for those who burn to learn


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

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Apr 2013

Love Letter to my Italian Friends

Posted by / in Class Essentials, Into the Fire Blog /

Don’t I look happy on this brilliant day in May? I am traveling by water taxi, on my way to Ristorante Signori, one of the finest seafood restaurants in Sirmione on Lake Garda. Maria Callas, the divine opera singer, had a villa on the shore of Lake Garda. Supposedly, this jewel of a spot is where “La Divina” came to recover from emotional wounds inflicted by her lover Aristotle Onassis.

I, too, came to Italy to heal. For me it was from the long, horrible winter of 2009. The only thing that got me through the ice storms and depressing economic news was the dream of coming to Italy in the spring to hone my Italian cooking skills and meet others who are truly passionate about good food.

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