Months ago, I received an email from a publicist friend of mine who spoke reverently of a cooking class/dinner so fun, so intimate, so delicious I “MUST try it!!!” Of course, it’s so exclusive no amount of money will buy you a spot at this cooking class, but not because the chef is a snob. Quite the opposite. It’s exclusive in that the host, Anna Boiardi, hosts these dinners in her Tribeca home, opening it up to her friends and close friends of friends, and never charges for the copious amounts of food and wine she serves.
Of course, these dinner workshops wouldn’t have caused such a stir were Anna not a Boiardi. That’s right, say it phonetically. BOY-AR-DEE. Just like spaghetti-o’s! Indeed, Anna is a canned pasta heiress, but her food is the freshest thing around.
So, how did I find myself on a rainy Wednesday evening drinking a brunello in Anna’s kitchen while she calmly prepared dinner for 20-plus people? My friend Ariela, who seems to know everyone, was co-hosting the dinner. Lucky, lucky me.
Anna’s kitchen makes any cook or cook wannabe or even any New Yorker with an old crusty kitchen swoon. It’s big, beautiful and filled with stainless steel. Following her around in the big kitchen, watching her stir sauces, check on roasting chickens, and gently instruct her assistant on how to garnish the tomatoes for the caprese, all the while talking to me like she had known me forever and not three minutes, I formed an instant girl crush. Anna’s philosophy of sharing and learning through food is one I wholly subscribe to and support. “Basically,” she said, “I just want people to enjoy cooking and eating at home.”
Oh, I sure did.