Enjoy a cookery class with Giuseppe dell’Anno

Enjoy a cookery class with Giuseppe dell’Anno

The keen eyed amongst you will already have spotted the competition we’re currently running over on our instagram page. The competition gives you the chance to enjoy a cookery lesson with Great British Bake Off 2021 Winner Giuseppe dell’Anno. Today, we’re delighted to be sharing even more exciting news.

Our clients are now able to book private cookery classes with Giuseppe, to be enjoyed in the comfort of their chosen Italian villa rental. Whatever Bookings For You villa you have opted to stay in, you can enjoy a cookery class with our favourite Italian baker! So, whether you’ve booked a villa in Italy in the north of the country in the Italian Lakes or right down in the south in Puglia or Sicily, Giuseppe can come to you!

Classes will be completely bespoke for what you and your family or friends want to learn. Perhaps you’re desperate for Giuseppe’s expertise on how to whip up the most incredibly delicious pasta dishes. Or perhaps you’re dying to know how to make one of his signature GBBO dishes. Or maybe you’d like to rustle up some creations unique to the Italian region you’re staying in. Whatever you’re after, we’ll work with Giuseppe to come up with a bespoke class perfectly suited to your needs.

To find out more about the man himself, today we’re chatting to our favourite GBBO winner about all things Italian – the food, the country and the people. Giuseppe grew up in Gaeta, a small coastal town on the west coast of Italy, between Rome and Naples. He moved to Tuscany when he started university, and then life brought him to the UK in his mid-20s. Over to Giuseppe to tell us more…

An interview with Giuseppe Dell’Anno

What brought you to the UK? 

I must admit that I never actively decided to leave Italy and relocate to the UK for good. Initially, my plan was to stay here just for six months to complete the final research project for my masters degree. But as it often happens, life events took over. A PhD, three British kids and one engineering career later, I’m still here.

All I can say is that we’re super happy that life events did take over! So, where did your love of cooking come from?

The love of food and the passion for baking is part of my very nature. My dad was a professional chef and I have lots of family members in the baking business. I have an uncle who is a bread baker and a cousin who is a chocolatier. It’s fair to say that even the person that bakes the least in my family is much more knowledgeable than average. I was brought up in an environment where nobody ever spoke about politics, sport or religion, but just food! The funny thing is that until I moved out of my family home, I was convinced that this was the norm and that everybody could bake a cake!

How did you find your experience on the GBBO?  

Taking part in the GBBO changed my life. It was an exhausting experience, physically, psychologically and emotionally. But one that I would do all over again without thinking twice. The most memorable moment was the very first time Paul and Prue had a bite of one of my cakes. I will never forget it!

How has life changed since the GBBO?

I have put my engineering career on hold and focussed entirely on my baking career. The change has been stark! I have published two cookbooks since the show and I have recently launched my baking classes. I have become rather familiar with TV sets and radio studios, which certainly weren’t a part of my old office life.

You have also recently gone back to engineering part time. How do you manage to successfully juggle family, cooking and engineering commitments?

I got my very first job contract when I was 15 and I have never stopped working since. The prospect of working hard has never stopped me. It’s surprising how many things you can get done in a day if you don’t spend much time watching TV or scrolling TikTok!

Can you explain the process of how you write your cookbooks?

My books are made entirely of unapologetically Italian recipes. Most of them come straight from my family hand written cookbooks. Others are fished out of the rich Italian repertoire. I like my recipes to be as close as possible to their authentic self. Although admittedly, it’s sometimes difficult to pin point what authentic really means. My only adjustments tend to be small tweaks to make the recipe doable abroad. So, for example, I select ingredients that can be found in a conventional British or American supermarket.

What is the favourite recipe your family like you to cook for them?

Friday night is pizza night in my household. That’s an uncompromisable tradition that everybody in the family honours. And I’m super happy to be the functional enabler of this weekly rite. I love baking and eating pizza. What makes me a very proud dad is that, when given the choice between going out for pizza, or having one made from scratch at home, my kids always chose the latter.

What is your favourite Italian dish?

This is going to sound trite and very predictable, but I love pasta and bread. I love to cook pasta dishes in their numerous declinations and I love to bake and eat the many formats and variety of Italian breads.

Do your children share your love of cooking? 

My eldest does. He’s always looking for opportunities to get baking or cooking. My other two do most of the eating, but none of the baking!

You have lived in England for a number of years now. How often do you get back to Italy?

I’m lucky enough to have family and friends scattered all over the country. As a result, I have plenty of opportunities to visit the entirety of Italy when I fly back. Needless to say, the grandparents are top of the list and we bring the kids to visit them at least once a year. I try to go back to my beloved Tuscany too as often as possible. And we spend all of our summers in Puglia, in the very south of Italy. I have elected it to be my retirement home already! Southern Puglia is where I want to grow old. I love everything about that place: the people, the climate, the environment, the food…

I think our clients would agree with you about Puglia! But what do you miss most about Italy?

Supermarkets! This is probably not what most people expect, but I miss the range and affordability of Italian groceries. Fruit and vegetables, which are staples of my mediterranean diet, are too often a luxury in the UK, for reasons that I have yet to fully understand.

Do you have plans to move back to Italy? If so, what do you think you’d miss most about the UK if you did?

The only thing that I have learned in my 48 years on this planet is that there is no point in making plans! I never thought I’d be living abroad for this long. I had, in fact, made plans to move back to Italy in 2021. I did find a great job in a great place, but then Bake Off came along and ruined everything! I take each day as it comes. For now I’m in the right place here in the UK. Who knows what the future holds? I might end up in the States!

In the meantime, I’ve made it my mission to spread as much as possible the Italian love for genuine, honest and un-compromised food. There is much more to it than lasagna and parmigiano. The nuances of Italian regional cuisines are endless. I’d love to be able to make them better known beyond the Alps.

We’d certainly be sad to see Giuseppe head across the Atlantic. A final couple of questions from the Bookings For You team. Firstly, do you think there is a region of Italy which can claim to have the best Italian food?!!

The greatest feature of Italian lifestyle is that you can find whatever you like pretty much around the corner: mountains or beaches, seafood or cheeses. It’s very eclectic and the food landscape too varies significantly. I’d struggle to pin point a single region with the best Italian food. It mostly depends on your personal preferences. There is, however, a region that was the cradle of the best know Italian dishes, and that’s Emilia Romagna. This is where lasagna, tortellini, parmigiano, parma ham and mortadella were invented and exported world wide.

What do you think of British cuisine? 

British cuisine suffers from a lot of bad press, mostly driven by the subtle art of British self-deprecation. But there are many British dishes, like a good Sunday roast that, when cooked properly and with high quality ingredients, can be truly outstanding. I have a particular fondness for a full English or Scottish breakfast. I’ve always been one for biscuits and caffe latte in the morning, but now whenever I can, I go for the full monty, and I love it!

What can attendees expect from your new cooking classes, either here or with Bookings For You in Italy?

They can expect to spend a full day enjoying the flavours of Italian baking, while learning new techniques to produce delicious bakes easily. They should also expect to be pampered with great coffee and good Italian wine in a very friendly and relaxing atmosphere.

Sounds good to us! Any places in Italy you’d love to visit but haven’t yet been to?

The northern lake region and the Alps. I’ve always been more of a sea man than a mountain man, but I’d love to visit the north of the country and taste their typical food.

Well, we can certainly help Giuseppe with his desire to discover the Italian Lakes! In the meantime, to find out more about Giuseppe’s cookery classes here in the UK, please head to his website to check availability and to make a booking. Alternatively, if you would like to receive a quote for a cookery class with Giuseppe Dell’Anno at one of the Bookings For You villas, drop us an email and we will be happy to provide a quote for a bespoke lesson with the master baker himself.