Francesco Ricchi, chef/owner of Cesco Osteria, in Bethesda,
Md., presented “The Art of Authentic
Italian Cuisine” on June 26, 2015, at the IUP Academy of Culinary Arts.
Twenty-one Pennsylvania educators attended the one-day, professional development workshop
designed for culinary and foods instructors.
The class focused on recipes and
cooking techniques for fresh pastas, raviolis, and tortellinis prepared with
traditional and exotic sauces. (One dish
included squid ink pasta tossed with shrimp, calamari, cherry tomato, and
Chef Ricchi shared secrets about Italian cooking learned
over many years, some going back to his grandmother’s time in the Tuscan
village of Cercina.
A prominent chef and restaurateur in the Washington, D.C. area,
Chef Francesco (“Cesco”) Ricci has received numerous awards, including Chef of
the Year (Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington), Best Newcomer
(Washingtonian Magazine), Best Italian Restaurant (Washingtonian Magazine), Best
New Restaurant in the United States (Esquire Magazine), Top Twenty-Five
Restaurants in North America (Food and Wine Magazine), Washington Post’s 50
Very Best Restaurants, and Zagat Restaurant Award of Distinction.
The Ricchi family began their business in Italy in 1929 with
the opening of a “small grocery store and trattoria.” It was this business that
years later a young “Cesco” turned into his first successful restaurant. Chef
Ricci brought his classic Italian style cooking to the D.C. area in 1989 with the
opening of Ristorante i Ricchi. Recognizing the demand for a larger restaurant
space, he opened the Cesco Osteria and
Co2 Lounge in 2011.
Workshop participants devoured culinary recipes, new techniques, and plated dishes for a full day. They enjoyed a lunch of penne pasta with garden vegetables and a house-made Sicilian sausage prepared by culinary students in the Advanced Garde