Craig DiFonzo, Lungomare

Sunday, April 2, 2017, 11:00 am - 11:45 am

Join us at CUESA’s Jack London Square Farmers Market in Oakland  for a cooking demo with Craig DiFonzo from Lungomare featuring the seasonal bounty of the Jack London Square Farmers Market.

Raised just outside of Boston, Massachusetts, Craig DiFonzo grew up with strong Sicilian and Portuguese influences in his family’s kitchen.  His grandfather was a chef from Sicily, and Craig spent Sunday mornings with his grandmother cooking breakfast and preparing the evening’s dinner, the two listening to cooking shows on the radio.  Craig, who studied engineering and political science in college, had always fallen back on cooking when in need of a job. In 1996, he took his first executive chef position in Atlanta, and in 1998 had moved to the West Coast, drawn by the promise of a vibrant restaurant scene and California weather.  By his early twenties, Craig was cooking at some of San Francisco’s top restaurants: Splendido, Jacks, One Market, Pinocchio Trattoria, and Ondine. During that time, his culinary road traveled led him on trips to Italy, researching and studying Italian cuisine and technique in Tuscany, Rome, Florence, Puglia, Naples and Sicily.  Craig became an expert in the craft of pasta, pizza and salumi, dedicated to the time-honored techniques of whole animal cooking and making everything by hand.  In 2005, Craig left the Bay Area for Chicago, where he ran the kitchen at James Beard-nominated Bin 36 under chef John Caputo, and in 2007, he oversaw the opening of A Mano, Bin 36’s rustic, more casual counterpart, embarking on more extensive travel in Italy as part of research for the restaurant.  2010 brought a return to the West Coast, and Craig landed in California’s Wine Country, managing the kitchens at Cantinetta Piero in Yountville and the Coppola Winery in Alexander Valley, and spending his days doing what he loves most: working with a talented staff, designing menus, teaching classes, pairing wine, and making fresh pasta, sausages, salumi, and cured meats daily.   To Craig, Italian cooking is more than just his culinary heritage—it’s the essence of simplicity, and over the course of his career, has allowed him to connect with the honesty of food and true farm-to-table cooking. In early 2013, Craig signed on as executive chef at Oakland’s Lungomare, under restaurateur Chris Pastena, bringing with him decades of research, skilled technique, a handmade, sustainable cooking philosophy, and love. 

All demos take place at the CUESA Classroom (adjacent to the info booth at Broadway & Water Street) and are free to the public, with recipes and samples for all.