Thursday, June 17, 2010

Join Us for a Cooking Class Benefitting St. Joseph Center's Culinary Training Program


Wednesday, June 23, 2010, 6 to 9 pm
St. Joseph Center, Venice

A hands-on cooking class/dinner spotlighting summer entertaining with a Northern Italian flavor and benefiting St. Joseph Center's Culinary Training Program is presented by Roberto Maggioni, executive chef at Santa Monica's Locanda del Lago, on Wednesday, June 23, 2010, 6 to 9 pm, at St. Joseph Center in Venice.

The evening, sponsored by Whole Foods Venice, is the newest in St. Joseph Center's CULINARY EXPERIENCE FOR A CAUSE series of cooking classes, which most recently featured chefs from CafĂ© Pinot of the Patina Group, Ado Ristorante and Gourmandise Desserts. St. Joseph Center's Culinary Training Program is an innovative vocational initiative that provides classroom and kitchen training for unemployed men and women to help get them back on their feet, obtain jobs and establish a career path with opportunities for advancement. Students from the program will act as Chef Maggioni’s kitchen assistants during the class.

Maggioni's participatory class features hands-on instruction and demonstration for a three-course menu of Northern Italian cuisine ideal for entertaining in the summer weeks to come. Selections are VELLUTATA DI VERZA E CAVOLINI FRITTI (Cream of Roasted Savoy Cabbage Soup with Fried Brussels Sprouts), RISOTTO ALLE BARBABIETOLE MANTECATO AL GORGONZOLA DOLCELATTE (Market Red Beet Risotto with Gorgonzola "Dolcelatte") and FILETTO DI MAIALE AI FUNGHI E CAROTE GLASSATE CON BROCCOLI MORNAY (Pork tenderloin with Wild Mushroom Sauce, Glazed Carrots and Broccoli Mornay). Following instruction, class participants dine on the delicious results. Aprons, tools and all ingredients are included.

Roberto Maggioni possesses an exceptional resume and the vast international culinary experience of a chef twice his age. His passion for cooking, his knowledge of regional Italian gastronomic traditions, and his familiarity with the newest cooking methods originating from Spain elevate Lago to new culinary heights. Born in Milan, Maggioni was inspired by his mother, Cristina -- a baker by trade -- to embrace the career of a professional chef. After attending culinary school in Milan, Maggioni worked at the most renowned restaurants of the area's metropolis and then traveled through Europe to broaden his culinary experience, taking posts at La Pergola in London, Il Giardino in Mallorca, Spain, and several notable restaurants in France.

Lago, the upscale Italian restaurant which has been attracting foodies, celebrities, locals and travelers since opening in 1991, is dedicated to providing the ultimate restaurant experience with exceptional flavors in each dish coupled with meticulous, friendly service. The kitchen features the most flavorful ingredients available in conjunction with traditional and innovative recipes to keep guests coming back for new experiences.

St. Joseph Center is an independent, non-profit 501 (c)(3), community-based organization whose mission is “to provide working poor families, as well as homeless men, women, and children of all ages, with the inner resources and tools to become productive, stable and self-supporting members of the community.” The Center was founded by, and remains affiliated with, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, but it does not provide religious services or instruction and assists persons regardless of their religious affiliation or lack thereof. It creates an environment that develops self-reliance and promotes action in people capable of becoming productive members of the community. The Center serves more than 6,000 individuals annually through 10 integrated programs and a Thrift Store, which offers used items for sale to the public and offers vouchers for free clothing and household goods to those in need. To learn more about St. Joseph Center’s comprehensive services, please visit

St. Joseph Center is located at 204 Hampton Drive in Venice. The class fee (50% is tax deductible) is $80 per person or $150 for two tickets purchased at once. Space is limited, and registration is required by June 18. For tickets and more information, contact Madelaine Goodreau at or 310-396-6468, x 328.

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