The COVID-19 quarantine may have prevented live participation in Casa Belvedere’s popular classes and program offerings, but it has not stopped the Italian Foundation from sharing culture with the community virtually.
Turning to Facebook Live, the organization has been hosting a social media series entitled “My Dad Can Cook.” Starring Chef James Paone and his daughters Rosemary and Sophia, the 25-minute segments are hosted in Casa Belvedere’s Cucina Colavita where Paone and his teens demonstrate Italian-inspired meals using fresh ingredients from “Nonno’s Garden,” which is located on the grounds of the Cultural Center.
A temporary substitute for Casa Belvedere’s children’s culinary program, the organization says it hopes to resume in-person, socially distanced cooking classes for both children and adults soon.
“With the power of the internet and social media, we have been able to cast a much wider net recruiting participants,” noted Gina Biancardi, Casa Belvedere’s founder. “People from Ohio, Florida, Texas and California sign up for our classes and programs. I never imagined that a Texan would ‘attend’ an Italian class being taught, virtually, in Staten Island.”
New fall and winter episodes of Paone’s show are being planned, highlighting cold-weather soups and traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas specialties. For more information about the show and other programs at Casa Belvedere, visit www.casa-belvedere.org.
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