If you enjoy cooking Italian food or drinking Italian wine, you’ve come to the right festa.
We are excited to announce a Festa first: a series of short, master culinary demonstrations on preparing several Italian classics, and featuring accomplished Italian capocuochi (chefs) every hour. Be prepared to learn how to prepare items such as aioli, gnocchi, pasta, arrancini, and busiate alla trapanese."
In addition to the culinary demonstrations, you will be able to buy boutique Italian wines in souvenir glasses. Vintners and sommeliers Emmanuele Magnani and Elia Gentile of Sunrise Wines will tell you about their sumptuous wines from small, boutique Italian wineries run by people that Emmanuele knows personally and share his same passion for life and wine.
You can learn more about Sunrise Wines here: http://sunrisewines.us/
The following wines will be available for purchase by the glass or bottle (to take home):
84 Prosecco Extra Dry 2020 (Veneto)
Castellano Pinot Grigio 2020 (Veneto)
Castellano Montepulciano 2020 (Abruzzo)
11:30 ROSEMARIE DeMATTIA – Baked Ziti / Eggplant Rollatini
Rollatini is an Italian-style dish prepared in the New World by Italian immigrants. It is usually made with thin slices of eggplants, which are dusted in wheat flour or lightly breaded and covered with ricotta and often other cheeses and seasonings, then rolled up and baked. Alternatively, veal, chicken, or fish may be used in place of the eggplant. The traditional Italians prefer to use pounded veal meat but the poor immigrants belonging to the peasant class created the rollatini recipes with the cheaper eggplant which was versatile enough to replace the expensive meat. Rollatini is not an actual Italian word; in Italy the dish is known as involtini (e.g., involtini di melanzane).
Rosemarie “Ro” Aguanno DeMattia, was born and raised in Queens, NY and her grandparents were from Palermo Sicily. Ro learned to cook from her aunts and uncles who were wonderful Sicilian cooks. They gave her the recipes and they also walked her through making the dishes to make sure she was doing it correctly. Ironically, the restaurant opportunity came about while visiting North Carolina with another couple to look at schools. Opening a restaurant was always a dream of her husbands. They decided as a family to move to North Carolina and open up Georgina’s Pizzeria Restaurant in 2006 in Morrisville. She owes her success to fifteen years of hard work, wonderful customers and staff.
She has been inviting her guests to mouthwatering homemade Italian dishes, pizza, calzones, Stromboli’s, seafood, and other Italian food favorites at her family-owned and operated Italian Restaurant. She features recipes passed down from family and friends throughout the years and only uses the finest quality ingredients to provide you with the ultimate dining experience.
12:30 Stacy Murphy - Baccala Fritter with Aioli
Baccala, sometimes referred to as salt cod or saltfish, is cod which has been preserved by drying after salting. Baccala has become a major ingredient in traditional Italian dishes. Baccalà is a staple for feast days. From the Italian tradition of a meatless meal, The Feast of the Seven Fishes, Christmas Eve dinner is a feast-style meal featuring seven or more seafood preparations always serving baccala in some form such as in soups, pasta dishes, appetizers and entrées. Today Stacy is going to make a baccala fritter with aioli.
Stacy Murphy is a classically trained chef with a diverse background, having worked for several nationally recognized restaurants in cities such as New Orleans and Boston. Stacy spent multiple years focused on regional Italian cuisine. She is the chef and owner of Pounded Pig, a scratch food trailer. They make absolutely everything in house using fresh and locally sourced ingredients whenever possible.
1:30 Carmine Digrande - Arancini
Arancini are said to have originated in 10th-century Sicily at a time when the island was under Arab rule. Today, with the increasing popularity of this finger food in modern Italian food culture, arancini are found all year round at most Sicilian food outlets, particularly in Palermo, Messina and Catania. The dish was traditionally created to provide a full meal to Federico II di Svevia during his hunting activities. Arancini are Italian risotto rice balls that are stuffed, coated with bread crumbs and deep fried, and are a staple of Sicilian cuisine. The most common fillings are: a meat ragù, mozzarella, ham, and often peas.
Carmine was born in Sicily, raised in New York, employed by IBM , living in many cities, including 2 1/2 years in Rome, Italy. He retired in 2002 and lives half his time in Raleigh and the other half in Palm Springs Florida. Carmine is a member of the Triangle Italian American Heritage Association which is dedicated to preserving Italian culture and food in the Triangle as well as giving back to the community. They are a major sponsor for the Oxford children’s home, they provide a yearly scholarship, and they support our troops with meals and holiday meals at RDU. Today they will be making arancini which are rounded balls of risotto stuffed with Galbani mozzarella cheese, that are coated with bread crumbs and deep-fried.
2:30 Dino Pinelli – Chicken with Olive Paste
For anyone that loves olives, chicken with olive paste is heaven. Think of chicken sauteed with garlic, parsley and topped with a tapenade of olives and your mouth starts to water.
Dino Pinelli, who was born in San Remo Italy, came to this country 31 years ago to open his first restaurant in New York City. 19 years ago, he moved to North Carolina to open Dino’s Capri in Raleigh to rave reviews. It was the Italian restaurant that Italians went to. Unfortunately, he was not able to ride out the pandemic and closed his restaurant last year. However, he is thoroughly enjoying his retirement and will pass on his cooking expertise to us today.
3:30 Li Corn from Bona Furtuna - Busiate alla Trapanese
Today, Li Corn from Bona Furtuna will be preparing a traditional Busiate alla Trapanese, a traditional Sicilian pasta tossed with a silky sauce made of tomatoes, almonds, and basil. The origins of this dish can be traced back to sailors from Genoa who introduced the locals of Trapani to Pesto Alla Genovese, the basil pesto that most of us know. The Trapanese created their very own version of the Genovese pesto by giving it a Sicilian twist. They added tomatoes and almonds. Presto! Busiate alla Trapanese was born.
Founded in 2013, Bona Furtuna offers heirloom olive oil, ancient grain pasta, seasonings, balsamic vinegar, sauces and seasonal products. A harmonious 350-hectare organic farm nestled on La Furtuna Estate mere kilometers outside Corleone, Sicily, proudly grows organic ingredients used for Bona Furtuna products. Biodiversity, sustainable farming, and preservation of heritage foods is the root of the brand. We hope you enjoy what Bona Furtuna has to offer!
4:00 String Cheese Stacking Contest Ages 5-12
How high do you think you can stack string? If you are between the ages of 5 and 12 go to the cooking demo stage and sign up for this contest. Space is limited so sign up early. The stacking contest will start at 4:00. Watch out for Chef Marco, he can be tricky!
4:30 Carmella Alvaro, Melina’s Fresh Pasta - Ricotta Gnocchi with Pistachio-Artichoke Pesto
There are many regions of Italy that lay claim to the origins of gnocchi. While they are generally associated with northern Italy, the truth is that these dumplings are found all over the peninsula and in many diverse forms, made with a variety of base ingredients depending on where they come from: flour, cornmeal, semolina, bread, chestnut flour, ricotta, or vegetables—from pumpkin to spinach to the classic potato.
Carmella Alvaro, Owner & Pasta Maker at Melina’s Fresh Pasta, grew up in an Italian-American family from Calabria in Syracuse, NY. The first to be born in the United States, she longed for a connection to the country where every other member of her family was from. After years of watching her mother make homemade Italian food with ingredients from her father’s backyard garden, she wanted to share the Italian tradition of food made from scratch with care and served with love to family and friends.
In 2010, she traveled to Bologna, Italy to earn the tradition of fresh pasta making. Upon her return, she started Melina’s Fresh Pasta – the only small pasta manufacturer in the area. Since then, Carmella has grown the business – opening a retail shop in Durham in 2017, offering a greater variety of pasta, sauces, and take & bake meals to an expanding customer base through the pasta shop in Durham, 5 farmers markets, 6 local retailers and 4 local home delivery companies. Today she will be making ricotta gnocchi with a pistachio-Artichoke Pesto.
5:30 Chef Marco from Galbani -
Headlining the audience-engaging culinary demonstrations will be Mark “Chef Marco” Sciortino from Buffalo, NY. Owner of “Marco’s Italian Restaurant “and “Marco’s Italian Deli,” both in Buffalo, Chef Marco has been creating and serving traditional, family-favorite, Italian dishes for over 30 years. Chef Marco is also a successful television personality since 2008 appearing on national television shows and at community festivals celebrating authentic Italian cuisine. Currently, Chef Marco is hosting his ninth season of “Come Dine with Me WNY!” and “Winging it Buffalo Style.” Along with his Buffalo media franchises and his coast-to-coast festival appearances, Chef Marco has appeared on numerous morning shows in Los Angeles, South Florida, and New York. Chef Marco is in his thirteenth year as a creative representative for Galbani, a historic Lombardian specialty cheese enterprise, founded in 1882, and now a subsidiary of Lactalis Italia. At Festa, he will be preparing Stuffed Banana Pepper Mac and Cheese, Spinach Ricotta Gnocchi, Peach and Beet Caprese Salad, and Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse.
Headlining the audience-engaging culinary demonstrations will be Mark “Chef Marco” Sciortino from Buffalo, NY. Owner of “Marco’s Italian Restaurant “and “Marco’s Italian Deli,” both in Buffalo, Chef Marco has been creating and serving traditional, family-favorite, Italian dishes for over 30 years. Chef Marco is also a successful television personality, since 2008 appearing on national television shows and at community festivals celebrating authentic Italian cuisine. Currently, Chef Marco is hosting his ninth season of “Come Dine with Me WNY!” and “Winging it Buffalo Style.”
Along with his Buffalo media franchises and his coast-to-coast festival appearances, Chef Marco has appeared on numerous morning shows in Los Angeles, South Florida, and New York. Chef Marco is in his thirteenth year as a creative representative for Galbani, an historic Lombardian specialty cheese enterprise, founded in 1882, and now a subsidiary of Lactalis Italia. At Festa he will be preparing Stuffed Banana Pepper Mac and Cheese, Spinach Ricotta Gnocchi, Peach and Beet Caprese Salad, and Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse.
To learn more about Chef Marco you can visit https://galbanichefmarco.com