the_essentials_of_italian_cooking_marcella_hazanIf there is one book that ignited the passions for food and cooking to the founders of Wickedfood Cooking School, then it has to be Marcella Hazan. We acquired a copy of her  first cookbook, The Classic Italian Cook Book, in the early 1980s, and were so impressed with it, that we bought a copy for everyone we knew.

What makes this book even more remarkable is the fact that it does not have a single photograph. Marcella is one of the old school cookbook authors, she’s able to draw pictures with words.

Perhaps more than any other person, Marcella is responsible for bringing Italian cuisine into the homes of cooks around the world. Not spaghetti and meatballs, or macaroni cheese, but the real deal – polenta, risotto, hearty fish soups and thick meat sauces (see our recipe of the week – Bolognese meat sauce).

Subsequent to her first book, she has brought out a number of books, all with regional recipes from Italian homes, the kind of food that would be suitable for everyday or for a special occasion.

Now a new generation is ready to be introduced to Marcella’s Italian kitchen, and in The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking Marcella combines her two earliest works into one updated and expanded volume. In addition to the delicious collection of recipes, this book serves as a basic manual for cooks of every skill level. Recipes have been revised and in places completely replaced, to reduce fat content. A whole new chapter has been added, full of  information on herbs, spices, and cheeses used in the Italian kitchen, as well as details on how to select specific ingredients.

If you have any interest at all in Italian cuisine, then The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking is the book that you should have. Marcella Hazan is to Italian cuisine what Julia Child was to French cuisine. This book, together with her previous books,  will continue to be a constant reference source to Wickedfood Cooking School when developing recipes for our Italian cooking classes.

Interested in buying this book? Visit – Red Pepper Books – The South African on-line bookshop, is able to offer you great prices on any book you are looking for, and they deliver to your door. Pay only R325 for this book (Recommended Retail Price = R380)! Red Pepper Books is offering Wickedfood Cooking School subscribers an EXTRA 10% off this book. Simply type in the promotional code WICKEDFOOD on the shipping page of the checkout process and your purchase will be reduced by a further 10%, a total saving of R55.

Wickedfood Cooking School runs cooking classes throughout the year at its purpose-built Johannesburg cooking studio. Cookery classes are run in the mornings and evenings 7 days a week (subject to a minimum of 12 people). The venue is also popular for corporate events and private functions – teambuilding cooking classes, birthdays, kitchen teas, and dinner parties with a difference. Our cooking lessons are hands-on, where every person gets to participate in the preparation of the dishes. They are also a lot of fun where you not only learn new skills, but get to meet people with similar interests. For corporate groups and team building cooking classes these events are a novel way of creating staff interaction or entertaining clients.