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La Cuoca Calabrese

"The Calabrian Cook"


We are a Calabrian-based cooking school that is taught entirely by grandmothers, or “Nonne”. The school is located in the chestnut tree-covered hills west of Cosenza, in a small village called Marano Marchesato. This area occupies the very toe of the Italian boot and is an ancient land with ancient traditions. Settled since Neolithic times. Calabria has been colonized by the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Saracens, the Normans, the Spanish, and, the French. Each group has, over time, contributed to the wide variety of agricultural products that Calabrian is known for.


In every culture, the keepers of traditions are the most respected members…grandmothers. La Cuoca Calabrese – the Calabrian cook, the teaching cadre are grandmothers, or “Nonne Calabresi. Each brings a skill, a way of doing things, that has stood the test of time, handed down generation after generation, for hundreds, if not thousands of years.



I am part of the vast Calabrian diaspora. My story is basically the same story as millions of other people whose bloodline begins in Calabria. I listened to the stories my grandparents told of “the old country”. Feasted at Christmas and Easter on foods you only ate once or twice a year. After I took my first breath of Calabrian air, I instantly felt like it was a homecoming. The feeling was powerful and long-lasting.

The true mission our cooking school is to help others walk the same path I took. I had questions about the past and what I found was a connection between myself, the people I met and the future.  In the end.what we really offer is connection. The most human desire. “Come home to Calabria” isn’t just a slogan. It’s an invitation to Connect.

Joe (Owner) & Marcella (Director)

Joe Cairo (Director) and Marcella Scornavacca (Chef)

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