Exploring Italian Cuisine: A Taste of Home

Thursday, September 18, 2014
 

Seating is limited! Call the Gateway Community College Foundation, (203) 285-2617, today to reserve your place or purchase your tickets online at www.gatewayfdn.org.

It used to be said, in the Italian-American neighborhoods of Greater New Haven: “There are two kinds of people in the world … Italians, and those who wish they were Italians.” Even if you don’t trace your roots back to the “old country,” you’re more than likely among the legion of locals who truly love Italian food, and eat it every chance they get! If so, then you’ll want a front row seat at “Exploring Italian Cuisine: A Taste of Home,” the Wednesday, Oct. 8, Chefs of Our Kitchen (C.O.O.K.) event sponsored by the Gateway Community College Foundation. Tickets cost $70 per person.

“Exploring Italian Cuisine: A Taste of Home” will feature Chef Silvio Suppa, owner and executive chef of Café Allegre in Madison and Woodwinds banquet facility in Branford. He will be joined by his friend and collaborator, Anthony Riccio, author, historian and photographer, with whom he penned, in 2010, “Cooking with Chef Silvio: Stories and Authentic Recipes from Campania.”

This event, the third in this year’s C.O.O.K. series, will begin with a 6 p.m. reception and book-signing in Gateway’s NewAlliance Foundation Art Gallery, followed by a 7 p.m. presentation by Chef Silvio and Anthony in Café Vincenzo, Gateway Community College’s intimate, well-appointed demonstration restaurant and kitchen. Wells Fargo, a generous supporter of the Foundation and many of its special events, is serving as presenting sponsor of the 2014 C.O.O.K. series.

Guests will enjoy a delicious multi-course meal featuring some of Chef’s Silvio’s favorite recipes from the cookbook, prepared, under his supervision, by Gateway Culinary Arts students. Each course will be accompanied by a wine especially selected to complement the dish. As guests dine, Chef Silvio will demonstrate his techniques, and he and Anthony will offer a “guided tour” of the rich cultural and culinary history of the land of their forefathers: the Campania region of southern Italy, which is blessed with rich volcanic soil, warm sea breezes and an exuberant and varied cuisine.

About Chef Silvio
Chef Silvio Suppa started his culinary career as chef and partner of Del Monaco’s, the legendary eatery that dominated New Haven’s celebrated Wooster Street from 1972 to 1997.
Born in Benevento, Italy, he became passionate about cooking at an early age. His father and older brothers went to work each day, leaving young Silvio with his grandmother to tend to the house and care for his bedridden mother. His “Nonna” lovingly taught him how to make soups, sauces and pasta, and he began taking on more responsibilities in the kitchen. As he embraced with her the creative process of cooking, he also discovered the healing powers of food.
This highly respected and award-winning chef heads the Allegre Group, which encompasses Chef Silvio’s of Wooster Street Italian Sauces, Café Allegre of Madison, The Inn at Lafayette (above Café Allegre), Pronto Express of Mystic, and The Woodwinds of Branford.

Fulfilling his simple philosophy of “from farm to table,” he has served fresh, delectable and authentic Italian dishes throughout his 40-year culinary career. He continues to passionately create and discover new ways to delight his loyal customers, and his food is simply beyond compare!

About Anthony Riccio
Author, historian and photographer Anthony Riccio grew up in an old ethnic neighborhood of New Haven, where the constant hum of the local American Steel and Wire Mill could be heard in the well-tended backyards of his family’s Italian immigrant neighbors. He returned to the ancestral villages of his grandparents while pursuing a master of arts from the Syracuse University in Florence, Italy, where he photographed daily life in the rural villages of the south.  Anthony later became the director of the North End Senior Citizen Center in Boston, where he conducted oral-history interviews and photographed elderly Italian-Americans, spawning his first book, “Boston’s North End: Images and Recollections of an Italian-American Neighborhood.”

In addition to returning to the farmlands of Campania in 2009 with Chef Silvio Suppa to research the origins of true Mediterranean cuisine for their cookbook, he also penned “The Italian-American Experience in New Haven: Images and Oral Histories” and the recently published “Farms, Factories and Families: Italian American Women of Connecticut.”

Truly a “Renaissance man,” Anthony continues to document the stories and faces of Italian-Americans, while maintaining his “day job” as stacks manager of Yale’s Sterling Library.

About the C.O.O.K. series
Each C.O.O.K. presentation takes place in Gateway’s Café Vincenzo, Gateway’s demonstration kitchen and dining room. Each featured “C.O.O.K.” shows how some of his or her signature dishes are prepared, cooked, garnished and served; shares valuable “tricks of the trade,” and demonstrates how to use commonplace and exotic ingredients in the home kitchen. Guests enjoyed a pre-event reception and book-signing, a delicious dinner prepared by Gateway’s Culinary Arts students from the chefs’ own recipes, and wine parings to complement the evening’s featured cuisine. Wells Fargo, a generous supporter of the Foundation and many of its special events, is serving as presenting sponsor of the 2014 C.O.O.K. series.

Past C.O.O.K. chefs have included Jacques Pépin; local restaurateurs Jean Pierre Vuillermet and Claire Criscuolo; Jane and Michael Stern, authors of the “Road Food” series and “500 Things to Eat Before It’s Too Late”; Adrienne Kane, the “Pie Lady”; and Amy Green and Mark Rosati, top executives with the international Shake Shack franchise. 

You can learn more about Chefs of Our Kitchen, the Gateway Community College Foundation and Gateway Community College at www.gatewayfdn.org.