A group of Kingston grandmothers are hosting monthly cooking classes to teach the art of Italian cooking to the next generation.
The class, called Cooking with Nonna, sells out every time, so as part of its Family Day series, Global Kingston took part in a class to see what the nonnas were cooking up.
The secret, according to the cooks, is decades spent honing the skills in their home kitchens that they first learned in their mothers’ kitchens in Italy.
“When we were little, when mom she was cooking, she always have us around,” Dominica Belcastro said. “They used to say, ‘You have to learn to cook because if you get married one day you have to cook for your husband.'”
Although none of the cooks are professionally trained, these grandmothers’ cooking lessons have students coming back again and again.
“I love the nonnas,” one student said. “I love their spirit, they make me laugh and they’re beautiful and their food is wonderful.”
But it’s not just a cooking lesson, it’s a chance for everyone in the room to feel Italian for one night.
“It’s all about the love and the ‘amori’ that they put into the meal and the fact that the family sits down together, enjoys the meal together, shares the experience of the day, of the lifetime and that’s how stories are shared, multi-generational,” Nella Belcastro told Global News.
For the nonnas, the work they do in the kitchen means they’re doing their part to carry on traditions from back home.
“I feel like what I have done for my children is a piece of art, they appreciate it, they admire it, they like it and they say, ‘Oh mom, this is good, this is good,'” Dominica Bracciodieta said.
On top of cooking tips, Dominica Bracciodieta wants to give this piece of advice who goes through the class.
“Call your grandmother, go to see your grandmother more often.”