The Homestead Announces 2012 Winter Cooking Classes

Executive Chef John Piombo will be leading cooking demonstrations and hands-on instruction using fresh, local ingredients at Nonna’s Loft – a 900-square foot cooking school facility at The Homestead. Classes are being offered to both resort guests and the general public, starting in early January and running through early March.

Pappardelle prepared by Chef Piombo of Nonna's

Participants in the cooking demonstrations will have an opportunity to observe Chef Piombo prepare various dishes, take notes, taste the prepared dishes and receive written recipes. Classes are limited to 20 people with 24-hour advanced reservations. Participants in hands-on cooking classes will prepare recipes from start to finish. At the conclusion of class, participants join Chef at the Captain’s Table to enjoy the food they prepared. Class size is limited to seven participant with 48-hour advanced reservation.

Baked Pastas Cooking Demonstration

Saturday, January 7 at 11:30am | $50 (plus tax & gratuity)

Baked pasta dishes are popular in Italy because they can feed a lot of people without a lot of fuss. Let Chef John teach you how to prepare these delicious classic recipes to add to your dinner table and leave the hassle of cooking to the oven! Class includes a welcome glass of Prosecco, generous samples of all the dishes, wine and recipes.

Menu
  • Crab Cannelloni Baked with Béchamel and Tomato 
  • Gnocchi alla Valdostana (Baked with Prosciutto, Fontina and Cream)
  • Lasagna Napolitana (Sausage, Ricotta and Smoked Mozzarella)

 

Tenderloin Three-Ways Cooking Demonstration

Saturday, January 21 at 11:30am | $50 (plus tax & gratuity)

Tenderloin, as the name suggests, is cut from the loin of an animal – a part of the body that does not get very much of a workout. It’s that very lack of activity that makes this the tenderest part of the animal. This big boneless cut is easy to portion, straightforward to prepare and a breeze to carve. It’s tender, delicious and easy to prepare making it the perfect solution for entertaining. Join Chef John for this demonstration, techniques and recipes using three cuts of tenderloin that will give your family and guests something to savor and remember. Class includes a welcome glass of Prosecco, generous samples of all the dishes, wine and recipes.

Menu
  • Tenderloin of Veal, Gorgonzola Dolce, Sunflower Seeds, Demi, Cream
  • Tenderloin of Beef alla Rossini, Ham, Bechamel, Ementhaler, Crostino
  • Tenderloin of Pork Sicilian Style, with Fresh Tomatoes, Green Olives, Pine Nuts and Raisins
Nonna's Interior Sign

Nonna's Sign

 

The Art of Making Gnocchi Hands-On Cooking Class

Saturday, January 28 at 11:30am | $90 (plus tax & gratuity)

Join us for this popular class where you will learn the skill of making feather light gnocchi. Chef John has been preparing gnocchi for over 20 years and will guide you along as you create this old and traditional recipe. You’ll also be making three different sauces to pair with your gnocchi. Following the instruction, sit down with your fellow chefs for a family-style lunch of your freshly made gnocchi. Limit 7 people.

Menu
  •  Handmade Potato & Gnocchi
  • Alta Cucina Pomodoro Sauce
  • Gorgonzola Cream Sauce
  • Basil Pesto Sauce

 

The Pastas of Italy Cooking Demonstration

Saturday, February 4 at 11:30am | $50 (plus tax & gratuity)

In this class, Chef John will feature fresh pasta, its simplicity and three regional preparations. You’ll be amazed at the flavors of these pasta dishes and how easy it is to prepare them! Class includes a welcome glass of Prosecco, generous samples of all the dishes, wine and recipes.

Menu
  • Trenette al Pesto (fresh linguine, green beans, potato, basil pesto)
  • Tagliatelle alla Bolognese (Tagliatelle with meat sauce)
  • Pappardelle con Funghi (Pappardelle, foraged mushrooms, garlic oil)

 

Scaloppine Four-Ways Hands-On Cooking Class

Saturday, February 11 at 11:30am (Limit 7 people) | $90 (plus tax & gratuity)

Join us for one of our most popular classes. Scaloppine is an Italian dish consisting of thinly sliced meat or fish sautéed and served with a sauce. For this class, roll up your sleeves, put on your apron and join Chef John in the kitchen to learn to prepare four unique and delicious scaloppini preparations destined to become family favorites. When your work in the kitchen is done, sit down with a glass of wine and your classmates to enjoy your creations.

Menu
  • Veal Pizzaiola
  • Walleye Piccata
  • Chicken Saltimbocca
  • Pork with Brandy, Green Peppercorns, Mushrooms, Cream

 

Nonna's Captain's Table

Nonna's Captain's Table (Photo by Brandy Wheeler, Traverse Traveler)

 

The Art of Risotto Hands-On Cooking Class

Saturday, February 25 at 11:30am | $90 (plus tax & gratuity)

Join us for this popular class where you will learn the skill of making the perfect risotto. Chef John will guide you along as you create these recipes. Following the instruction, sit down with your fellow chefs for a family-style lunch.

Menu
  • Risotto with Saffron and Asparagus
  • Risotto alla Pescatora (Seafood)
  • Risotto with Strawberries and Balsamic
  • Risotto ai Funghi (Mushrooms)

 

The Cuisine of Genoa Cooking Demonstration

Saturday, March 3 at 11:30am | $50 (plus tax & gratuity)

The people of Genoa inventors of the ravioli. Home of Pesto, Farinata and Focaccia al Formaggio. In this class, Chef John will feature classical Genoese dishes, their history and development. You’ll be amazed at the flavors of these dishes and how easy it is to prepare them! Class includes a welcome glass of Prosecco, generous samples of all the dishes, wine and recipes.

Menu
  • Farinata (chick pea crepe) ~
  • Gnocchi al Pesto (Potato Gnocchi with basil Pesto) ~
  • Pansotti con Salsa di Noci (ravioli with a walnut sauce) ~
  • Focaccia al Formagio di Recco (Focaccia with Cheese)~

 

Chef John Piombo

Chef John Piombo (Photo by Brandy Wheeler, Traverse Traveler)

 

Fees & Advance Reservations

The fee includes the demonstration or class, not inclusive of tax and gratuity. After the preparation, students – of course – get to eat what they’ve made. Classes will be offered for at least four students, up to a maximum of seven for hands-on classes and for up to twenty students for a demonstration. 24-hours advance reservation and payment are required for demonstrations and 48-hours advance reservation and payment is required for hands-on cooking classes. Call calling Nonna’s at 231.334.5150.  

About Chef John Piombo

Born in the Bronx, Chef John Piombo’s parents returned to Italy when he was four and it was here that his love for all that is food grew immensely. After graduating from L’alberghiera Maria Mazzini in Genoa, Italy, Piombo spent years sharpening his skills in local restaurants. His travels took him to France, England, Germany and Spain, where he was exposed to different cultures, cuisines and cooking styles.

It was the late 1980s when Piombo returned to the United States, working at Tiberio’s (Washington DC-Bal Harbour), Stringfellow’s (London, England and Coconut Grove, Florida) and Letizia’s (New York). Wishing to broaden his culinary skills, Piombo moved west to the San Francisco Bay Area in March 2000, where he accepted a sous chef position with the California Cafe’ in Walnut Creek. Here, he was exposed to Asian and Southwest influences, which he felt were missing from his repertoire. He was soon promoted to Executive Chef and continued to master his skills, observing all the talented chefs create culinary masterpieces with all the different ingredients that were available to them.

An opportunity to be closer to his family prompted Chef Piombo to accept a transfer to Orlando. From there, he made the move to Northwest Michigan and The Homestead. He dedicated three years (2004-2007) to building up the resort’s reputation as a dining destination, catering to owners, guests and locals. He took a brief hiatus, but was back at The Homestead by the summer of 2008, helping shape the world-class, locally-infused menu.

Call Nonna’s today to reserve your spot!

 

Blog by Ileana Habsburg-Snyder

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