soup. x
  • 4
    Bounty from the Sea: Southern Italy
    Because Italy extends into the Mediterranean, it has adopted many culinary ideas from other countries. Learn how to make one such dish: an African-inspired caponata with seared tuna rolled in spices. Also, discover how to make authentic Neapolitan pizza with a home oven and finish with a refreshing coffee granita dessert. x
  • 5
    The Everyday Joys of Olive Oil
    Olive oil is a defining element of Mediterranean food. In this lecture on the quintessential ingredient, explore its possibilities from the beginning of a meal through the end, with a salt-crusted branzino preparation, a tomato soup, and even a chocolate dessert. Discover how olive oil is made and how its flavor profile evolves. x
  • 6
    Paella: The Landscape of Spain in a Pan
    If all the tastes of Spain could be captured in a single dish, it would be paella. Learn the subtleties of cooking this national dish, which can be made with a variety of meats and vegetables. Complete the meal with a marinated olive appetizer that pairs perfectly with sherry and a roasted salad called an escalivada. x
  • 7
    A Spanish Tradition: Tapas and Sherry
    A small dish tradition exists all around the Mediterranean. Among the most well known is Spainish tapas, which you'll explore here starting with bartender's chorizo, a dish served flaming in an asador. Take a detailed look at sherry, which is central to tapas culture, and learn how to make other simple small plates. x
  • 8
    Tunisia: The Home of Harissa
    Continue to Tunisia on the North African coast for another small-plate tradition, known as mezze. After Chef Briwa demonstrates three such starters, watch as he prepares brik, a savory harissa-spiced pastry; a Tunisian tagine; and a chakchouka featuring merguez sausage-a food, along with preserved lemon, that reflects the countries Muslim faith. x
  • 9
    Technique and Polish: Mastering Moroccan Food
    While the cuisines of Morocco and Tunisia share much in common, such as using sweet spices, their differences can be striking. See how they vary, then turn your attention to making a complete Moroccan meal featuring mezze, an elaborate seven-vegetable couscous, and bisteeya, a savory pastry made with chicken. x
  • 10
    Health and Wellness: A Mediterranean Diet
    Here, Chef Briwa demonstrates dishes that underscore the health benefits of Mediterranean cooking, including fava with tomato-braised capers, a North African salmon tagine, Greek salad over barley rusks, and a date and orange salad that can be enjoyed as mezze or dessert. Get a tutorial on making preserved lemons, which are substituted for vinegar in cultures that forbid alcohol. x
  • 11
    Sharing Abundance: The Cuisine of Greece
    See how a typical Sunday dinner in Greece might look, complete with roasted chicken; a horta featuring boiled wild greens, feta, and squash blossoms; and an orzo pasta salad with lentils. But first, learn how to make a simple, five-ingredient soup known as avgolemeno, and a saganaki using Kefalotyri, a unique, non-melting cheese. x
  • 12
    Tastes from the Palace Kitchens of Istanbul
    Straddling three continents and thousands of years, Turkey is a fascinating country. Gain insight into the nation's culinary influences, then watch as Chef Briwa creates a hot yogurt soup-which uses simple ingredients but a somewhat complex technique-rice-stuffed vegetables, hunkar begendi (a lamb dish whose name means the sultanic delights, and a dessert of poached apricots with yogurt and pistachios.) x
  • 13
    A Favorite Street Food from the East
    Travel to the Eastern Mediterranean, where you'll encounter simple but delicious street food, including falafel, that has its roots in a nomadic way of life; salads featuring labne, a drained yogurt cheese; and a simple purslane salad rich in omega-3. Also, learn how to make a tabbouleh salad with bulgar wheat. x
  • 14
    Foundations from the South of France
    What is in herbes de Provence? How do you deal with a fresh artichoke? Find out in this presentation on the cooking of Provence where, unlike the rest of France, olive oil is king. Discover how to prepare a quintessentially Provencial vegetable melange, an olive tapenade, artichokes barigoule, and lamb featuring those famous herbs. x
  • 15
    Fresh Catch: Seafood of the French Riviera
    Make your way to the French Riviera for a lesson on traditional coastal cuisine. Learn how to cook the iconic, elaborate seafood dish known as bouillabaisse and a soup garnish called rouille, in addition to a fresh accompaniment salad that takes its inspiration from the mesclun mixes of days gone by. x
  • 16
    Bringing the Mediterranean Home
    Now that you've made your way around the Mediterranean, consider how what you've learned can be applied to make your cooking more satisfying. Discover new ways to incorporate olive oil, particularly at breakfast; revisit the brandade; learn how to feature the flavors of bouillabaisse in a versatile vinaigrette; and more. x

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What's Included

What Does Each Format Include?

Video DVD
Instant Video Includes:
  • Download 16 video lectures to your computer or mobile app
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
Video DVD
DVD Includes:
  • 16 lectures on 3 DVDs
  • 144-page printed course guidebook
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps

What Does The Course Guidebook Include?

Video DVD
Course Guidebook Details:
  • 144-page course synopsis
  • Full-color photographs
  • Recipes
  • Bibliography

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Your professor

Bill Briwa

About Your Professor

Bill Briwa
The Culinary Institute of America
Bill Briwa (1957–2018) was a Professor of Culinary Arts at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and worked in the hospitality industry as a professional chef and culinary instructor for more than 30 years. He was the resident chef for The Hess Collection Winery in California’s Napa Valley, the executive chef for The Wine Spectator Restaurant at the CIA at Greystone, and an officer on the board of the St. Helena...
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The Everyday Gourmet: The Joy of Mediterranean Cooking is rated 4.6 out of 5 by 138.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Mediterranean Cooking Absolutely fabulous!! Now I know how to put together the foods that I adored when I lived in Europe...!!!!
Date published: 2020-06-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I didn't want it to end! I thoroughly enjoyed the format learning about the history and climate of each region and the impact on the cuisine. The instruction gave me new techniques and a new appreciation for the regional variation of food.
Date published: 2020-06-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Yum! In these 'safer at home' times I quickly became bored the same old stuff in my pantry. Unable to wander the produce aisles and deli department of my local market for inspiration, I seemed to be losing all interest in food. Bill Briwa to the rescue! I remembered taking "Rediscovering the Lost Art of Cooking" a few years ago and how much I'd learned from the course, so when "The Joy of Mediterranean Cooking" with the same chef showed up on sale I made the purchase and am so glad I did! The very first recipe, Pinchos Morunos, had me adding spices to my Instacart order. The mouthwatering photography coupled with the casual style of Briwa and just the right amount of history, culture and variation makes another outstanding course. I live alone and have always preferred to cook at home rather than dine out, so I appreciate the elegance of the selected dishes. I have also learned to divide recipes to provide only one or two servings (thanks to Briwa encouraging students to tailor make dishes to suit the purpose) or selecting recipes that can be frozen in individual servings. By the time my section of the country opens up, I'll have practiced enough to know which dishes I do well (and taste best) and be ready to entertain again!
Date published: 2020-06-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Everyday Gourmet: The Joy of Mediterranean Coo Excellent instruction. Chef Briwa is clearly spoken and his technique makes it easy to understand.
Date published: 2020-05-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A fantastic and flavorful tour I just finished the course and can't recommend it enough. Chef Bill was a true rock star in the kitchen and I feel so privileged to still be able to learn from his amazing courses and lectures. If you want to be a better home chef, invite him into your kitchen and you won't regret it.
Date published: 2020-05-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Early days - but so much more to look forward to So far have only got to view lesson 1 of 16 but have watched that three times. I’ve also made two of the three recipes actually prepared in this first lesson. So far - totally delighted.
Date published: 2020-05-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Everyday Gourmet: the Joy of Mediterranean ... I enjoy the professor- he is witty, humorous and down-to-earth.He has a lot of great tips and tricks to cooking and my daughter and I are really enjoying the series. A great thing to share- the joy of cooking and learning.
Date published: 2020-04-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lots of information shared in an interesting way You could tell Chef Briwa is PASSIONATE about the subject of eating around the Mediterranean! Great demonstrations, accessible explanations, and lots of background information and lore to make the programs just zoom by. Well worth the investment!
Date published: 2020-04-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great reading I like reading how to do things and then watch how to do it.
Date published: 2020-03-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable, useful and educational My husband bought this as a gift for me as I love to cook. I like the DVD only with a book, because I can take notes and have the recipe in front of me for notes. I like the history behind the recipe and behind the Mediterranean diet. Good presentation by the chef as well!.
Date published: 2020-03-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from nice intro I liked the video it was excellent intro. But I really would have liked more Greek food: no slavaki, mousaka, pastio or taziki sauce? Also a list of the majority of med. spices and ingrediants to have on hand would be good as another chapter.
Date published: 2020-03-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The CIA Offers Great Instruction! The Mediterranean diet offers great taste and healthy living! Enjoy!
Date published: 2020-02-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I think the courses I bought are a great enlightenment to learning something new. I’m so happy with my purchase. The Mediterranean cooking course is amazing.
Date published: 2020-02-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Superb Quality Quality of content and videos are very impressive!
Date published: 2020-02-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Easy to understand As a Cardiovascular Nurse, I'm familiar with this diet. This book is awesome, easy to understand and ingredients are available in local super markets. Love it.
Date published: 2020-02-10
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointed I was hoping to get information about Mediterranean diets and more importantly how to prepare meals based on things most American pantries have readily available. There are some great dishes introduced but I would be at a loss to find many of the ingredients necessary to prepare them.
Date published: 2020-02-06
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Choice of recipes Would like to return this. There isn't one recipe that I will make!
Date published: 2020-02-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great chef and ideas! I wanted to know about Mediterranean cooking but had no idea of how many countries and areas were included. Now I am well versed in the types of foods considered Mediterranean and how to make them. The videos were entertaining and informative and once I started watching, I didn’t want to stop. The chef is amazing with clear demonstrations and recipes and while I won’t attempt the more complicated ones, I will certainly be making a number of them using the recipe book that came with the videos.
Date published: 2020-01-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great way to learn This course is surprising and definitely worth it. I learned so much. I wish there were 20 more CIA courses!
Date published: 2020-01-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful! I am absolutely loving this course. Lectures are informative and interesting. I am inspired to try new recipes.
Date published: 2020-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great recipes, especially for the diabetic. As a newly diagnosed diabetic, I really appreciate the wealth of information in this course. Looking forward to more healthy eating!
Date published: 2020-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another enjoyable course The food looks great and the instructor makes it look easy to do.
Date published: 2019-12-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Informative! This course was easy to follow and offered great information. I will definitely look for other courses by this instructor!
Date published: 2019-09-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Joy of Mediterranean Cooking It was great fun to watch to watch a real chef prepare foods from countries around the Mediterranean. I am not a chef so I learned so much on how to go about preparing foods. And I plan on giving the Course to my grandson who plans on being a chef.
Date published: 2019-05-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from If you know what's good for you - get this! My wife bought this course looking for an activity we could do together. We watched a couple of the lessons together & I cooked them & we loved them. Chef Bill does this extremely well. But, the phase passed and they sat on the shelf. Then my Doctor gave me a choice - try the Mediterranean diet or take drugs. Ah ha - I have a DVD on that. It was tough for me at first as this was nothing like the menu I've been producing for the family for years. I had to learn to cook all over again - new ingredients, new techniques, new flavors, new sources of carbs, protein, etc. Chef Bill walks us around the Med. region by region explaining the foundations of each region's cuisine - for example how cream and butter may reign in Paris, but as you travel South that cholesterol blast gives way to heart healthy olive oil. I'm now a big fan of fava which has become something of a staple. My "hamburger meat with a can of tomatoes" days are well and truly over and ragu is "in". My Doctor is thrilled with the results too - says I'll be feasting for years. If you've been told to try the Mediterranean diet for heart health but don't know where to start this is a MUST. If you like great food you will love this style of cooking and the results it delivers. And, once again, Chef Bill is brilliant with the instruction.
Date published: 2019-05-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Feeling skilled! I'm a busy Grandma so I'm slow to get the course finished, but it's my pleasure to take the time and grow my brain with new skills and info. My treat to myself to sit down and learn! Thanks for this opportunity.
Date published: 2019-04-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Get this This is the 2nd course I bought by this instructor. I am very happy with both of them He talks to you like a human being, explaining as he goes along. Plenty of good tips and recipes both on the disk and in the book that comes with it. If you want to broaden you skills I recommend this. Hope this helps.
Date published: 2019-04-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great course!!!!! I love cooking so this was a great course. This put some extra into my cooking.
Date published: 2019-03-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great introduction to cooking from other cultures I am debating between 4 and 5 stars for this course. I give it four stars because some of the recipes are foods I will most likely never want to try. But since I've never been to the Mediterranean, I had no idea what to expect for the cuisine over there. I would give it 5 stars for the presentations, the subject matter of the lessons, the additional information and history provided in the lessons that were interesting to learn about. If you are thinking about this course, I strongly recommend you purchase and watch The Lost Art of Cooking course first. I did buy that course and loved it. I have a separate review for that course. I found myself excited to be with Chef Briwa again for the tour of the Mediterranean cooking. I was used to his style and method of presentation through the Lost Art of Cooking course, so it made it easy to follow his presentations in this course. He covers many dishes from so many regions around the Mediterranean and gives history lessons along the way as to how the dishes came to be in the first place. It got to a point for me that I felt I had a private instructor, talking just to me and teaching me about dishes he was making. I will admit some of the dishes and ingredients are not going to be the easiest to find or make and in some cases, they didn't appeal to me. But there are numerous dishes I want to try, and more importantly, the techniques Chef Briwa teaches has taught me it's okay to not be a slave to a written recipe. It's okay to try different combinations of ingredients and expand your flavor palate. If you have gone through the Lost Art of Cooking and liked that course, then I think you will enjoy this course as well. I recommend this course especially when combined with The Lost Art of Cooking course.
Date published: 2019-03-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Just watched the first two lessons loving it so far
Date published: 2019-02-15
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