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Meet La Scuola Team at Eataly Flatiron

Meet La Scuola Team at Eataly Flatiron

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of our cooking school, La Scuola? We have a dedicated team of passionate chefs and event managers who help make the magic of our classes and events a reality. Get to know our Eataly NYC Flatiron Scuola staff below! 

ALEXIS MEJIA

La Scuola Chef

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What do you do for La Scuola?
I lead the culinary programs at La Scuola along with Chef Leo. Together we build menus and create class formats according to the season, as well as prepare the meals coordinating with the classes and dinner. I make a lot of pasta.

How did you fall in love with Italian food? 
I grew up on the East Coast so Italian food was constantly on my radar. I remember my mom coming home with Italian-American food like chicken marsala, pizza, and zeppole from the Italian trattoria in the city we lived in. When I started cooking for myself, I ended up gravitating towards more Italian recipes like pasta al forno and melanzane alla parmigiana. What really won me over though was when my ex-boyfriend cooked me the whole shebang–Sunday gravy including Sicilian-style braciole with fresh fusilli pasta. The relationship didn’t work out, but that meal really stuck out and I'm pretty sure my braciole is better than his at this point.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job here at La Scuola?
Other than being able to work in a massive Italian grocery store with all the tomato varieties and pasta a girl could ever want, the best part is that I feel like my journey through the world of Italian food has really come full circle. Although I grew up eating Italian-American food, I have been working for Eataly for over four years and I'm really grasping what it means to cook the cibo Italiano autentico! I have had the tremendous honor of cooking with the inimitable Lidia Bastianich, the dean of La Scuola, in which she showcases the simplicity of beautiful ingredients, like executing a real-deal Pasta all’Amatriciana. Another life-changing moment was when Massimo Bottura spoke about the importance of food sustainability and food waste. He presented his dish "Lentils better than Caviar" or made pasta with day-old pizza. The most rewarding are the lessons I have learned across the way, with all the chefs I have met through the company like how to make a true Napoli-style ragù, through my friend Denis Dello Stritto, Napoli chef extraordinaire. (Coincidentally, he leads the culinary classes in Eataly Los Angeles.)

What’s your favorite Italian food and/or wine?
Tagliatelle with bolognese! As for wine, Barolo or a sparkling prosecco.

 

LEONARDO PALAZZO

La Scuola Chef

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What do you do at La Scuola?
I work at La Scuola as a Chef. Together with my team we plan, organize, and host events such as cooking classes and private dinners. I am personally responsible for menus, preparation, communication with guests, and control of quality.

How did you fall in love with Italian food?
I was born to a very traditional Italian family, and my mother transmitted her love of food preparation to me.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job here at La Scuola?
I love being able to cook regional Italian foods, that are capable to use local ingredients in the best manner, and that reflect the centuries-old traditions of each territory. For example, fresh pasta of Emilia Romagna, veggie-and-legume plates of Puglia, Piemontese Stews, Friulian-Venetian fish. I like what is called cucina povera, or “poor cooking,” for its creativity in using affordable ingredients.

 

PATRICIA GEREMIA

Education and Events Lead of La Scuola at Eataly NYC Flatiron

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What do you do for La Scuola?
I am the Education and Events Lead for La Scuola, therefore if you’ve emailed or phoned us, chances are we’ve already crossed paths! In addition to providing all aspects of customer service, I manage La Scuola during our classes and have the great fortune of welcoming and hosting our guests.

How did you fall in love with Italian food?
My father’s side of the family is Italian, so I grew up loving Italian food. This lead to a desire to learn more about Italian culture and began my quest to discover the true dolce vita! Eventually, my interest segued into extensive travel throughout Italy, eating my way through the regions, and ultimately living in Firenze for a while.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job here at La Scuola
I love the interaction with our guests who come to learn and enjoy themselves. Whether it’s couples, families, friends, or single guests, they are all coming for a life experience and I love my role in being able to create that special memory for them. I also love watching our chefs work their magic and then bringing that deliciousness to everyone. Together we become a family for the evening, bonding through food and wine. What could be better?

What’s your favorite Italian food and/or wine?
I honestly cannot choose a favorite. I love it all! Having access to so much wonderful Italian food and wine at Eataly is both a blessing and a challenge.

 

STACY STOUT

Storytelling and Events Manager at Eataly NYC Flatiron

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How did you fall in love with Italian food?
In 2011, my love for food and culture led me to study at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Piemonte, Italy. It was there that I truly learned what Italian food is – and isn’t. Italian food isn’t just one thing – and it’s certainly not the chicken parm and spaghetti and meatballs I originally thought it was. Instead, Italy is a country made of 20 regions, each with their own distinct personality, identity, and gastronomic and agricultural histories and traditions.  What links each region in commonality is: love for family, friends, tradition, and culture, as well as an immense pride and love of the land and the food it provides.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job here at La Scuola?
The most rewarding part of my job is that I get to ensure and integrate education in the core of all our events, classes, and activities. It’s amazing to work with many different passionate producers and to make sure their stories are shared here at Eataly NYC Flatiron.  

What’s your favorite Italian food and/or wine?
Oh my! This is tough. I could eat Carne Cruda (made from Razza Piemontese) and drink a glass of Dolcetto every night for the rest of my life.


Piacere Scuola team! Nice to meet you! Learn more about Eataly NYC Flatiron's La Scuola and our upcoming classes and events.