The Cooking School
Cucina Casalinga is a home-based Italian cooking school that offers daytime and evening cooking classes. Homestyle, hands-on lessons are the specialty of Sally Maraventano who opened her school more than 25 years ago in her small kitchen on Sharp Hill road in Wilton.
Today classes, followed by sit-down luncheon or dinner with wine and dessert are held in Sally’s state-of-the-art kitchen on Drum Hill Road in Wilton. A wood-fired Tuscan oven from Reggello Italy sits on the patio with a formal herb garden and fountain near by. In warm weather students dine al fresco on the patio surrounded by bougainvillea, fig and lemon trees – a little bit of Italy, in Connecticut.
Private and Corporate Classes
In addition to adult lessons posted on the class page Cucina Casalinga offers private classes for groups of eight or more to celebrate special occasions.
For the past ten years the Cucina Casalinga team has hosted corporate teambuilding events for groups of ten to twenty. “It was the perfect setting for hosting my favorite clients!”
Guest chefs conduct demonstration classes from time to time. Among the chefs and cookbook authors who have taught with Sally are master baker Nick Malgieri, Swiss chef Michel Loth, Bernard and Sarah Bouisseau of Bernard’s Inn in Ridgefield and Maria Sanchez of Sweet Maria’s Bakery in Waterbury. Special wine and food pairing events are held several times throughout the year with guest wine experts. These evenings provide information and background on Sally’s upcoming wine tours of Italy as well as her favorite wines from various regions she has discovered.
Kid’s Cook Italian
Children, ages ten to sixteen cook with Sally on some school holidays and during the summer months for an intensive and fun Kids Cook Italian Camp.
Sally is available local market tours for private groups of 8 – 12 participants. Please call or email for more information.
Tours to Italy
In 1991 Sally Maraventano led her first culinary and wine tours to Lorenza de’Medici’s Badia a Coltibuono in the Chianti country in Tuscany. Since then she has conducted over 55 tours to Venice and the Lake Country, Piemonte, Tuscany, Umbria, Rome, Apulia, Abruzzo, the Amalfi coast and most often to Sicily, the island of Sally’s heritage. In September 2011 Cucina Casalinga will visit Friuli Venezia- Giulia for the first time. Sally promises ten days of fine wines and exquisite food, amazing excursions in the magnificent countryside enveloped by the Alps, and as always, outstanding Italian hospitality.
Sally Maraventano studied Italian language and culture at Georgetown University's School of Languages and Linguistics and the University of Florence, Italy. She is the founder of Cucina
Casalinga, since 1981, a regional Italian cooking school based in Wilton, Connecticut.
Her love of cooking was acquired by helping her mother, Frances and her Grandfather, Tony, when they prepared for large family gatherings -- so much a part of their Italian
-American experience. "For Italians especially, the family dinner table evokes strong and, I believe, universal images," says Ms. Maraventano.
For over twenty years, Ms. Maraventano, a member of International Association of Culinary Professionals, has specialized in teaching "homestyle" Italian cooking in her
popular daytime and evening adult classes and in her "Kids Cook Italian" series.
Since 1991, Ms. Maraventano has been leading culinary tours to cooking schools throughout Italy, including Lorenza de'Medici's program at Badia a Coltibuono in Tuscany
, Chef Enrico Franzese of Luna Convento Hotel Cooking School in Amalfi, Avignonesi Wine and Food Workshops in Tuscany and Diane Seed's "Colors and Flavors of the Mediterranean" at Il Melograno in Puglia.
Maraventano was featured in "La Dolce Vita", a segment describing her Italian family recipes and memories on The Food Network's "In Food Today". She has made guest
appearances on the "NBC Weekend Today Show" and on Connecticut Cable Television's "The Exchange". She frequently makes appearances at national and local
bookstores to discuss her Italian heritage and recipes and personally autograph her book.
Ms. Maraventano's Pasta Sauces, a medley of her family's favorite pasta sauce recipes inspired her to write, Festa del Giardino, A Harvest of Recipes and Family Memories, a collection of 125 Italian vegetable recipes, from antipasti to dolci.
"To the Italians, a day - in fact, a lunch or dinner - without verdure (vegetables) would be a near tragedy!" says Sally Maraventano explaining her inspiration for creating Festa del Giardino.