Ask a Chef: Italian Cooking with Gabriella Ganugi

Maritozzo, a sweet, yeasted roll filled with fresh whipped cream.


An authority on the rich history of Tuscan cuisine, Gabriella Ganugi is no stranger to sharing her knowledge of Italian fare with Beard House guests. After all, she has been making an annual sojourn to Mr. Beard’s storied New York townhouse for over a decade. Later this month, Ganugi returns, along with a talented team from Florence's Apicius International School of Hospitality for an autumnal ode to Tuscan flavors, highlighting the incredible quality of the region’s salumi, olive oil, produce, and other singular ingredients. In anticipation of perennially popular homage to her culinary heritage, we chatted with la regina della cucina italiana (or, the queen of Italian cooking) to find out which dish she’s most excited to share with guests, her ultimate guilty-pleasure food, and the best spot to eat like a local when in Florence, Italy.

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What We're Reading: July 23, 2015



You’ve mastered the art of eating the ramen burger, now it’s time to tackle the recipe. [Food Network]


Inside the buttery, flaky, imaginative world of the Cronut king.  [Eater NY]


A Connecticut fast food chain is pushing the protein limits with their cricket milkshake. [MUNCHIES]


Ice cream guru, Jeni Britton Bauer, shares her secrets to surviving a crisis. [Yahoo Food]... Read more >

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JBF on the Air: Gabriella Ganugi

Gabriella Ganugi on Taste Matters with Mitchell Davis


On this week's Italy-themed episode of Taste Matters, Mitchell Davis was joined by chef and educator Gabriella Ganugi, founder of the Palazzi Florence Association for International Education. With academic programs in culinary arts, food science management, interactive digital media, and more, students gain an intimate knowledge of Italian culture through field trips and first-hand experiences with traditional Italian cuisine. Gabriella and Mitchell discuss the differences between Italian and American culture, as well as how her school's unique curriculum teaches students about the history of food through the lens of Italian cuisine. Gabriella also holds a doctorate in architecture and has lectured extensively at hospitality schools around the world. Listen below to learn to more:

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On the Menu: April 10 through April 16

Here’s what’s happening at the Beard House and around the country next week: Sunday, April 10, 12:00 P.M. Spring Teatime Lunch Savor a sophisticated high tea–inspired luncheon prepared by the talented team behind the Artist Baker, a highly acclaimed boutique bakery. Pastry chefs Andrea Lekberg and Erica Leahy, both alums of prestigious eateries such as Craft, db Bistro Moderne, Sweet Melissa’s Patisserie, and Pichet Ong’s Batch, have designed an impeccably seasonal menu complete with wine pairings. Monday, April 11, 7:00 P.M. Savoring Northern Italy Unlike most chefs, who seek out city locations with high foot traffic, Sean Weinberg opened Restaurant Alba in a small Pennsylvania town to be close to area farms. There, this Slow Food ambassador

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Tastebud: Panna Cotta

panna cotta
Hailing from the Northern Italian regions of Val d’Aosta and Piedmont, classic panna cotta is a combination of sugar and cream or milk (or both!). True to its name (which is Italian for “cooked cream”), the dessert is made by heating the ivory base, adding gelatin (we prefer sheets over powder for the satiny texture they produce), pouring the mixture into round containers to set, and releasing the jelled result. Panna cotta pulls off a miraculous texture that’s both effortlessly light and mouth-caressingly rich.

In Gastronomy of Italy, Anna del Conte writes that while the dessert is occasionally flavored with peach eau-de-vie or paired with fresh fruit, the traditional, unadulterated version prevails throughout the boot. But Beard House chefs have broken the panna cotta mold: Dean James Max

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Eye Candy: Fabulous Focaccia

focaccia Lorenzo Polegri—chef at the famed Zeppelin in Orvieto, Italy—served these tiny cornmeal and rosemary focaccia rounds with gorgonzola mousse and chives during the reception of his Beard House dinner. You can see more photos of the Italian feast by clicking here.

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JBF Kitchen Cam