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“Really cooking in Bologna”

CIBO Culinary Institute of Bologna
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: CIBO offers the ultimate Italian cooking experience. Enjoy short, half day or full day classes or a week long culinary adventure. Experience cooking lessons that are taught by professional restaurant chefs, in a fun foodie environment. Join us in downtown, historic Bologna or cook in our nearby countryside location.Classes are not demonstrations. At the Culinary Institute of Bologna(CIBO) you receive a true hands-on Italian cooking experience; you actively participate in the class and learn by actually cooking the dishes we prepare. Learn authentic Bolognese dishes from our professional chefs who are employed at local Emilia Romagna restaurants and trattorias. You will work with authentic recipes that have been handed down for centuries. You will perform cooking techniques that will quickly transform you into you into a great Italian cook.Choose from a multitude of cooking lessons. You may decide to take a few hours to a few days of classes, or enjoy a full week of culinary adventure in downtown Bologna and/or the nearby countryside in Ravenna. Select from the list of our Italian cooking courses. Almost every lesson includes a lunch or dinner.Prepare authentic Bolognese cuisine and then enjoy a wonderful meal that you created. CIBO loves amateurs, professionals, students and foodies, everyone is welcome at every level of expertise. Our professional chefs and staff provide instruction in a friendly, relaxed step-by -step instructional manner The staff will share their expert tips, methods and cookery and techniques. Our classes are not demonstrations but rather hands-on cooking classes offer a unique opportunity to learn from the very best!Using our state of the art professional kitchens will assure of learning quickly and effortlessly. Each kitchen is equipped with the latest kitchenware and cooking equipment.. At CIBO your are in the perfect setting in which to improve your cooking skills and have a fun filled culinary experience!
Reviewed December 1, 2013

I had spent time reviewing the various cooking courses offered in Bologna and picked CIBO as I liked the idea of going to the market and learning about the various items available. I was not disappointed. Stefano, the attorney turned chef, met us at the school along with his assistant Monica, an expert in pasta making. Speaking excellent English Stefano led us off to the market to drool over all the plentiful and colorful fruits and vegetables. He also explained about the meats and cheeses as we looked at what was available for our meal. We all sat down to a cappuccino to discuss our menu and decided on several sauces along with tagliatelle, strichetti or bow ties and tortelloni as our pasta.

Upon returning we all had our jobs in preparing the sauces and then set about making pasta. This was the first time for me and we did it all by hand, using the traditional 36" rolling pin to roll out the pasta. I learned how easy it really is if you have the time to do so.

After we finished making the pasta we were ready to cook it all and sit down to taste the fruits of our labors along with some wine. I think everything tastes better when you make it yourself and I enjoyed learning the art of pasta making from a pro, Monica as well as learning about the different techniques and tips for making the accompanying sauces.

Stefano is quite animated and passionate about cooking and preserving traditional dishes that you cannot help but come away feeling like you carry a bit of this tradition with you along with your apron to remind you of this experience upon your return home.

Thank you Stefano and Monica for this enjoyable experience.

Thank coastalcandy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 26, 2013

Previous reviewers have commented on the excellent staff and immaculate facility much better than I could. I would like to point out two more positive aspects of a cooking course at CIBO. First, there is something for everybody. If you do not know how to cook at all, you can't even boil water for pasta, this will be an enjoyable and productive day. Stefano was a practicing attorney who decided that his passion was to make the tradition of Bolognese cooking accesible to everybody, what ever their history of cooking or dining. He is one of the smartest and nicest men I have ever met, so his mission comes very easily to him. If you are a very experienced (and possibly older) cook like myself, he, and probably Ilaria, will work with you one-on-one for hours if you wish,to perfect the skills required to blaze through kilos of doppio zero, producing perfect tagliatelle and tortellini, with sauces that will amaze you and your friends. Even the jaded cook will leave happy.
Second, the food in Bologna, by and large, sucks. There are a couple of OK places, but I remember paying almost $20 for a bowl of tortellini in brodo in a highly touted ristorante, only to get a horrifying commercial product (sawdust filling, inedible) with Soviet era service. The food you get at CIBO will be better than anywhere else except possibly Imola (even Stefano would admit this), so you may as well make arrangements to eat your dinner after your lesson and have something good to eat.
The business itself is efficiently run and emails are returned within 24 hours, so making the arrangements a pleasure.

Thank DoctorBobNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 23, 2013

I was leading a group of travel clients on a tour of less-traveled towns in northern Italy and Bologna was one of our "home bases." Arrangements for the class were made in advance through a CIBO associate in the US. This associate, Marcello, contacted Stefano, the chef and owner, per my special request to cook a rabbit ragu along with a traditional bolognese ragu. When we arrived, Stefano had either forgotten or not been told, but it was no problem at all, as he immediately went to procure the rabbit as requested.

To start, each person is given a thick, absorbent CIBO cotton apron to wear and keep--the best kind for the kitchen, to be sure. Pure function!

Stefano was actually working with another small group so Giorgia was our instructor. She was delightful company and a knowledgeable teacher. The most important factor here is that the students do most of the work, which is how you truly learn. There was also great flexibility in refining our sauces based on the group's inclinations (such as adding a bit of anchovy paste to a light red bell pepper sauce, yum). In the end, we made three pastas and several sauces (the light, herb-scented rabbit ragu being my favorite!) and our group of seven enjoyed eating the creations together. I do wish we had been offered our leftovers to take with us, though.

The other thing I will note is that we were offered wine and beer (and water) while we were cooking. I am NOT making a judgment about this because I was pleasantly surprised. It's just an observation. I enjoyed having a glass of wine as I made my pasta, but it was the first active cooking class I have attended that allowed alcohol consumption during prep time. (In a couple of past active cooking classes I have done, drinking has been postponed until after we had finished all cutting and all cooking. I think the chefs have been concerned about liability in case someone who had drunk too much might sustain or cause an injury or damage.)

Finally, this proved a great bonding experience for the group at the beginning of our trip. In addition, making the homemade pasta left such an impression on us that I have just ordered a custom-made 23" x 29" Corian pastry/pasta board that will fit over our stove, a gift for my husband so he will have a nice surface to make pasta in our space-challenged kitchen.

Thank nmlhats
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 19, 2013

My husband and I are honeymooning in Italy for 2 months and I was keen to do a few cooking courses in the different regions of Italy. I am an avid cook and have done a few cooking courses in Australia and Italy and have always been a bit disappointed in them because they are often more of a demonstration by a chef while you might get to mix a few things or chop a few things and then go home with a list of recipes. So I was looking around carefully for a course where I would actually learn some real skills and not just pay a lot of money to watch someone else, which frankly I can do on You Tube.

Well CIBO exceeded my expectations. I spent two and a half days there and learned heaps. Each day kicked off with coffee and brioche with Stefano then market shopping for whatever looked best (I even discovered a fruit (cachi) and a vegetable (roman broccoli) that I had never heard of before!) and based on this we would devise a menu for the day. Then I would spend the morning with Lucia making pasta with various sauces. Lucia was a great teacher and even kindly agreed to speak to me in Italian so that I could practise mine. Then we would eat our creations, have a couple of hours break then back to prepare the dinner. I learned skills I can generalise to all sorts of dishes and Stefano encouraged me to take risks with putting different flavours together and to think about presentation. Then each evening we would sit down to a multi-course dinner, which my husband joined us for each evening.

The course at CIBO was a great way to learn traditional Emilia-Romagnan cooking as well as learn some general cooking skills. I got to meet many of the restaurant staff as well as Stefano's wife, who joined us for dinner one night, and his son who popped in briefly in the afternoons. It really gave a window into true Emilia-Romagnan culture.

In summary: this course was great for me, who is a serious home cook. Having said that, I wouldn't be put off if you're a real beginner as Stefano I think has a gift for knowing where you're at and pitching the lessons at your level, even when there are different levels in the class. You do learn recipes but you also learn how to go by taste, feel, etc - real skills that will help in all kinds of cooking.

I can't say enough how great this was - a real highlight of an amazing trip!

1  Thank Melanie J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 18, 2013

I did the CIBO full day cooking class and it was a great experience. Stefano and his team are amazing. I had the chance to do the shopping at the local market and learn something about the city, the market and the culinary art of the region.
I did (and eat) my own pasta! Desserts, meat, chicken, ragu, bolognesa sauce... It was fantastic. I can't wait to do what I learn to my family and friends. I recommend it for any traveller. It was a great experience, a real taste of Bologna, that I intent to do at home.
Thanks a lot

Thank FabiStau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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