Festa sends a call out to all nonnas
Anyone with a nonna knows a woman that knows how to cook.
Your nonna – Italian for grandmother – can show off her handed-down recipes and her culinary skills this year with Rossella Rago, of television's "Cooking with Nonna," at this year's Festa Italiana.
Festa Italiana – celebrating its 35th anniversary at this year's event, July 19-22 at Henry Maier Festival Park – is calling nonnas everywhere.
"Rossella has a show she does in New York – 'Cooking with Nonna' – and I thought it would be great to have that come to Festa," says Marie Lieber, who manages the Cucina Showcase tent, a popular attraction at each year's festa.
"We've put a call out to anybody who considers themselves a good nonna – one who obviously has grandchildren, loves family and above all else, loves to cook for her family."
Lieber herself will choose three finalists from the entries and Rago's dad Vito will pick the ultimate winner.
To enter, each contestant has to write about why she would like the chance to cook with Rago. Hint: a note of passion for family, food and Italian heritage won't hurt one's chances.
And what does "Nonna Vincitore" get?
First, a chance to cook on stage in the Cucina Showcase with Rago – who is also a recent winner of the Food Network's "24 Hour Restaurant Battle – Battle Italiano" – on Saturday, July 21.
She'll also appear on Channel 4 in Milwaukee with Rago and will get a personalized "Cooking with Nonna" apron to keep as a memento of the fun ride.
I asked Lieber for some clues about what she's looking for in the perfect nonna.
"I'm looking for a fun-loving grandmother," she says. "One with some personality."
Nonna, Lieber says, should be a good cook, but, admits that's something she thinks is a bit of a given.
"Most nonnas have great recipes that have probably been passed down through the ages," she says. "It would be helpful if she knew her way around the kitchen."
Festa Italiana is accepting entries until Friday, June 15. Applicants must send a short, typewritten paragraph, along with their name, address and telephone number, to:
Festa Italiana Showcase
9140 N. Goldendale Dr.
Brown Deer, WI 53223.
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