Should You Take an Italian Cooking Class?

Today we’re welcoming Brian Jenkins with a guest post about a subject I know many of you are interested in — Italian cooking. Of course you can always check out my recipes, but if you’ve always wanted to perfect your Italian culinary skills but don’t have a nonna to turn to, this post is for you.

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Should You Take an Italian Cooking Class?

Are you wondering how to prepare authentic, tasty Italian dishes? Do you have a desire to do more when you make Italian food? Perhaps you have spent a long time yearning to make delicious Rollatini di Pollo served with a properly chilled bottle of Chardonnay.

Eggplants/Aubergine/Melanzane

Eggplants/Aubergine/Melanzane

There are plenty of restaurants and culinary schools offering Italian cooking courses. And no, you don’t have to be a little bit Italian to take the courses! You can have fun, improve your Italian cooking skills and enjoy some scrumptious food. Buon appetito!

Impress friends and family members by making a delicious Italian meal. No longer will your guests’ “that was delicious pasta” comment be dripping with insincerity! Well, let’s hope not.

A Google search such as “cooking courses Boston” (replace Boston with your city of residence) may just provide a few nearby restaurants that offer Italian one-day or longer cooking classes. Some of the classes teach students to make a five-course meal. Typically, students are part of a cooking team. Classes usually take two to three hours after which it’s time to enjoy a tasty Italian meal.

  • The Italian Culinary Academy, located in New York City, offers amateur and professional programs through a variety of part-time amateur night classes. The courses include two or three sessions. Attend a high quality Italian culinary school during a New York City vacation. Sell your collection of antique ascots and dine at Babbo Ristorante.
  • Cooking Vacations offers hands-on cooking classes and cultural tours in Italy’s 20 regions. Students are taught to prepare traditional Italian recipes by skilled chefs, local expert cooks, bread and pizza makers and Nonnas. The culinary holiday includes visits to markets and tours of vineyards and cultural landmarks.
  • The International Kitchen offers a variety of Italian cooking vacations. The programs combine sightseeing and cooking classes taught by expert chefs. How about making scrumptious dishes from Umbrian recipes? Your friends will be inquisitive and hopefully impressed.

If you are one of those people who have a casual interest in cooking, taking a cooking class at a local restaurant may well be the best option. Here are some restaurants that offer cooking classes for a small sampling of cities across the US:

Invest a little time and reap the rewards for the rest of your culinary life!

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Brian Jenkins writes on Cooking Schools and other topics for Braintrack.com.

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Have you ever taken a cooking class? Would you recommend it to others?

19 Beans of Wisdom to “Should You Take an Italian Cooking Class?”
  1. Gil
    09.04.2010

    Sounds good! I think I’ll head to NYC and see if they are giving out free samples…

    Haha, good luck Gil!

  2. 09.04.2010

    I say do it not to impress your friends, although that may happen, but to increase your wellness. If you just wait a bit,. I am putting together a tour in the US.

    Keep us posted, Judith! Would love to post about it here :)

  3. 09.04.2010

    I’ve done cooking courses in Thailand, Vietnam and here in Italy. All of them wonderful learning experiences. You find out much about a country and its people from its cuisine and preparation. You also see how the restrictions of a kitchen – size, equipment – can dictate the way things are prepared and enjoyed.

    And I agree with Judith on the wellness factor. Since coming here I have lost weight and felt healthier – mostly because of diet.

    For anyone interested in Italian food I suggest reading John Dickie’s Delizia! A great history of Italian food over the pat 2000 years – and a fun read as well.

    Thanks for the rec! Will look for it :)

  4. Trina
    09.04.2010

    If anyone is ever in Seattle or lives in Seattle and wants a good Italian cooking class, I hear this is the one to go to http://www.seattleslittleitaly.com/cooking_class.htm
    I have never been, but it comes highly reccomended by many Italians I know. :) I know we aren’t known for our Italian community out here, but, we have a pretty large and active one.

    Excellent, Trina…thanks!

  5. 09.04.2010

    In Los Angeles, is the fantastica Scuola di Pizza, headed up by the Amazing Nancy Silverton–who is partnered with Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich on the wonderful Mozza Pizzeria and Osteria. There are classes in pizza, pasta, mozzarella making, pig butchery…Check it out:
    http://www.mozza2go.com/calendar.cfm

    Very cool, thanks Susan!

  6. 09.04.2010

    Great post! We’ve always done a lot of cooking courses when we’ve travelled (my husband, Terence, mainly , as he’s the cook in our household – I’m the ‘tester’), and that’s one of the reasons we embarked on Grantourismo this year.

    We’ve also had some amazing experiences just being taught dishes by locals we’ve met. In Puglia, because it rained during our stay, the manager of our trullo, Maria would just come over and cook, bringing her board that she uses to make dough, enormous sacks of flour, big bunches of tomatoes… and we’d cook pasta, sauces, and pizza (we had our own pizza oven), it was amazing.

    The best Italian cooking course we’ve ever done in Italy was in Venice with Countess Enrica Rocca, which was wild – you can read about it here: http://grantourismotravels.com/2010/06/21/cooking-with-the-countess-in-venice/ Truly like no other! Highly recommend it!

    Thanks for sharing Lara!

  7. 09.04.2010

    It’s one of my dreams to take a cooking class in Italy at some point.

    It’s good to have dreams. ;-)

    Definitely Jen!

  8. 09.04.2010

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! I follow yours all the time .

    My family is from Sicily and a small town near Naples . A name soo long i never remember it . Apparently i have long distance relatives still living there.

    How i would love to live in Italy. :)

    Great to “see” you :D

  9. 09.04.2010

    Michelle – me again! I also wanted to tell you about September Grantourismo Travel/Food Blogging Competition as this month as our theme is food – we’re asking people to create a blog post (on their site) on a quintessential dish of a place. We’ve got loads of great prizes, including a stay in a holiday rental anywhere in the world, plus an Olympus camera, Context & Viator tours (including cooking courses & food & wine tours!), use of an Our Explorer guide AFAR magazine subscription. More details here: http://grantourismotravels.com/2010/09/03/grantourismo-travel-blogging-competition-september/

    Thanks Lara; will spread the word!

  10. I took a cooking class on how to make Indian food once. I went with my mother, my grandmother, and my teenaged son. It was a lot of fun and I did learn some things that I still remember now, almost 20 years later.
    I will probably never pay anyone to teach me to cook Italian food however, since I learned it from my mother, my grandmothers, my aunt and several cousins. But for those of you without the good fortune to be born in an Italian family, I’ll bet these classes are great!

    Haha, well I think it would also be interesting to go to a class in another region — my family only made Calabrian and some Napolitan food, so it’d be cool to learn some other regional specialties :)

  11. 09.05.2010

    I always wanted to go to Italy and take a cooking class. I thought that would be so much fun. I never thought about doing a class in my own town… but maybe I can pass that on to other people. Now that I’m in Italy, I do take cooking classes for free.. from my mother in law! She’s from Naples so the first thing I learned to make was Pizza! I’m having a blast learning all of her recipes and I can’t wait to pass them to my daughter!!

    Lucky you, Sonia! I’m sure your suocera is thrilled as well :)

  12. 09.07.2010

    Yes! I’m so pleased with just the basic homemade pasta, ragu, and Tuscan Cuisine skills I picked up in some classes in Florence last year. I believe there’s always something to learn if you adore making Italian meals in your own kitchen.

    Completely agree, Valerie; thanks for commenting!

  13. I need to take Italian cooking class because I am going to marry an Italian guy that I really really love. I will serve him with food that he usually eat. Your blog is inspiring. =) I love it.

    Aw thanks Hannah! Good luck!

  14. I would say that the beauty of attending an Italian cooking class is that, through the cuisine, you also learn so much about the Italian culture, history and traditions.
    The Italian cuisine changes completely from region to region (we have 20 regions!) because of the different history or dominations; but each regional cuisine is so interesting and wonderful!
    During our cooking classes in Puglia for example, we show all the many influences that our cuisine had because of the many different dominations: the Greeks, Romans, French, Spanish, Turks etc. And I think this is part of the beauty of our Italian cuisine.

    Thanks for commenting Cinzia; I’m thinking of doing a series on some of the fabulous cooking schools here in Italy :)

  15. Mary Floridia-Rankin
    09.10.2010

    Next weekend, I’ll be attending a cooking class near San Francisco and I’ll be learning preserving vegetables the Calabrian way plus some other delicious meals from that region. My aunt who was of Calabrian descent told me about her father who preserved his peppers in oil which intrigued me so when I saw this class, I knew I wanted to know more.

    Your blog was just in time….

    Mary

    Very cool, Mary! Thanks for sharing :)

  16. 09.10.2010

    Before I opened my cooking school in Florence, I always tried to take a cooking class where ever I traveled, as an insight into the culture of where I was visiting and to bring home some of the “Flavors” I was experiencing.

    The best gift one can give is to cook for someone and tell tales of your trip over a nice dinner with food and wine.

    Now it is so much easier to find these classes at all levels- and there is something for everyone!

    Not only while traveling outside the USA- As mentioned above, usually your local cooking school will have guest chefs, from all over the USA and world coming to share recipes.
    In Italy they say” A Tavola non si invecchia” – One doesn’t age at the table!
    Stay young– COOK!

    *Excellent* advice, Judy; thanks for sharing :)

Michelle FabioMichelle Fabio is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer living in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy and savoring simplicity one sip at a time.

 
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Recipes

 

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