When the topics of fine food, cooking expertise and famous chefs are brought up in conversations in and around South Boston and as far east as Italy itself, the name George Locascio immediately comes to mind. He was taught by some of the most experienced chefs in Italy, among them Biagio Longo and Nora Chimirri, who’s actually from Sicily. This master chef is better known as Papa George Locascio in professional circles and to his close friends which are many. So, it was a real treat when the man – the legend himself – agreed to give a cooking class at the South Boston Neighborhood House at the corner of H and E. Sixth Streets for the 55 and over crowd last week. And as always, Papa George impressed the entire large crowd in attendance.
Flanked by his helpers wearing their Papa George Aprons, the master proceeded to put on a display and give instruction in the preparation of some of the finest Italian cuisine that could be found anywhere. There was the incredible Arancini, the delicious Gnocchi, the scrumptious Penne Pasta with Papa George’s famous meatballs. Then there was the tantalizing Ravioli highlighted with his world famous Red Sauce, which has a taste that defies comparison. And all of these wonderful dishes were topped off with a dessert like no other – the Papa George Locascio Lemon Ricotta Cheese Cake, which legend has it was a favorite of the late Pope John Paul. And everything was made from scratch right on site. Note: Papa was kind enough to share his recipe for the Lemon Ricotta Cheese Cake with South Boston Today and gave us permission to share it with our readers which we will be honored to do.
It’s probably safe to say that there were more cooking secrets learned in that one class that Papa George taught on this day than could be learned by attending a year of a Culinary Arts college.
To say this class at the Neighborhood House was an inspiration to aspiring chefs would be an understatement. The crowd not only learned quite a lot about Italian Food preparation, but had a good time as well. There was even wine served with dinner (No Id’s needed to be checked). As Papa George was preparing his masterpieces, using his special culinary tools of the trade, he was also sharing stories about his many trips to Italy with the fascinated and appreciative crowd. And when he was calling off the winning raffle numbers (Yes, there were even raffles at this event) he was doing so in Italian.
In every way, The Cooking Class with Papa George Locascio was a fun event. The crowd seemed to really enjoy themselves as did George himself. No one was in a hurry to leave. It went on for hours. It’s clear that he loves what he does, and it certainly shows in the magnificent meals he prepares. South Boston is fortunate to have such a chef as one of its own. All that can be said after such an experience is Bon Appetite.