Food and wine 101: Staten Islanders learn cooking from the masters (photos)
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. - RoseMarie Pinizzotto Nastasi, a rosy-cheeked nonna with a long history in the professional food world, christened Casa Belvedere's culinary program on Wednesday, cooking a three-course meal in the spirit of Northern Italy's Emilia-Romana region.
The meal consisted of tortellini con panna, balsamic-glazed chicken roasted with Brussels sprouts and cippolini, with Nutella crepes for dessert.
The evening's lesson at the Grymes Hill Italian Cultural Center marked the first in a battery of two-hour, intimate cooking classes to be hosted by guest chefs through late June.
"It was exciting to launch the first of many lunch-hour classes," said Judy Serra Lieberman, one of the regularly scheduled instructors who leads the day-time lectures.
"My Thursday students enjoyed a seafood lunch that they prepared," Ms Lieberman continued, adding, "I was quite impressed with the exceptional cream puffs they made for dessert."
The Casa kitchen, dubbed "Cucina Colavita," is sleek and modern. Major supporters of the cultural center such as Colavita USA and Manhattan cabinet designer G.D. Cucine, funded the kitchen furnishings, including induction cookware, stainless countertops, hidden refrigeration units and All-Clad pots and pans, just to name a few of the details. Colavita brand olive oil products also are featured in the program.