Award-Winning D.C. Chef Teaches Italian Cuisine at IUP

Posted on 7/8/2015 1:55:38 PM

Chef Francesco RicchiFrancesco 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 asparagus.)

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 Manger class.