Impastiamo. An online cooking lessons project for charity

Apr 22 2021, 09:09 | by Gambero Rosso
Impastiamo is a young American company created by Silvia Carluccio to support American chefs during the first lockdown. Following the project's success, online cooking lessons continued but the proceeds now go to different charities. On the 22nd it’s for the protection of bees.

Impastiamo. In Los Angeles, online cooking lessons that also speak Legnano Italian dialect: Silvia Carluccio moved to Los Angeles ten years ago, where she started working in event planning, a sector that has suffered greatly due to Covid. So last year Silvia reinvented herself and created a platform that offers online cooking lessons in collaboration with chefs and for chefs. With her are Matt Kirchner, Michelle Malerba and Agnese Giardini. "We launched Impastiamo in April 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, with the aim of supporting the struggling food industry." Data in hand, the Californian city was (and is) one of the most affected cities in America, both in terms of number of Covid cases and from an economic point of view: the State of California has imposed particularly harsh restrictions, especially during the second wave. "Since then, we've hosted over fifty lessons with chefs from all over the world, from Milan, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Costa Rica, Sicily, Tuscany, Spain. And in recent months, thanks to our users, we raised more than 26,000 dollars and supported about thirty businesses including restaurants, private chefs and non-profit organizations."

How Impastiamo works

The model is simple: chefs and enthusiasts can teach their cooking to people from all over the world, helping them every step of the way. Participants pay a registration fee for each class, aware that part of the proceeds will be donated to charity, each time to a different association. On the occasion of World Earth Day, April 22nd, the virtual lessons will be open to the world and free (thanks to the collaboration with Caffè Vergnano), even if the participants are invited to contribute with a donation of 20 euros that will go to support two organizations committed to the protection of bees: the proceeds from the European lessons will go to Save Bees and Farmers while those from the US lesson will go to The Bee Conservancy.

Countries involved in the lessons on World Earth Day

Five countries are involved, as are five gastronomic realities participating: for France there is Bruno Verjus, chef of the Parisian restaurant Table; for Germany, Marcello Gallotti of Erasmus; for The Netherlands, Michael van der Kroft of restaurant Tres in Rotterdam; for the United States the lesson is led by one of the most critically acclaimed Californian chefs, Roxana Jullapat of Friends & Family in Los Angeles. The Italian representation is instead formed by Sara Nicolosi and Cinzia De Lauri of Altatto, a business born as a catering service but which now has a vegetarian bistro in Milan and a contemporary vegetarian cookbook.

Latest news from Altatto

"We decided to cook our Castelmagno risotto with cannellini beans cream together with the signed up participants," Sara anticipates, "Our lesson will be in Italian and the first ten users registered, if resident in Milan, will receive the ingredients at home," for the others the necessary shopping list will be communicated in advance, in order to be ready to cook at the same time as the girls from Altatto. Also for those who live in Milan, we would like to point out their sustainable delivery service inspired by the Indian tradition of dabbawala – we recommend watching the film Lunchbox to better understand this tradition! – that is delivery boys who carry the dabba (typical Indian steel lunch boxes) with the meals that their wives prepare for their commuting husbands. How it works: Altatto delivers door to door a stainless steel bento-style lunchbox for which, only the first time, an extra 10 euros are charged, but already from the next order you can choose the returnable option which is collected at the same time as the delivery of the next meal. This "schiscetta" contains a complete meal that can be reheated in the oven and eaten directly in the container, thus without producing unnecessary waste. An idea that we hope many can replicate. 

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