Cook Like The Italians: A Three-Day Series

Friday, May 10, 2019 6:00pm to 10:00pm
Add to Calendar
3674 18th St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
United States
Member Price: 
3 slots available


A three-day series of hands-on cooking classes, each night culminating in a family-style dinner served with wine and beer. One ticket admits the same student to all three nights: May 10, 17 and 24, 2019 from 6-10 pm each evening.

With our resident Italian instructor, Viola Buitoni, we're proud to debut a series to teach you the building blocks of Italian cooking. Why sign up for this series? Well, one has to eat to live. And, in the humble opinion of the inimitable Viola, one has to cook to eat. And, if by the transitive property, one has to cook to live, then let’s make it fun, easy and delicious, without spending hours in the kitchen. In other words, we should all cook like the Italians!

The series aims to empower home cooks to approach Italian food and cooking joyfully and fearlessly and provide a basic arsenal of Italian flavors, techniques, and dishes from which the imagination can run free. 

Attendees will learn: 

  • How to stock a typically Italian year-round dry pantry and integrate it with fresh and seasonal offerings
  • How to make and use the building blocks of Italian cuisine
  • How to properly cook and dress dry pasta
  • How to select and prepare animal proteins
  • How to prepare a few quintessential Italian classics
  • How to up-cycle leftovers

SESSION 1 is Friday May 10, 6-10 pm

The Italian Pantry: Dry and Fresh

Building the blocks: Tomato sauces and soffritto


Spaghetti al pomodoro—Spaghetti with basic tomato sauce

Fagioli in umido—Beans braised with soffritto

Pollo alla cacciatora—Chicken cacciatore with soffritto and tomato sauce


Minestra di rimedio—Week-old bread soup with soffritto and fresh vegetables

Frittata alla parmigiana—Frittata with tomato sauce and parmigiano


SESSION 2 is Friday May 17, 6-10 pm

Pasta, Pasta, Pasta! How to buy, cook and dress dry pasta


Red sauces: bolognese, amatriciana, puttanesca

White sauces: broccoli, vongole, cacio e pepe

Cold: zucchini e ricotta salata


Pasta al forno—Baked pasta casserole


SESSION 3 is Friday May 24 from 6-10 pm

Preparing Meat and Fish


Pan-frying: saltimbocca

Sautéing: chicken thighs with olives and herbs

Roasting: pork loin

Baking: cod

Stovetop: market fish in acqua pazza 

Upcycling: meatballs, parmigiana, pasta sauce


Viola Buitoni, a direct descendant of the famed pasta and chocolate family, hails from Perugia, in the heart of Umbria. She came to the US for college, but soon after attending NYU as an economics major, she was drawn back into her genetic passion for food. She ran an Italian catering business and had a shop showcasing the best of Italian food on Madison Avenue in NYC. After moving to San Francisco in 2004 to start a family, Viola can now be found giving lectures on Italian food traditions and trends, and teaching cooking classes in collaboration with 18 Reasons, SF's Italian Cultural Institute and Italian Consulate, Cavallo Point Lodge Cooking School, Draeger’s in San Mateo and Blackhawk and Pepperberries in Eugene, OR. Since 2013, she has been a brand ambassador for Baci, the iconic Italian chocolates made by Perugina, the worldwide confectionery brand founded by her great grandfather. Viola has also produced food articles and cooking videos for Recently, she began speaking on panels about tradition and innovation in food production and leading groups to explore local and artisanal food systems and producers in Italy.You can follow her adventures and find information on traveling with her at