Loretta Paganini held her weeklong cooking classes for the 17th year in a row at the Jacaranda Restaurant between Jan. 27-31 for those lucky attendees who got to learn firsthand from a master how to cook traditional Italian favorites.
Paganini was born in Bologna, Italy and first learned how to cook from her mother, a renowned chef and television personality in Italy, so she comes by it naturally. She had the opportunity to train under famous chefs, continuing her education at Cordon Bleu in Paris and has been certified by the International Association of Culinary Professions. She maintains membership in the IACP and the American Culinary Federation and is the founder of the Tri State Association of Cooking Schools.
By opening The Loretta Paganini School of Cooking in Chesterland, Ohio, she is able to bring culinary education to hundreds of recreational students. She is also recognized as a local and national television personality, having appeared on shows like “CBS This Morning.” She starred in a national video for Weight Watchers to teach new members the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. She has written cookbooks and contributes regularly to cooking articles in local magazines and newspapers.
Attendees had the choice to take a day of classes or the entire week as many chose to do. Each day was a different theme In a Tuscan Kitchen, Mushrooms and Truffles, Tapas, Paella and Sangria, A Burst of Flavor: Cooking with Fresh Herbs, and Deliziioso Dinner.
Each day featured a wide variety of dishes that reflected a topic. For example, Tapas, Paella and Sangria started out with a glass of Sassy Fruit Sangria. The drink was prepared on the stage which featured a mirror so that everyone could see how each was prepared. Following that, Spinach Empanadas, Tortilla di Patata, Chorizo Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers, Shrimp de Ajo, Mushrooms Segovia Style, Tomato Gaspacho with Vegetable Confetti, Mediterranean Salad with Sangria Vinaigrette, Paella Valenciana with Seafood and Chicken, and finished with Coconut Macaroons and Almond Flan Cake with Fresh Strawberries and Ice Cream. Loretta had an attendee come up and assist with each dish, while imparting helpful hints and colorful stories from Italy to accompany the instruction.
Many attendees have been coming for years, including Judy Goldenberg, who has come to all of the 17 Sanibel cooking schools over the years and has travelled with Paganini on three of her tours to Italy.
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