Old Hens and a Young Rooster at a New York class (Mar 13, 2013)

March 16, 2013

All ages came together at our Long Island cooking class, hosted by Mickie - and what a way to re-unite! (Mickie, husband Jeff and their four wonderful children had toured with me in Umbria - in blazing summer heat but those children so attentive to every word). Mickie and family had lived in Florence for two years and their love of Italy and its flavors lingers: in fact, the children (and lots of their friends) were in the kitchen to taste-test our dishes! (Empty plates were the approval indicator). read more...

A Musical Dessert at a Connecticut Class (Mar 10, 2013)

March 15, 2013

Friend Laura did not "sing for her supper" at our Gourmet Galley Catering cooking class in Connecticut but she sang for her dessert (sort of). While finalizing all with host Mary for the class at daughter Anna's catering kitchen, I proposed inviting Connecticut friend and opera singer, Laura, to add an Italian musical note as a surprise for the students. Both Anna and Mary were enthused - and so were the students when Laura topped off our Italian feast by bringing us to Italy through her bellissime songs. read more...

“The Stuff That Binds” in Dallas (Mar 4, 2013)

March 11, 2013

"Thank you for such fun cooking classes in Dallas. Annie, you are the stuff that binds (all of us)," wrote Jon, my Rome junior-year-abroad friend, after this year's third (and final - for 2013) Dallas cooking class. Jon, your words touched me..but hold on: cooking together, too, links, binds, ties, connects. People of all ages, all backgrounds form bonds, group together as feasts come together. read more

A Dallas Culinary Reunion (Mar 3, 2013)

March 6, 2013

Julie and Jo, so good to connect once again over the burners! Can it be four years ago since Julie's cooking class (with Jo as guest)? Jo, thanks for opening your door this time - and kitchen cupboards, fridge and oven! - to an enthusiastic group (everyone bubbling away as they cooked, like that chicken simmering on the stove). Jon, mille graze to you, too - not just for acting gamely as sous-chef for three Dallas classes - but also for having me in your home, for getting me to classes (and not only) during my memorable Dallas stay. (Over forty-five years after our junior year-abroad in Rome, Italian food is still a part of our lives, vero? Now we're cooking it together!) read more...

A Family Connects While Cooking – and Not Only… (Mar 2, 2013)

March 6, 2013

An early-March Lantana, Texas brought together an entire family, everyone connecting in a "culinary" way this time as they prepared our feast. Linda and John, happy to reunite with you about three years after our lunch together in our Assisi farmhouse - and over food once again. Such a pleasure to cook with all your family and thanks so much for including an old friend of mine, Jon: we'd studied together in Rome, junior-year abroad, 1968 - '69. Logicamente, neither of us could have imagined that we'd be celebrating Italy and Italian flavors over forty-five years later in a Texas kitchen. Che bello! read more...

Umbrian Rural Friends Highlight a Colorado Feast (Feb 28, 2013)

March 4, 2013

"A picture is worth a thousand words", the saying goes. Jackie and Gina proved it: a display of their Rural Life Revisited tour photos (last October with me in Umbria) launched their Parker CO cooking class. Hostess Jackie talked about their " unforgettable day" with our rural neighbors, backdropped by the photos of our farm friends. Her talk made me feel like I was back in Umbria again while introducing our group to the goodness of our region and to the people who cook the goodness. read more...

Taking the Lid Right Off in Denver (Feb 26, 2013)

March 4, 2013

Every US winter class (and there have been many for the past 15 years) has been a joyous event, bringing people together while slicing and dicing. Many events have had memorable moments but a Denver class gran finale was a "first": we ended up outdoors in the snow, trying to get a stubborn lid off a pan! read more...

Jordie’s Addition to a Denver Feast (Feb 25, 2013)

February 27, 2013

Young Jordie picked me up in Denver and on the drive to his family home for our class, his enthusiasm for cooking and Italian food prefaced a great night ahead. Mom Therese welcomed me to their home and Jordie and I set to setting out foods, pots and pans, cutting boards - and soon the guests started to arrive. The recipes called for a winter squash/sage pasta but shopper Jordie had found summer squash and zucchini and not the winter squash. Allora... read more...