Those wanting to try a cooking class can get an advanced introduction to one of the local instructional chefs — Loretta Paganini, celebrity chef and owner of the Loretta Paganini School of Cooking in Chesterland, OH — by tuning into the Good Company television show on WKYC Channel 3.
Paganini is a regular guest chef every Wednesday morning on the show as well as the chef and instructor at her cooking school in Chesterland. She is also the teaching chef at the cooking school located inside the store at 8100 Cleveland Avenue in North Canton.
Paganini also owns a restaurant in Chesterland called Sapore where she and her teaching partner, Jonathan Kish, are executive chefs. She brings her talents for cooking and teaching to the North Canton classroom throughout the year.
“We work with 20 to 25 students per class in a very intimate setting with professional chefs and we all get to eat a wonderful meal,” Paganini said. “Our typical student here, we call them foodies, are people who have a passion for good food and want to learn good cooking tips.”
As students arrive, they find their places at the table have a proper table setting along with an appetizer waiting for them. Paganini greets each student and then tells the group “When there is food in front of you, eat.” The adult students can also enjoy a glass of wine while waiting for class to start and throughout the class.
“I believe that good food and a good wine paired to the meal is just a wonderful dining experience,” Paganini said.
As the classroom fills with the fragrance of Italian spices and herbs, Paganini starts the class right on time and tells the group that she is their chef, instructor and Italian grandmother for the evening. Paganini said most good chefs learn more from their grandmothers than anyone else.
Tammy Overton from North Canton is taking her second class at the cooking school. Her first class was on making ravioli.
“I loved that class," Overton said. "We each had our own dough and we rolled out our own ravioli. It was a lot of fun."
Lynn Popovics from the Akron area is also back for her second class. She has also attended a few classes at the school in Chesterland.
“The food is always awesome and I love all of the cooking tips Loretta gives,” Popovics said.
The room goes from spice flavored to a comfortable ambiance of someone baking cookies when Paganini begins her instruction on preparing biscotti. Instantly the classroom really does take on the feeling of an Italian grandmother’s kitchen.
Paganini maintains a two-way dialogue with the students and Kish throughout her teaching and the students talk amongst themselves about the food. The class was interactive, relaxed and productive, ending with a complete Italian meal with appetizer, main dish, wine and dessert.
Paganini has cooked at the Fishers store since it opened eight years ago. The Loretta Paganini School of Cooking is registered with the state of Ohio as a vocational school with articulation agreements with Ursuline College and Lakeland Community College. The culinary school graduates 80 to 100 students a year.
For more information about the cooking classes scheduled at Fishers Foods this summer, visit www.lpsinc.com/fishersclasses.asp.