What we're about
Note: Barefoot dancing on tables is encouraged, but not required.
This is a cooking, partying, and wine-drinking group.
If you don't like to cook, or can't cook, or feel uncomfortable about cooking for others, this may not be the group for you. Also, our feasts usually include a wide variety of food products. If you have special dietary restrictions, please make this known to the organizers before the feast.
Let's eat! The purpose of the Italian Regional Feast, Wine, Cooking & Culture Group is to hold Italian dinner feasts, to learn how to prepare regional Italian dishes, drink Italian regional wines, and celebrate life.
Most of all, we wish to introduce Italian feasting culture to new, younger generations.
Each dinner features the cooking and wines of a particular region of Italy. There are so many regions and recipes that we could go on forever and never duplicate a dinner!
Our little group was founded with the intention of re-creating the experience of growing up in an Italian family in which there were big family gatherings and meals, for special occasions such as holidays and weddings. It was always a big meal, filled with warmth. In this group, we all treat one another ‘like family’. The feasts are supposed to represent the best of Italian culture, in which generosity and pride of one’s contributions are central. Those of you who grew up in Italian families with close ties to the ‘old country’ know what I am talking about. These feasts are not to be confused with American ‘pot luck’ dinners, simple affairs in which everyone brings ‘a little something’ or just one item. Given the ambitious nature of a feast, a lot of food is to be provided, and the dishes are sometimes elaborate, and representative of the region’s cooking. This means that participants should be willing and eager to prepare several dishes. We all share the cooking so that all can have an abundance of choices. Please be generous and embrace the opportunity to try new recipes, foods, and wines.
This is our sixth year of existence and so far every feast has been a rousing success! We are often bursting at the seams! We are currently partnering with the Columbus Italian Club (CIC) to hold the dinners in their facility; members of the CIC often join us for the feasts, but we are a distinct organization. We will work out the dinner menu and assign dishes to be cooked by the participants at home and brought to the site. Some dishes cannot easily be transported, so they have to be cooked in the club kitchen. We all share the cooking so no-one should feel put out.
Participants cook from a menu, using recipes provided here. The group is intended for those who are adventurous and willing to try new things. Conviviality and pleasure are always the main focus. The feasts will normally be held during the autumn, winter, and early spring months.
You don't have to be an expert cook, but chefs are indeed welcome!
A successful feast is the product of the collaborative effort between its organizers and the members contributing to the feast. The group is intended to be quite active. Please be aware that participating in the feasts involves buying food and wine, along with investing time and effort to prepare the food.
Remember, it is a communal effort so that everyone can enjoy a terrific evening of fun, feasting and conviviality in true Italian style.
Finally, we are guests of the Columbus Italian Club and should be helpful and courteous. A little cleaning up after the dinner is a greatly appreciated and yet another way to extend the goodwill that defines the Italian spirit. The Club will be grateful for the good manners!
Important note: Given the nature of the dinners, and that we are all cooking for one another, it is important to honor your commitment and just as important to notify us as early as possible in the event something unexpected makes it impossible for you to attend.
As you can imagine, cancellations in the week before a dinner can be devastating to the organizational plans and are strongly discouraged.
If the group is depending on you to make a dish, it may be difficult or impossible to find someone to take on the additional cooking on short notice. An invitation to another event is not an acceptable excuse for withdrawing. Thus, 'just changing your mind' is not acceptable in this group and will lead to your removal.
Generally, therefore, the menu and dish selections are considered confirmed approximately one week before a feast.
If you really don't have the time to get involved, or find it difficult to make commitments and carry them through, this may not be the group for you.
To help facilitate all of the wonderful events that we have been enjoying as part of the Italian Regional Feast, Wine, Cooking, Culture and Movie group, a small contribution in the form of annual dues is requested. These monies will go to help offset the costs borne by the organizers of our fantastic feasts and other costs incurred by the Columbus Italian Club, our gracious host.
A photo of yourself is required for membership.
Note to prospective members:
We are selective about admitting new members, as we have an large, active, and enthusiastic base of membership. A warm, generous, 'giving' attitude is crucial, and quintessentially Italian. You should be willing and eager to prepare any dish on the menu, not just the easiest or least expensive ones.
You also need to be able to party hard all night!
Because of the amount of communication necessary to coordinate the dinners, your name, e-mail address and phone number are requested, so that I can reach you easily.
Those who wish to attend as couples should both join as members.
Michael Scarpitti, Organizer