Gualala Arts “Cook and Pour”®

with instructor Lisa Giacomini aka Baby Tomato!

Cooking workshops with wine pairing and full-course dinner. 12 hours total instruction. Free gifts when you bring a friend!

Thursdays, September 20, 27 and October 4 and 11, 6 to 9 pm

Gualala Arts Kitchen

$250 for Gualala Arts members; $270 for non-members. $80 materials fee paid to instructor.

Everyone receives a free chef knife and a free gift if you bring a friend!

For every referral from that gets another person to sign up, you will receive a gift of  the “kitchen tool or gadget variety” valued at $15 or more.

There is no limit to the amount of referrals from any one student!  Bring all your friends!

Lisa will donate 100% of proceeds for this class to the Purple Urchin Project (PUP).

PUP is an incubator project for further development of a proof of concept prototype for kelp reforestation and habitat restoration for the Red Abalone and other species endangered by the explosive expansion of the purple urchin.

The concept is as much to do about encouraging large numbers of urchins to leave areas promptly instead of removing them by hand or mechanically, while allowing our kelp reforestation program in combination with the reintroduction of Red Abalone to our North Coast to put the order back in balance, Lisa says. “We are in communication with the Department of Fish and Wildlife in Bodega Bay and will be meeting with them in November. 100% of the proceeds of this class will go to funding this project.”

Lisa with crab!

Gualala Arts “Cook and Pour”®  cooking class with Lisa Giacomini should be rated PG17 for adult language and some comedic activities! Wine pairing and tasting will be part of the class. This workshop will be an “eating” class and very hands-on.

Student Prerequisites: Skydiving, Running of the Bulls, Master of the Zen art of dog petting, This class is meant to be fun and you must have taken “The Good Humor” class as a prerequisite!😉

Anyone who attends the class receives a free chef knife! Bring a friend or two and take home other gifts as well!

Designed for couples or small groups who wish to learn about creative thinking in their everyday cooking or special dishes. Entrees prepared during the class will reflect locally available offerings and the main dish is subject to change depending on availability of specific ingredients but  will be an equitable substitute.

We call it “Cook and Pour” because we will be consuming food and wine together!  The first glass of wine is free during the tasting portion of class with entrée and subsequent wine may be purchased from the instructor for a price dependent upon the wine offered. All alcohol at this event will be provided by instructor.

Each workshop is a dinner class that will include the consumption of a meal.

What to Bring: Recommended equipment includes a cutting board of any size, one chef knife 7-10″ long, and an apron. Food safety gloves will be provided for students.  Bring yourselves and a snack in case you are hungry prior to being served the entrée.

During this course, we have a part called “One Little Thing”: Once a week, I will ask you to bring a designated small food item for the next class as part of an ongoing step toward being totally creative in the kitchen. This is really a fun, team exercise. Bring an apron for the first class, for your clothing protection, a tablet or something to keep notes on and a pen.

BRING A SHARPIE. Black, red, green. Whatever you want.

We are here to have fun and learn what you need to know about being free in the kitchen. Cooking should be easy, fun and creative, like any art form!

Workshop 1:  Knightlyhood

 Introduction to your chef knife and how to care for it, cutting boards and ergonomics in the kitchen, quick rundown on food safety.

 The knowledge that you too will be able to make amazing shortribs (the night’s entrée)

 What you need in your fridge to be a creative and good cook and how to preserve those fresh ingredients

TEAM FOOD EXERCISE —“One Little Thing”. This will be a weekly fun and creative team exercise meant to build confidence in the kitchen and help you to have fun and be happy with what you have! Everyone brings just one small item designated by the instructor for the next week’s class.  For the first class, instructor will bring as many items as there are students and we will design a meal or a dish around what we have. Then we are going to name it, assuming it’s “worthy,” and drink wine in its honor!

 Secrets of seasoning and the difference between seasoning and flavoring—introduction to spices in your dish.

 Preparation of at least 2 different kitchen hacks that will give you a whole new method of FAST weeknight dinners, flavorful and healthy dishes—Hacks would be things like compound butters and oils,  Penzey’s spice mixes or hand-blended seasoning,  sour cream mixes, mayonnaise mixes, etc., such as my elixir Wild Point Arena Berry Hack… gotta have it for a pan sauce!

 Preparation of parts of the Main Dish served at every class with instructor as guide. This is hands-on so students will be helping prep the main course that is actually pre-cooked by instructor and ready to serve. We will cook the main course again in class so students can see every step, (time permitting) and then when that is cooked, it is donated by Baby Tomato to the firefighters at Point Arena Cal Fire Station or Senior Center in Point Arena.

 discussion of possible choices of side dishes as accompaniment to the main entrée and the preparation of polenta on the stove top.

 Dinner main course will be served near the end of each class or possibly somewhere in the middle.

Entrée:  (Short Ribs—Instructor will provide full portion to every student with wine pairing and we will make a salad course and one other side dish for that first class).  For future courses, we will create a side dish by bringing one item as discussed above.

One Little Thing, Bring for 2nd week: Each student will bring 1 salad ingredient that is NOT Lettuce or any leafy green as announced at class by instructor.

Bring one thing deemed “my fridge”: This can be anything you want that is vegetable. Please bring only a 4-oz portion or just 1 item (so one piece of broccoli of the 4-oz persuasion (this oz (ounce) thing is a guess, by the way) or bring one onion, one pepper, or 2 stalks of celery, or one 4-inch piece of Diakon radish…etc. You get it.

So, every week you will bring something the instructor asks you to, and one other item of your choice.



Workshop Two: Compoundishness

For Class 2, Each student will bring the standard, required apron.

Class 2:

 Introduction to creative salad making with on-hand ingredients.

 Demonstration of how to make a standard vinaigrette without measuring.

 Emulsification is your friend! Additions to salad dressings that will change your life 😊

 How to prepare compound seasoning butters using garlic & herbs and herb blends

Fridge item Team exercise—hands-on called “One Little Thing”

 Discussion of side dishes and Preparation of side dish and question answer session

  • Cornish Game Hens, two super easy ways of preparing them, entrée portion will be prepared outside if possible, inside if not.

Team Exercise: “TEAM FOOD” exercise will be using the other ingredient requested last week by instructor and will be added to everyone else’s and we will come up with another dish while we are drinking some wine.

Entrée is served

One Little Thing, Bring for 3rd week: Each student will bring 1 salad ingredient that is NOT Lettuce or any leafy green as announced at class by instructor.

Bring one thing deemed “my fridge” item: (see Workshop 1 above)


Workshop 3:  BRAVO LASAGNATO-ISIMO  (Not Italian Language 😉)

 Introduction to preparing a traditional lasagna from sauce to dinner table.

 Recipe for a basic rustic Italian sauce for lasagna, with tips on making it from scratch

 The alternative to the scratch version of the sauce with demonstration (down and dirty) pan sauce with limited ingredients

Short-cut white sauce recipe revealed!

 Recommended pasta for this dish and discussion about challenges regarding the proper preparation of pasta

 Secrets pre-prepping/cooking of sauce ingredients

 How to make it just a little healthier but still just as tasty or better!!

 Assembly of lasagna

 Types of cheeses and variations of dish

 Preparation of side dish and question answer session

(Lasagna—Instructor will provide full portion to every student with wine pairing & Side Dish

One Little Thing, Bring for 4th week: Each student will bring 1 salad ingredient that is NOT Lettuce or any leafy green as announced at class by instructor.

Bring one thing deemed “my fridge” item: (see above)



 Introduction to preparing Seafood, including Oysters & Mussels, local fish and any other seafood that is available and fresh.

 Secrets of keeping seafood safe

 Introduction to Oysters: Facts and food-wise preparation

 Preparation of local fish from ocean to table (If we can find some)

 Discussion on cooking fish using two different methods

 Preparation of side dish and question answer session

 Preparation of parts of the Main Dish with instructor as guide including prawn butter for packets.

Prawns en papillote —Instructor will provide full portion to every student with wine pairing

A dessert by a guest chef will be served at this final class!

In follow up courses, we will learn:

  • The art and technique of blending your own spice rubs and mixes,
  • more original recipes including preparation of local, organic lamb, more seafood ingredients, Poultry
  • home canning of various items and dealing with “bumper crops”
  • Cooking live crab, lobster or other shellfish
  • making your own fermented vegetables
  • home butchering (bone out- most likely Lamb)
  • Flavored oils, compound butters, cordials!
  • The Home-Run Brining class
  • Etc……this could go on for miles. And above all, we are having fun!
  • Each time a students takes the successive course, they receive one kitchen item valued at $50.00 ea when they sign up. A $15.00 kitchen gadget will be awarded to anyone that sponsors a new student.

About Lisa Giacomini

Baby Tomato is often featured at Point Arena farmer’s markets and events.

Lisa Giacomini is an accomplished entrepreneur known for her life-saving mechanical equipment for firefighters, military and police or any other person in harm’s way. She is also a life-long, from-scratch, organic home cook and organic/natural gardener, and is the owner of the Baby Tomato Brand, a subsidiary of Giacomini Specialty Products in Point Arena, Calif.

Baby Tomato is known locally for frequent volunteering with large community food events where Lisa brings original recipes and management style to wherever she is needed. Also an accomplished event planner, Lisa caters and does Pop-up Chef activities for local businesses.

From humble roots, Lisa was raised in a subsistence generation of gathering/farming/fishing ancestors who could always feed their family through sustainable practices. Her specialties include cooking with spices of all kinds, the physics of cooking, and how to make “something from nothing.”

Spectacular dishes spring to life without the use of any special measuring devices or any special equipment, making cooking fun because “nobody is perfect” and the diversity of the dish lies in the individual’s IMPERFECTION.  As an instructor, Lisa always makes the time spent with her students a lesson in respect for the ingredients, respect for the environment, and respect for the pocketbook.

Lisa’s classroom is always alive with crazy, doable, foodable ideas that can pass muster alongside any other chef or foodie. Everyone is guaranteed to be treated to a lively conversation about the foods being prepared, gardening, fishing, gathering and all aspects of obtaining the food, as well as presentation of dinner at every class.