There is a long history of cooking teachers in my family. And I don’t mean teachers like I am, teaching in a cooking School! Basically, cooking in Southern Italy was a life skill and if you had a family, you taught them to cook! As Southern Italy was the poorer part of the country for a long period of its history, basically if you wanted to eat, you had to learn to cook!
My Nonna was a fabulous cook. Orphaned from a young age, she was raised by extended family and they taught her to cook. She cooked up until she was 94 years old, often still for other family members. Usually with produce from her own garden or home canning. She taught all her 5 daughters to cook and those of her sons that were interested.
My mother, pictured, was one of her students. My mother is a fabulous cook. She was married at 19 years of age and she and my father started a family shortly thereafter so she used this skill from very early on in her life. They, like a lot of new immigrants in Canada, experienced some hardships as they established themselves in a new country with very little. Their family grew to a very large size of 8. I am 4th of their 6 children. And you know, although I remember as a child wanting the latest toy or fashion trend as a teenager, I never remember ever being without good, tasty, nutritious food!
“…bring homemade cooking and recipes back to home kitchens.”
My mother went on to cook for 2 of my family’s cafes in my hometown during the 70’s and 80’s. I remember her getting up early and taking the bus to the cafe to make the day’s sauces from scratch and prepping dishes only to be finished at the minute by the cafe staff and then coming home to cook for her large family. Although my mother only gave me insignificant cooking tasks at a young age, she always talked me through her recipes and told me stories of cooking with her mom. I paid a lot of attention… When I was engaged to be married, she started to teach me her recipes so I could then cook for my family.
When I moved away from home at 21, I had never had any commercially prepared foods at home, everything was from scratch! This is my food history. This is what I thought everyone experienced…
It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized that not everyone ate home cooked meals like we did. Food was not as big a part of people’s lives as it was in our family. When my children started to participate in organized sports, I could not believe that anyone would schedule a sports event to interfere with dinnertime! Until sports and jobs started to interfere, we always sat down to a family meal, made from scratch. Just like the home, I was raised in.
These events are primarily what inspires me and fuels my desire to bring homemade cooking and recipes back to home kitchens. When I lived in Italy and saw that this was, in fact, something that our culture embraces and lives by, I knew I had found my calling. I wanted to share this authentic, food culture.
“…classes sell out very quickly, leaving many disappointed.”
When I opened my little cooking school 7 years ago, on my 46th birthday, I thought I would teach a few classes to pass the time and have my classes revolve around my busy family schedule. 2 classes a week became 3 and then 4… and then clients were requesting private events and teambuilding. In my second year of teaching, we added food & wine tours to Italy for the ultimate experiential learning opportunity. Cooking alongside locals in Southern Italy are highlights of the tours.
As our little school has grown and my desire to share our wonderful food culture we have not been able to keep up with the demand and our on-site or in-person classes sell out very quickly, leaving many disappointed. You see, I want my clients to experience what I did… learning and cooking from someone who not only teaches cooking but lives what they teach!
Last November we made the commitment to bring the Classic Italian, 6-week cooking course to a platform that was unlimited and could not sell out! It would cover everything that we cover in the classes in my kitchen. Cooking techniques, ingredient selection, classic Italian recipes, equipment, tips & tricks that my mother taught me, definitions, menu timing and step by step visual instructions… with unlimited viewing. You can cook these classic recipes with me right by your side everytime you make the dishes until you perfect them!
Introducing our NEW online Italian cooking classes! 5 Classic Italian, 4-course menus with, for a limited time, an added Bonus Menu when you purchase the entire course.
Learn to cook like I did, and all those in my family before me… from an Italian Mamma, in your own kitchen!
Details can be found here: Online Italian Cooking Classes
See you in the kitchen! Natalina xo