PHOTOPHILE- Buon appeti: Eat, drink, and make antipasti!

Anyone passing by the Main Street Market last Thursday, August 3, could have caught a glimpse of diners at candlelit tables in the galleria area of the market clinking glasses of Valpolicella and feasting on delights like "cipolline agrodolce" (cipolline onions in a sweet and sour sauce) and zucchini blossom frittatas.

At "How to Host an Antipasti Party," chefs Marisa Catalano and Megan Headley guided 18 students through the creation of 10 authentic Italian antipasti dishes.  Antipasti– literally "before pasta"– is a selection of hot and cold appetizers that can be served as a meal in their own right.  

"Antipasti are as delicious at room temperature as they are straight from the oven," says Catalano, "which is why they lend themselves to the perfect entertaining dishes— you can make them ahead of time and then enjoy your party with your guests."

While most cooking classes at The Seasonal Cook are demonstration-based, Catalano and Headley wanted to bring more hands-on opportunities to the Cook's series of classes. "You'll remember a technique and approach it with much more confidence when you've attempted it with your own hands." Headley says.

The students did just that. Rebecca Belt sauteed zucchini while Bruce Hunter "chiffonaded" basil, and Jeremy Jones put the finishing touches on a cheese and salami platter. And, after an assembly line of students and the efficiency of a panini press resulted in a heaping platter of gooey Nutella and ricotta panini, chefs Catalano and Headley enjoyed their party with their guests– who went home with heads full of knowledge and tummies full of food.

"How to Host an Antipasti Party" at the Seasonal Cook

Jeremy Jones, Janet Borch, and Gail Moulton

Jeremy Jones brings his cheese and salami platter to the table.

Marisa Catalano sautes zucchini blossoms.

Megan Headley and Rebecca Belt stir minted zucchini.

Guests prepare to eat

Nutella and ricotta paninis