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Learning the art of Italian cuisine at Sasso

Learning the art of Italian cuisine at Sasso
Sasso Restaurant, Queenstown, January 2013. Photo by Michael Thomas
Sasso Queenstown’s executive chef Sal Grant. (Picture: Michael Thomas)

Queenstown’s modern Italian restaurant Sasso is offering food lovers a chance to learn the art of Italian cooking with Executive Chef Sal Grant.

Grant presents “Cucina di Italia” – a series of cooking workshops that allows locals and tourists discover the skills and joy behind cooking authentic Italian cuisine.

Starting fortnightly from July 10, the personalised workshops will be held throughout winter in the historic stone cottage on Queenstown’s Church Street where Sasso (Italian for ‘stone’) is located.

Grant has worked with New Zealand’s finest Italian chefs – including Antonio Crisci of Waiheke Island Poderi Crisci, and Crisci’s nephew Sergio Maglione, who owns Auckland’s Toto. He also has a vast amount of experience in cooking demonstrations and is known as a warm and engaging presenter.

“I’m passionate about sharing the love of food and I enjoy creating an environment in which people can learn,” Grant says.

“At the cooking workshops I’ll demonstrate basic and new cooking techniques and discuss recipes. Participants will help prepare the meal and then enjoy it with exactly the right wine in a lovely environment.”

Using organic ingredients from Central Otago’s finest growers, Grant will show participants how to cook a three-course Italian meal. There’ll be the opportunity to get hands-on experience in the state-of-the-art kitchen and the food will be served and matched with wine from Sasso’s extensive wine list.

Participants will take home recipes of the prepared dishes and details of where the ingredients can be sourced.

Cooking workshop numbers are limited to 10 people per workshop. Classes run every second Wednesday from July 10, from 11am-2pm. The cost per person is $175. People need to reserve their space by calling Sasso on (03) 409 0994 or emailing

About Sasso:
Sasso is Queenstown’s number one Italian restaurant serving fresh, modern Italian cuisine. Centrally located in the historic stone McNeill’s Cottage on Church Street, the elegant restaurant is just metres from the shore of Lake Wakatipu and boasts a Mediterranean-styled courtyard for all-year-round dining. Award-winning executive chef Sal Grant leads Sasso’s state-of-the-art kitchen. Delicious, authentic Italian food on Sasso’s extensive menu is created using local and Italian produce.

Celia Crosbie
Written by Celia Crosbie
Celia is an award-winning former journalist who has worked for newspapers and radio stations in New Zealand and magazines in the United Kingdom. She has worked in public relations in both NZ and London. Celia also specialises in digital media strategy and website copywriting for SEO.