Anne's Blog

Multiple Kitchens in Fresno

Date: February 28, 2015 - categories: - Leave your thoughts

I’d never cooked in a state-of-the art kitchen surrounded by multiple work-of-art kitchens, countless bathtubs, a display of toilets – and a shower nozzle display worthy of a museum of sculptures! But Merv’s Fresno event took place in just such a setting. And how perfect to cook in a showroom kitchen like the one at Ferguson’s: why not put those kitchens to good use? And next year, we’ll be doing multiple events in central California showrooms as affirmed by Merv in his comment to me, end of class:

What a treat! You’re the best! Can’t wait til next year!” Merv

A Ferguson showroom kitchen is a perfect cooking site - and what surroundings!

A Ferguson showroom kitchen is a perfect cooking site – and what surroundings!

A Ferguson showroom kitchen is a perfect cooking site - and what surroundings!

A Ferguson showroom kitchen is a perfect cooking site – and what surroundings!

A Ferguson showroom kitchen is a perfect cooking site - and what surroundings!

A Ferguson showroom kitchen is a perfect cooking site – and what surroundings!

A Ferguson showroom kitchen is a perfect cooking site - and what surroundings!

A Ferguson showroom kitchen is a perfect cooking site – and what surroundings!

Merv gives me a showroom tour prior to our class

Merv gives me a showroom tour prior to our class

Merv proudly shows off the Italian top-design bathroom fixtures

Merv proudly shows off the Italian top-design bathroom fixtures

Meet Merv and his wonderful mother, Vivian, at 82, joining in all the cooking (not to mention dish-washing at the end – unstoppable) – and after making pizza with her great-grandson and grand-daughter!

Merv and his indefatigable mother  Vivian at the burners

Merv and his indefatigable mother Vivian at the burners

Three generations on pizza in Vivian's kitchen - before our cooking class!

Three generations on pizza in Vivian’s kitchen – before our cooking class!

Vivian was born in Bari as was Angela, often her partner at the burners. Angela had cooked all day in the wonderful Fresno deli named after her husband Sam (and now run by son Nick). And mille grazie, Nick and Angela for bringing that tempting deli antipasto platter to our Italian dinner.

Angela and Vivian - born in Bari - team on cooking at our dinner

Angela and Vivian – born in Bari – team on cooking at our dinner

NIck and his mother Angela team with other cooks - after a day at the deli

NIck and his mother Angela team with other cooks – after a day at the deli

A tempting antipasto platter from Sam's Italian Deli and Market

A tempting antipasto platter from Sam’s Italian Deli and Market

My Fresno stay started at that deli: host Merv took me there for a sandwich followed by shopping for a few items for our Italian cooking class.

"What about this wine for our class"

“What about this wine for our class”

Customers enjoy Sam's deli

Customers enjoy Sam’s deli

Merv and NIck at the deli

Merv and NIck at the deli

Shopping at Sam's Deli with Merv, prior to class

Shopping at Sam’s Deli with Merv, prior to class

…and so our Fresno class was highlighted by authentic Italian flavors, as well as seasoned Italian cooks. But not only: many thanks to each and every one of you for so enthusiastically joining in our Ferguson showroom Umbrian cooking feast.

Angela surrounded by Sonia, Stacy and Mary Ann at the buners

Angela surrounded by Sonia, Stacy and Mary Ann at the buners

Angela, more vinegar in the peppers, per favore

Angela, more vinegar in the peppers, per favore

Stacy and Betty Ann team on tiramisu

Stacy and Betty Ann team on tiramisu

Sonia and Mary Ann on tiramisu

Sonia and Mary Ann on tiramisu

Sonia, Betty Ann and Christine team

Sonia, Betty Ann and Christine team

Sonia with tiramisu

Sonia with tiramisu

Vivian slices fennel

Vivian slices fennel

Jeff digs into the bruschettta

Jeff digs into the bruschettta

…and everyone’s enthusiastic comments are so very appreciated::

“This was an amazing memorable experience. Can’t wait to do it again!” Sonia

“Thank you, Anne – what a wonderful time we had with you!” Viviian

“What a beautiful dinner. Thank you for a lovely evening.” Mary Ann

“The chicken was delicious – only surpassed by your company!” Stacey

“How fantastic that you should come to Fresno – can’t wait to visit you in Umbria!” Betty Ann

“Thank you so much for bringing Umbria to Fresno….really enjoyed your bubbly energetic personality and helping you in the kitchen….and the food was delicious…” Sonni

“What a pleasure to meet you – such a fun-filled evening of friendship and food to die for! Everything was delicious!” Dave and Christine

“you area a great host! I love the heart that you bring and tell in your stories. Dinner was fabulous and…we will be using your recipe” Jeff and Stacey

…and you can see the good times here:

Sonia, Christine and Sonni serve up the pasta

Sonia, Christine and Sonni serve up the pasta

Vivian on the fennel

Vivian on the fennel

James on the pasta

James on the pasta

Mary Ann and James serve up the pasta

Mary Ann and James serve up the pasta

Mary Ann on the bruschetta detail

Mary Ann on the bruschetta detail

Christine and Angela, cooking duo

Christine and Angela, cooking duo

Christine good job on the mushrooms

Christine good job on the mushrooms

Good times on the peppers for Mary Ann and Sonia

Good times on the peppers for Mary Ann and Sonia

Sonni at the arugula

Sonni at the arugula

Teaming with Vivian at the burners

Teaming with Vivian at the burners

Stacy and Vivian handle the bruschetta con funghi trifolati

Stacy and Vivian handle the bruschetta con funghi trifolati

The Ferguson showroom: perfect spot for an Umbrian culinary feast

The Ferguson showroom: perfect spot for an Umbrian culinary feast

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Agenzia Viaggi Stoppini in Assisi handles all technical support for my guided visits (bus transportation, organization of meals, etc)