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Italian born and raised, Pino trained as a Chef in French Culinary Arts & Pâtisserie in the USA at the Institute of Culinary Education, NYC.
With over 20 years experience in the profession, Chef Pino has worked in some of NYC's best restaurants (11Madison pastry dept and Del Posto to name a few), he has run his own catering company, been a chef for private clients & a professor of Culinary Education in Paris, London, Tuscany and the South of France. His passion for cooking started early and was (as with most Italians) honed in his mother's kitchen. His shared love of food with wife and partner Julia permeates the school and its lessons.

American born and raised, Julia arrived in Italy 35 years ago for a career in film and photography. After 10 years in advt, she spent 17 years as a working photographer until a back injury made carrying the camera equipment difficult. Husband and partner Chef Pino took her to Bologna for a class in traditional sfoglia rolling by hand and the rest is history. With over 10 years experience producing and teaching hand rolled pasta; Julia has expanded her pasta making knowledge thanks to her collaboration with the Pasta Grannies project. Her repertoire of over 80 different hand made pastas truly promote pasta culture & tradition.

We believe in understanding the science of food and how & why recipes work. This knowledge gives you confidence in the kitchen & allows you to troubleshoot when dishes don't come out quite right. We also believe that providing historical background gives context to where traditions come from, why certain ingredients are used & why these customs are held onto so tightly and need preservation.

We want you to taste the variety Italy has to offer. The products we work with reacquaint you with the freshness and aromas you get from fresh, locally grown foods. All of the recipes, methods & techniques we teach come from the 'comune' where they originated. Our goal is to uphold Italian traditions championed by organisations like SlowFood, CampagnaAmica & Coldiretti.

Km.0 - We have developed a network of local farmers, millers & dairy producers in addition to other organic suppliers from whom we regularly get our products. We value sustainability both in food production and in waste management. We aim to use all parts of the plants and animal products we cook with as well as teach these concepts to our students. We want to support the regional & national economy through gastronomy.

Who we are

Chef & Educator - Pino Ficara
  As a trained chef, Pino can assure that your proportions and measurements are correct and as a culinary instructor of amateur cooks, Master Chef contestants and professionals, he can hone your recipes for publication. With over 15 years experience in culinary education, he is well versed in how the ordinary home cook approaches their work.
  His years of restaurant and catering experience in the US, UK, France & Italy together with extensive experience with the Asian market, allow him to understand and identify not only the needs of a global audience but provide you with complimentary products when what you propose is not available locally; a great choice to render your recipe functional world-wide.
  Curious and food science based, Pino takes the time needed to verify that what you offer your readers will work in any kitchen your book ends up in.

Sfoglina & Teacher - Julia Ficara
  If you are writing a book about hand made pastas, Julia can verify that your proportions are correct for a variety of flours and hydration sources. She can review descriptions of how to use hands and tools to best illustrate how to work for amateurs and professionals alike.
  Her 10+ years experience at the pasta table and years of teaching home cooks & aspiring pros makes her uniquely qualified to help transmit what you want your readers need to achieve.
  Through her own research and her collaboration with the Pasta Grannies project, her repertoire has grown to an impressive 80 different hand produced pastas, from the most popular to the least well known.
  To see a dedicated set of imagery of what she does, goto IG account sfoglinainsabina


Test kitchen

If you love learning, the science of food and the how and why things work in the kitchen; then these lessons are for you.

We do not provide tourist 'experiences', you will work as if training in culinary school. The 'meal' is a tasting of what you produce.

We are NOT in Rome

LOCATION:  Montopoli di Sabina, Lazio

45-60mins north of Rome by train or car

Private lessons for a max of 4 students ages 16 or older

150€/person for in person class

50€/screen (1-2 people) for online

Tues, Weds & Thurs only


ONE private class per DAY - 10am-4pm

See our available dates below

Choose ONE class only


Learn techniques for fast, ergonomic and frustration free pasta making. Work with proportions, weights & hydration levels to produce pasta entirely by hand. No machines allowed!

Choose one of the following :

NORTHERN (egg, 00 + long pin), SOUTHERN (semola + water), GNOCCHI (not just potato), FILLED (Ravioli, Tortellini...), BAKED (Lasagna, Cannelloni...), REGIONALS (Pasta Grannies inspired)


Choose 3 sauces or ask us to choose for you. Learn to make seasonal sughi that are the base of Italian first courses like : Puttanesca [Tomato based], Bolognese [Meat Based], Alfredo [Dairy based], Gorgonzola e Noci [Cheese based], Pesto [Veggie based]


Explore foods you would not normally know about or make in standard classes. You can request a REGIONAL recipe of your choice or refer to the PASTA GRANNIES project & cookbooks. Alternatively, you can ask us to suggest options based on a primary food you enjoy.


Flour, water, yeast and salt. We teach the fundamentals of baking. Learn about how to choose flours, why water is important, talk yeasts, ratios, proportions and fermentation to help you master the art of bread baking and pizza making. You will perform all steps required to prepare your doughs, shape & bake them.

Choose one of the following :

BREAD class includes: French Baguettes, Italian Focaccia, Whole Wheat loaf and Ciabatta​


PIZZA class includes: Pizza Napoletana & Pizza Romana


Learn to make classic Italian desserts and classic grandma recipes like the ones you find on family tables and in restaurants all over ItalyChoose one of the following :

DOLCI ITALIANI : Tiramisù, Torta di Ricotta, Crostata, Biscotti, Panna Cotta ...


FORNO DELLA NONNA : Crostata, Zuppa Inglese, Biscotti, Ciambellone ...


Choose one of the following

KNIVES Learn how to sharpen knives with a Japanese stone and honing tool & properly handle razor-sharp blades. Debone and portion your choice of a chicken or a rabbit, butterfly a pork tenderloin or filet a fish. We also review all standard french cuts for cutting and dicing vegetables.


CHARCUTERIE Choose the right cut of meat, quality of fat & calculate the salt and spice proportions. 

Learn mixing methods, seasoning tests and how to prepare pork sausages, pâté en croûte and a chicken Galantine.

See classes below


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