What people are saying...
From the moment you enter the serene landscape of Jillyanna’s Woodfired Cooking School, you know you’re in for a treat. A warmer welcome I cannot remember this side of Campania. And that’s where Jill and received training from a 4th-generation Napolitano master pizzaiolo. Jill and Valerie, wrapped in cooks aprons, inspire confidence and offer succor to the most world-weary with a splash of crisp white wine and a pan of sizzling fresh mussels, hot from the wood-fired oven. Deep sighs abound.
This was only the beginning. Then, palettes teased with zucchini and gruyere pizza still warm from the conventional electric oven (“to show the difference”), I could, happily, have been transported heavenward right then and there. But the real deal was yet to come.
Invited inside the cook’s kitchen, we witnessed the birth of a masterpiece, made to look easy, resulting from 7 hours of prep before guests arrive.Plump, moist and pliable, balls of dough awaited the expert fingertip massage, forming an edge to keep sauces corralled, pushing trapped air to the outside. Then the red sauce (ohh!!!), modest spoonfuls of tomato judiciously portioned across the field of dough, with the loving collusion of fresh mozzeralla and a sprinkle of Italian sea salt from on high. Ecco fatto! A dash of semolina for flavor and glide, and into the Inferno it went!
90 seconds later (yes, NINETY!) in 850 degrees F, there emerged a sight to weaken the knees of the most stoic: a bubbling, steaming, crispy edged, tomato pizza round with soft mounds of sighing cheese! Quick to the table we went, and into the gullet the pizza was spent. The second round solicited volunteers. I went up to bat, and there in the kitchen, the earth under the feet of my culinary life shifted. Not to be undone by a ball of dough, I removed my rings and went to work under the kindly guidance of Jill’s masterful watch. A little tomato sauce, onion jam, formaggio and spec later, and the handsome pie slid into the waiting fire. 90 seconds later, we reached another level of Nirvana.
Lest I be misunderstood, let me say this: Jillyanna’s is a life-altering cooking and eating experience. This gift that awaits upwardly mobile spirits. Do not walk, RUN to make a reservation. The wood-fired inferno waits…your pizza is 90 seconds away.
–Cynthia S. Paquette
Cape Porpoise, ME
Loved it all! Very informative, fun and delicious. Especially enjoyed the wood fired oven and the beautiful property and decor… Keep offering classes! We will definitely come back! This was more fun than fine dining at a fine restaurant. We will return with our friends next time.
Learning to make real pizza was great fun. The hands-on-experience was fantastic. Loved the attention by Jill and Valerie and the shared experience with others.
I am a grandmother who has had to bite my tongue when all that my grandchildren wanted to order was pizza. I owe them an apology because I was treated to a special Jillyanna’s woodfired oven pizza. Oh my goodness, I am now a pizza convert. I was treated to not just one pizza, but two. One was made with a red sauce (best I have ever eaten) and the other was a white sauce. I asked several questions about the ingredients. Jill only uses the best cheese and ingredients. The herbs were fresh and of cousre the true test for me is the texture and taste of the dough. Jill has tested and tried several dough recipes and I can attest that all are excellent.
An appetizer of baby artichokes was a beautiful first course. the second course included two types of pizza, one vegetarian and the other crab meat and cheddar. It transported me to Naples, Italy. The finishing touch was an excellent watercress and endive salad topped with sweet zesty oranges and avocados. This was truly an evening to be remembered.
Cape Porpoise, ME