Meet the Chefs: Paola - Milan, Italy

You are going to love Chef Paola. And when I say love, I mean love. This is how it will happen.

When you first meet Paola, you'll instantly notice her big smile, contagious laugh, and incredible energy. She exudes a deep love for her country and the incredible artisan food producers that come from it. Her passion for beautiful food products is inspiring and her knowledge of these producers, products and craftsmanship is unmatched.

After you get to know each other, she'll walk you through your cooking class, tell you a bit about the ingredients you'll be using and where they come from. Then you'll get cooking.

Immediately, you'll be seriously impressed with her culinary skills. If you take either the Risotto In-Depth or L'é Un Gran Milan class, you'll watch in awe as she finishes her risotto by making it fly a foot out of the pot and then gracefully land. In the Raviolo class, your eyebrows will raise as she masterfully handles pasta dough, and whips through stuffing and shaping these ornate filled treats. During Emilia, I Love You, you'll get to see her so excited to share with you a traditional dinner from the region where she went to school.

While you're cooking, she'll call your name to bring your attention back to the screen. She'll show you a new technique, teach you how to do it, then get you excited, build your confidence, and then let you go.

And that's when you'll fall in love.

You'll have done whatever crazy thing she just did - and your cooking teacher will be shouting through the computer 'Yeaaaah!!! You DID it!!' so incredibly proud of your work.

She'll be your biggest cheerleader and won't stop until you've done what she's asked. She's a true cooking mentor.

Chef Paola graduated top of her class at the prestigious ALMA, the International School of Italian Cuisine, situated in the prized food region of Parma, Italy. After graduating, she went on to work for several Michelin Star restaurants in Modena and Como, Italy. She left the restaurant scene to build her own company, 9FoodPR - an agency who's mission is to connect lovers of food to produce meaningful projects in the industry.

She's dedicated to promoting real food and showcases the products from artisan food producers in her region. Her love of ricotta cheese (cheese in general), beautiful olive oils, vinegar, meat products... will educate you as to how these products are made and where to find them online, or in person if you get to visit her wonderful country of Italy.

Chef Paola offers several classes with The Chef & The Dish, the ones mentioned above, along with Ragu & Pomodoro - an incredible pasta-making class which teaches you to make your own dough and cook a traditional Bolognese sauce, Pesto & Pasta - a class which focusses on fresh pesto and how to make pasta dumplings, and finally Olio & Formaggio, a cooking class where you'll learn lovely ways to use oil and cheese in your cooking. She offers several classes throughout the week, including many Saturday and Sundays. It's worth noting some of her classes are fantastic for anyone looking to make lots of food and freeze some for later. I'll admit, my freezer is filled with the best Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli I've ever had in my life.

She's also available for The Chef & The Dish Professional Series where she works with restauranteurs and chefs to build authentic Italian dishes and techniques.

You can book any of her classes here.

For the Love of Not Getting Risotto Stuck to My Ceiling,

Jenn Nicken


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