5 reasons why R.I. is a unique retreat for foodie’s and those learning to cook

5. One-Day Cooking Classes
Johnson & Wales University, one of the world’s premier culinary institutions, presents Chef’s Choice® – an innovative program open to anyone seeking to improve their cooking skills. Through demonstrations and hands-on opportunities, enrollees can learn and practice techniques ranging from cooking basics to preparing world-class cuisines with the guidance of professional chef instructors. Classes are open to the public and all skill levels. More info: http://www.jwu.edu/chefschoice/pvd/

4. Specialty Gourmet Cooking, Straight from Italy
Since leaving Abruzzo, Italy, in 1972, Chef Walter Potenza has transformed his zest for producing delicious, authentic Italian cuisine into five successful restaurants and cafés, a cookbook, two local TV shows and, more recently, an organic food market and café. And, of course, there is Chef Walter’s cooking school located on Providence’s Federal Hill. Upcoming classes will concentrate on fish stews and soups, rigatone alla bolognose, stuffed chicken breast, risotto with wild mushrooms, pasta ripiena (ravioli), olive oil, Italian tapas and other topics. All classes are open to groups, individuals or private parties and are followed by dinner.
More info: http://www.chefwalter.com/WP-Cooking-School.htm

3. 18th Century Open Hearth Cooking
It’s not everyday that one gets the chance to eat authentic colonial dishes, as well as prepare and cook them. But that’s precisely the experience the Woody Hill Bed & Breakfast offers its guests. Using 18th century antique and reproduction cookware, visitors can learn every aspect of open-hearth meal preparation from bringing in the wood to cooking in the bake oven. On the menu is golden squash soup, New England cornbread, turkey roasted in the tin reflector oven, pear chutney, winter root vegetables, Thomas Jefferson’s bread pudding baked in the beehive oven, and other period dishes.
More info: http://www.woodyhill.com/cooking.html

2. A Tour of Famous Federal Hill
Providence’s Federal Hill boasts more than 50 of the finest Italian restaurants, fresh produce markets, bakeries and wine shops within a 1-mile span. Foodies near and far often explore this famous Italian neighborhood blindly. But now they can take the behind-the-scenes tour with resident Chef Cindy Salvato. Nearly every Saturday, Chef Cindy serves as a personal guide throughout the 3-hour excursion, introducing guests to her fellow chefs, bakers, butchers and even ravioli makers who personally demonstrate how they prepare some of the best Italian dishes in the country. She describes each vendor, and provides tips about Italian cooking and how various ingredients are used appropriately. And, of course, guests can sample foods, wine and desserts along the way. Chef Cindy also provides lessons in her cooking studio.
More info: http://www.rimarkettours.com/tourdetails.htm

1. The “Smithsonian Museum” of the Food Industry
We would be remiss if we did not reference the world-class Culinary Arts Museum, located on the Harborside Campus of Johnson & Wales University, just minutes from downtown Providence. It is often referred to as the “Smithsonian Institution of the Food Service Industry,” for its five centuries of books, menus, artifacts, appliances, antiques and other collections relating to the history of food and food preparation. Exhibits include the history of diners (born in Providence), stoves and ranges, kitchen gadgets, inns and taverns, the art of pastillage and more. More info: http://www.culinary.org/

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