I grew up in the kitchen of the family trattoria we’d owned for generations in Northern Italy, in Mantua. When I finished my studies in the early 80s, I moved to Rome and worked as a journalist. For many years, I wrote for Gambero Rosso, a well-known, innovative Italian food and wine magazine, and later also a television channel. I loved cooking since childhood, thanks to my grandmother, who was wonderfully talented. But my style at the stove today is a melting pot of different traditions. First came the rich traditions of Mantua, ancient recipes handed down from the Renaissance court of the Gonzaga family, who reigned in our city for centuries.
Then I absorbed the traditions of Rome, the city that became my home and that I love. During my work as a journalist, I interviewed many Italian and international chefs, and learned their secrets as I hung around their kitchens watching them work. Writing the biography of chef Fulvio Pierangeli, one of Italy’s greatest talents, was an influential experience. I also had the privilege of interning in the kitchen of Ferran Adrià, a Spanish chef considered one of the 20th century’s most revolutionary.
My private cooking class with Raffaella was an amazing experience. Her home was warm and inviting and I felt like she was a long-lost friend. Being an Alabama girl who loves to cook, I chose to explore artichokes five different ways. Wow—how I WISH we could get the beautiful purple Roman artichokes here in the Southern US! Even though they are not available here, I have been able to incorporate her techniques and recipes and have had a dinner party with artichokes being the star! Thank you, Raffaella, for a delightful day–it was a special treat for myself while my husband was running in the Rome Marathon who we just happened to see walking to Raffaella’s apartment. If you are contemplating a cooking class–I highly recommend Ristomama and Raffaella in Testaccio. She was excellent! This was an experience I will treasure always!
My sister and I had an absolutely fantastic lesson with Rafaella!! She opened up her wonderful home to us and showed us about 7 recipes with artichoke. She even went out and found us the artichoke, which is very difficult as it’s not the season in Italy right now. The food we cooked was so delicious and we were served with wine and water in her terrace. Couldn’t have asked for anything better! Thank you so much.
Me and my wife had such a great time learning how to cook a traditional roman meal with Raffaella. She is a great cook and her suppli are simply amazing! We ate what we prepared on her rooftop, and she also gave us some tips to explore the city!
Thank you Raffaella, hope to see you again