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Participants put the finishing touches on their pizzas. Courtesy photo.




La Scuola Culinaria

When: Mondays at 6 p.m.
Where: Tuscan Kitchen, 67 Main St., Salem
Tickets: $125, includes class and dinner
Contact: 912-5467, tuscanbrands.com/Market/Salem/cooking-school




Back to basics
Classes teach the fundamentals of Italian cooking

12/25/14
By Allie Ginwala aginwala@hippopress.com



Rekindle your love for cooking or make a New Year’s resolution to master homemade pizza with La Scuola Culinaria at Tuscan Kitchen in Salem, which is offering four classes with four classic Italian dishes in January.

“It started as a way to share our love and passion of Italian cuisine with the public,” David Crinieri, chef de cuisine, said in a phone interview. “Over the past three years it’s really grown and become a regular part of what we do.”  
Along with chefs Joe Brenner and Billy Morin, Crinieri leads the cooking classes. Class subjects are typically basic Italian dishes, with a focus on giving people the base knowledge they need to introduce the styles and techniques into their cooking at home. 
The classes have a little bit of everything, Crinieri said, as guests are taken through the details and finer points of making cappellacci (stuffed pasta), lasagna, risotto and pizza. In a recent cappellacci pasta class, Crinieri noted that people love the possibilities of working with pasta. 
“People love that pasta is a blank canvas,” he said. “Once you make it you can turn it into whatever you want it to be.”
While a chef leads the class with demonstrations, a main component is the hands-on style. 
“We talk you through your ingredients, the origin of the dish, origin of that style in general, and then they really dig in,” Crinieri said.
 For example, if a class involved making dough, each person will make their own and the chef will help roll it out and show the proper thickness and size. 
“We break it up into small groups and have no more than 10 people per instructor so they get to work in close proximity with the instructor,” he said. 
“We can work with any level,” said Crinieri, who has seen everything from “well-versed home cooks to people who have absolutely no experience whatsoever.”
By the end of the class, not only do you get the satisfaction of cooking a new dish, but you also get to eat it. A family-style meal is served after each class featuring the Italian dish crafted that evening. 
Crinieri hopes that the classes will get people excited about cooking, specifically about the artisanal craft of cooking Italian cuisine. 
“A lot of people just go out to a restaurant and don’t think about what’s presented to them,” he said. “This gives them a little experience and really [feeds] that passion for cooking.” 
 
As seen in the December 25, 2014 issue of the Hippo.





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