Il Fornaio and Club EATalian

One of the joys of living in Los Angeles is that there are so many amazing things to do. Take Tuesday, for instance. I took my son to Il Fornaio in Beverly Hills for a free cooking class with Chef Giuseppe DiMola and Chef Reba Berdakin of Piccolo Chef.

A group of kids learned how to make fresh bread and were taught about eating healthy Italian food. It was part of Club EATalian, an initiative started by the Italian Trade Commission, the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, and the Italian Chamber of Commerce. Club EATalian’s message is that the Mediterranean diet is good for you and buying Authentic Italian products is good for Italy.

Chef Giuseppe DiMola and kids


Chefs try to convince kids to try new foods


The fixins

I learned about Club EATalian at a fantastic talk on March 16 in Westwood about feeding kids healthy foods that I wrote about for Evan Kleiman of KCRW’s Good Food was there along with Aida Mollenkamp of the Food Network and Dena Herman of UCLA’s School of Public Health. They had a lot of great ideas of how to introduce healthy food. One that I loved was from Evan. She said to grate a zucchini and saute it in olive oil. Then add a tiny bit of sugar. Kids love it, she said, because it tastes like candy. I can’t wait to try it.

On Tuesday at Il Fornaio, there was no sugar in the vegetables, but they were roasted and delicious. Unfortunately, my son would not try the zucchini and eggplant, but he did go for Olive Oil, prosciutto, and ham on his sandwich. He only eats peanut butter and jelly so for him to eat a meat sandwich was a major accomplishment.

zuchinniAlec making sandwichNot only that, but Chef Reba got him to try Parmigiano-Reggiano. He didn’t like it, but at least he tried it. The kids went home with a Club EATalian shirt and the moms were given prosciutto and cheese. There are a few more free classes through Piccolo Chef coming up. Space is limited.

high five

Marino Ristorante
10:30 am to 12:30 pm, Saturday, March 26, 2011
For kids ages 6 to 9 accompanied by an adult

10:30 am to noon
Ages 12 and up

Da Pasquale Trattoria
11 am to 12:30 pm, April 3, 2011
Ages 9 to 10

Check out our interview with Chef Reba and Evan Kleiman of KCRW

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