• Cyril McAree

IRISH PEOPLE QUEUING TO LEARN SECRETS OF ITALIAN CUISINE


Italian Cookery School “Pinocchio", based in Temple Bar, Dublin will celebrate its fifteenth anniversary this year with new projects and a full program of courses and masterclasses ranging from pizza to fresh homemade pasta, to desserts and regional cuisine.

The cookery school is a 100% Italian company created by two Italian entrepreneurs, managed by an Italian director that uses only ingredients and recipes coming from

Italy and it grew over time celebrating the wine and food culture as well as the art of conviviality which is quintessentially Italian. The school has hosted students and many celebrities like famous TV personalities and sport champions.

“The idea to create a cookery school was conceived in 2004 when my partner Maurizio and I decided to move to Ireland to start a Company for the import-export of Italian products” – Marco Giannantonio,one of the two funders of the Flavour of Italy Holding, says. The Group includes also a section specifically dedicated to training courses. ”In its original idea the school was supposed to be a place for cooking shows to present Italian products to chefs, entrepreneurs and restaurant owners, the products were selected by us to be promoted in the Irish market. Afterwards we started the Italian cookery courses that proved to be so successful and popular to bring us to decide to invest on a bigger venue able to host up to 80 people compared to the 15 initial seats. Just to give you an idea, last year we had about one thousand students attending our regular courses for the general public. To that we have to add other two thousandpeople for the team building cookery events”.

“Beside the variety of the courses held at the school, one of our strongest points is the conviviality ‘made in Italy’ which is a trait that allowed us to characterize our services and make a difference in comparizon to our competitors” – Maurizio Mastrangelo, one of the two funders of the Company, adds – “Our cookery courses and in particular our ‘cookery parties’ aim to give an experience that is as pleasant as possible for the participants to feel as if they were cooking at home with friends”.The formula is very easy: the guests are guided by the chefs to learn how to cook the best dishes of the Italian tradition – from fresh pasta to pizza and tiramisu – while sipping some excellent Italian wine. Then all together they enjoy the meal they prepared from scratch. It is a cookery lesson and a party at the same time for the guest to have the opportunity to enjoy themselves, learn something new and create a team spirit around the table in accordance to the most authentic Italian tradition. “It is an occasion that starts as a simple moment of sharing and becomes also a moment of human interaction that is highly appreciated by many companies in Ireland like Facebook, Instagram, Pfizer, KPMG, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Google andTwitter”- Mastrangelo says – and they use it on a weekly basis as a team building tool to create a group spirit amongst workmates”.

For many years Giuseppe Crupi has been the director of the school. Giuseppe came to Dublin to complete his studies in Mechanical Engineering and then he found his dimension in the kitchen among the people. Thanks to his verve, sense of humour and love for teaching he became a reference for the customers as well as a popular character thanks to his presence on TV3 as a regular guest showing how to prepare famous Italian recipes. “To celebrate the 15thanniversary of the school – the director comments – we planned a series of events: we just finished a masterclass, theoretical and practical, on the art of pizza making and in the next few weeks our program includes cookery courses and parties focused on desserts. We also have to mention - Crupi says– that in the next months we will launch new cooking courses dedicated to different regional recipes giving an insight on the tourist and historical aspects of the places that will be the protagonists of the classes”.

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