We are excited here at Natalina’s Kitchen! We have just celebrated our 7th anniversary and therefore we are starting our 8th year teaching Italian Food Culture. Yes, Italian Food Culture, not just Italian home cooking!
What is Italian Food Culture? Well, it is basically all the things I learned growing up in an Italian-Canadian household surrounding food. That would be growing it, cooking it, what ingredients to buy, storing it or preserving it and of course, eating it!
Our calendar revolved around this all year. There was the garden season, the canning season, the winemaking season, the salami making season, the holiday baking seasons, etc…. I have many childhood memories around pivotal events in my life that I can tell you the aforementioned season but not the date! For example,”… it happened during tomato canning season ..” therefore must have been late August or early September in this part of the world!
I also have great Food Culture memories during the time we lived in Italy in the late 90’s. There were plenty of Food Festivals and celebrations around food. I seek out these experiences now on my regular trips to Italy to share with my students and also to add to our food & wine tours. Some of these experiences might be breadmaking, gelato making, cheese making etc. Many of these skills are still practiced in homes off the beaten path in rural areas.
So, all of this is Italian Food Culture! We have been teaching it here through our “Hands on Classes” and Food & Wine Tours, both domestic and abroad for over 7 years. The classes and tours offer different experiences at different price points with different time commitments. We try to deliver experiences that both amateurs and accomplished cooks can take away something. We have been successful mostly because yours truly is a passionate, home cook with culinary training that just simply loves food and feeding those that matter to me! I also love nothing more than sharing my knowledge with students and seeing them take the information and making it their own. And really, that is what a good cook is… to be able to successfully interpret a dish!
We have been so blessed with Sold Out classes as much as 6 months in advance and Sold Out tours beyond the maximum capacity… our first cookbook is at the printer as I write, for the 3rd printing. So, how do we keep up with this growth without compromising the cozy, small-time feel of our school? This is a question we have struggled with. If we move to a larger facility and hire additional instructors it just will not be the same…The suggestion of live streaming classes with the ability to interact with the students was a suggestion we kept going back to. But our tours were gaining popularity and they cause me to be away as much as 4-5 weeks a school year. Time zone is also an issue with live streaming.
And so… our Online Italian Cooking School was born out of these discussions. If I was going to teach larger volumes of students they had to come away with exactly what the “Hands on class” participants did! So that means, not just videos and recipes, but also: ingredient selection and skills information, cooking equipment information, timing instructions to complete the entire menu, tips that I learned in cooking school but also the tips my Mom taught me and her Mom taught her! Everything my students need to be a successful Italian Homecook! We will also have a private Facebook page for subscribers to ask questions, so we are always available to help. We would also love to see your results on that Facebook page too! It will be our own community of “Italian Mammas” and “Pappas”!
We are launching the online school late this Spring and we have 5 complete menu sessions and 1 Bonus Session to be released this year with a total of 35 recipes… Each of the 5 sessions is a complete menu that includes 5-7 recipes and 3-4 professionally produced videos for the more difficult recipes. You can watch the videos as many times as you wish. Each dish has a Recipe PDF, Equipment PDF and Special Ingredient PDF’s. Each session has a Menu Timing PDF to complete the entire menu at one time. Each video is professionally produced with beautiful, colorful, step-by-step cinematography. They are filled with cooking terms and definitions as well as the “Italian mamma tips” my students have come to love!
These menus were derived from our most popular, Classic Italian Cooking Course. This course has now been retired and is only available online. Some of the Classic Italian recipes included are Tomato Basil Sauce, Risotto, Minestrone, Braised Beef, Fresh Pasta, Potato Gnocchi, Panna Cotta, Chicken Parmigiana, Fennel & Blood Orange Salad and more!
Currently, until April 30th only, 2 full sessions are being offered for $ 85 + HST as a special Pre-Launch Price. Details, here… Starting in May, you may subscribe to the online school for all 5 sessions. We will be officially launching in late spring.
So even if you don’t have an Italian Mamma, Nonna, or Aunt, you can learn Italian Classics in the comfort of your own home and I will be with you the whole way… !
Ciao for now, Natalina