for those who burn to learn


Jan 2016

Jillyanna’s Featured in Yankee Magazine

Posted by / in Into the Fire Blog, Press & News /

Find Jillyanna’s in this month’s (January/February) Yankee Magazine! We are featured in the the Guide to Simple Living section underneath Open Hearth Cooking.

Read an excerpt below and be sure to pick up the issue on newsstands!

I knew I wanted to do something surrounded by fire and gardens, says Jill Strauss, a former schoolteacher and Johnson & Wales culinary grad.

“It engages all the senses.” Classes, which tend to run three to four hours, are held May through December in Strauss’s kitchen and in the lush gardens where her wood-fired oven stands.
Strauss traveled to Italy to study Neapolitan pizza making, and her classes cover a large range of subjects, from pizza to pasta to pie making. 

Visit Yankee Magazine’s website »

Please select the social network you want to share this page with:


Jun 2015

Jillyanna’s Featured on Bangor Daily News

Posted by / in Into the Fire Blog, Press & News /


By Kathleen Pierce

Click here to read the full article online »

KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine — It’s 800-plus degrees in Jill Strauss’ backyard. Yet the apron-clad owner of Jillyanna’s Woodfired Cooking School keeps her cool helping students magically turn balls of just-made pizza dough into canvases for crusty, fragile Neapolitan pies.

Thrusting caramelized onion and chorizo-topped pizzas into a blazing wood-fired oven and pulling out spectacular gourmet discs every 90 seconds is part of the show.

“Neapolitan pizza requires great heat. Wood is the perfect method,” said Strauss, a restaurant veteran who spent weeks in Naples, Italy, learning to make these thin-crust-in-the-center but puffy-on the-edges pies invented centuries ago in the old country. An intensive class with a fourth-generation pizzaiolo who was “yelling at me in Italian for two weeks” was her baptism by fire.

As people across the country turn to slow cooking, ancient methods like wood-fired cooking have become increasingly more attractive. “There is a longing that people have to slow down,” said Strauss.

“I think we have a very busy society. Everyone is unbelievably stressed and hurried. It’s not just a cooking school but an opportunity to meet new people who share your passions.”

Scores of people sign up for Strauss’ classes and workshops, taught in her Kennebunkport backyard anchored by a stunning mortar oven surrounded in field stone and granite. Their motivation is multi-pronged. “It’s an experience to cook with wood. You are doing something that’s very old fashioned and gratifying,” said Strauss. “Being able to tame that fire and produce something so delicious with live fire … it’s almost like a sport.” […]

Interested in a learning more about woodfired cooking?

Come join us for our Woodfired Workshop »

Please select the social network you want to share this page with:


Oct 2013

Celebrating The Great Marcella Hazan

Posted by / in Into the Fire Blog, Special Dinners /

Given the well established fact that she never suffered fools gladly, and given that patience is a virtue, especially if you are an educator, it’s amazing that Marcella Hazan succeeded as a teacher. Still, after cooking from her wonderful cookbook Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking and reading her memoir, Amarcord, I grew to have deeper appreciation of her life experiences. I had read that Marcella was tough, but many are now remembering that she was also kindhearted

I never did get the chance to meet Marcella in the flesh, but, I had the good fortune to meet and study with her gentle son, Giuliano–certainly, her best student. In a villa in Verona, Italy, where Giuliano, along with his wife Lael and partner Marilisa Allegrini, run a luxurious cooking school, I learned to make pasta by hand, pound veal scaloppine correctly, so that it was evenly stretched thin, and create a flaming dessert with one of Allegrini’s finest Italian wines…Amarone.

On Saturday, October 26th I would like to recreate some of the dishes I learned to make thanks to both mother and son. Please join us for this special dining experience. As is customary at Jillyanna’s Woodfired Cooking School, some of the class will be demo, some will be hands-on and although we will not be making pizza, we will make some appetizers in the wood-fired oven. So do bring a light jacket and a big appetite and feel free to BYOB.  Click here to attend:


Grilled Littleneck Clams on the Half Shell

Homemade Fettuccine with Alfredo Sauce

Veal Scaloppine with Lemon

Mushroom Salad with Parmesan Cheese, Crispy Pancetta and White Truffle Vinaigrette

Braised Pears with Bay Leaves and Amarone Wine

Please select the social network you want to share this page with: