Meet Simone Guerra, one of the fantastic people I met during my stay in Italy for “Project Healthy in Italy”. (Read about it here). I was introduced to Simone, the founder of the culinary school Otto in Cucina in Bologna by Valeria Moschet, the women behind the succesessful blog My Lovely Bologna
If you are travelling to Bologna I really recommend stopping by her site and Instagram account with the same name for some great tips!
Below the pictures you will learn more about how Simone founded one of Bolognas most modern culinary schools…
The Pasta Warrior
Simone Guerra is the founder of the culinary school “Otto in Cucina”. Her last name is “Guerra” which means warrior in Italian. Considering what she embarked upon a year ago when building her culinary school form the ground up, the meaning of her last name is very appropriate! You can see the video from her journey here
The moment I entered the school I could sense the passion and labour that went into building the beautiful, brand new culinary school full of modern equipment and design, which is branded with Simones staple color; hot pink.
Here is also a video from the lovely herb garden at the school!
“Otto in Cucina” means “eight in the kitchen”, referring to the Italian school grade system where grade 10 is the best. Simone is not a chef with a formal education therfore she found herself more comfortable with telling her students that if you can acheive culinary results worth the grade 8 and not always 10, that still means you can make som amazing food! Food should be about pleasure, fun, joy and nutrition and not about perfection.
Becoming a Master of Pasta, Sfolia
I love the fresh egg pasta which is typical of Bologna and the Emilia- Romagna area and Simone taught me how to make the classic tagliatelle pasta which are the flat pasta that are suppose to be 1 m.m. x 6 m.m. in size. I can assure you this will take practice to acheive…
Simone learned the art of cooking from her grandmother who was a “sfoglina”, female pastamaker, but the art of making fresh pasta she actually learned from the mother of one of her sons friends.
For years she had been intimidated by the art of pasta, thinking it would be to difficult to learn. But her friend told her otherwise. She was a professional “sfoglina” by trade and meant that anyone could learn and become good at making “sfoglia” with a little love, passion and practice.
The two became both good friends and cooking buddies, talking eagerly about pasta making in the school halls. Eventually some of the fathers at the school overheared the conversations and wanted to learn more about pasta as more and more Italian men are getting into the kitchen. So the journey begins…
From Hobby to Career
Do to the demand of several fathers wanting to learn how to make pasta, Simone and her friend- the professional pasta maker, started pasta and cooking courses in Simones house in 2012. By 2013 they held about 150 courses in all kinds of cuisines and simply outgrew her house.
In 2017 Simone and her husband decided to invest in a property that today is the culinary school Otto in Cucina where Simone and her staff share their passion and knowledge about Italian food as well as other cuisines for both private persons and companies.
I highly recommend booking a class if you ever are in the area! Visit her school here
Here are the dishes we made that evening; fresh egg tagliatelle, pesto, agrugula pesto with pistachios, cherry tomatoes and burrata cheese.
Having great fun while learning about Italian cooking and being inspired by these talented women! Simone, Valeria and Stefania. ( http://www.mylovelybologna.com and http://www.mymodenadiary.com. More to come later).