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Les Petits Chefs make pizza with Massimo Bruno!

I am thrilled to introduce the first in a series of guest chefs who will be working with Les Petits Chefs this term – Massimo Bruno of Massimo Bruno’s Supper Club.

(no, he’s not teaching robotics! Remember, we work in the science lab for Petits Chefs club!)

I first met Massimo at a fabulous “Journey to Puglia” dinner at his “hidden” restaurant in Toronto and have since sent many people his way, and returned a few times myself.  Going to a supper club is like going to a great big house party where you meet all sorts of interesting people, then you get to go home while someone else cleans up… ;-)  I’ve even managed to score two of my favourite recipes off the man himself – popette d’uova and gnudi.  I was so excited when Massimo expressed an interest in coming to work with the boys and show them how to make “real pizza” – and I knew the boys would be too!

Massimo arrived with pre-made dough all ready to go…

We figured we would make some pizzas and as they were cooking, Massimo would show the boys how to make dough from scratch.  Massimo talked to the boys about the origins of the word “pizza” and the history behind the Margherita pizza.  I am thrilled to report that many of the boys recounted this information to their parents that night – no worries paying attention when it has to do with food ;-)

The boys were each given jobs to do…




Once they had their cheese grated and their bases rolled out, they got to work on the really fun part…



“No utensils required!”


Massimo showed the boys how to place the sauce and cheese mainly in the middle of their thin crust pizzas (and not overload them! though some people had to clean up their trays with paper towels, ahem!) to ensure the crusts stay thin and crispy and so that the cheeses (a mix of mozzarellas) spread out and bubble over the whole pizza. You only need a handful of cheese for this to work properly.

While the pizzas were cooking, Massimo showed the boys how to make dough from scratch using fresh yeast…


Isn’t that beautiful?  All the boys took home a ball of dough to make another pizza with.  Massimo even worked magic with spelt flour for one of our little chefs with a gluten intolerence and his mum emailed me later that night telling me that her son had “just made the spelt pizza for us, and it was the best pizza I’ve ever tasted (even in my days when I could eat gluten!). I also learnt a lot of tips along the way. He really took  everything in. Thank you and the chef!

Those few lines made my day – I am sure they made Massimo’s too :)

And the result? the pizza that barely made it home with the boys (in some cases, it didn’t!)?


THE BEST PIZZA. EVER. By unanimous vote.

Thank you Massimo for taking the time out of your day to work with 10 lucky little boys (and one very lucky teacher!).  I know the lessons the boys learn in the kitchen are ones that will stick with them forever and I can’t think of a better way to show boys that cooking is cool than with a successful chef like Massimo who has taken a passion and turned it into a career.

** Did you enter my RestaurantWare.com giveaway yet? Head over to this post to enter before Thursday May 5th at 6pm EST.

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41 Responses to Les Petits Chefs make pizza with Massimo Bruno!

  1. Rochelle May 4, 2011 at 06:12 #

    That had to have been great for the boys and the parents! I have yet to make pizza with my kiddo but I plan to in the near future as I have a new toy to play with here in Portugal, a bread oven outside!

  2. Yuri May 4, 2011 at 06:53 #

    I want to make pizza too :D my 11 year old cousin has been my sous chef since he was 7. He enjoys helping me bake and now he makes his own scrambled eggs and sandwiches. I think its great to involve kids in the kitchen, that means they’ll be eating other stuff besides instant ramen when they go to college :)

  3. Belinda @zomppa May 4, 2011 at 08:07 #

    How cool! What a fun event and those definitely look like bestest pizzas.

  4. Mr. Neil May 4, 2011 at 08:56 #

    Um, why was no pizza brought home for THIS [not-so-little] boy? :-(

    I would strongly encourage anyone who lives in, or visiting, Toronto to try out Massimo’s Supper Club. He and Andrea are delightful hosts, the food is always scrumptuous, and you’ll never go home hungry. As a supper club it’s also BYO. Great food, great vibe.

    Wine is simple: go Italian. Or else. ;-)

    As for the pizza, personally a Chianti is my usual match. Something lighter and acidic.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite May 4, 2011 at 09:12 #

      Hey, I didn’t even get anything out of this one either (hence the lack of beauty shots!). Not one bite!

      • Mr. Neil May 6, 2011 at 07:55 #

        Harumph.

  5. Mindy May 4, 2011 at 11:05 #

    What a terrific first guest! And thanks for the wine suggestions in the comment above from Mr. Neil- I keep reading about his wine expertise in your posts, maybe now I’ll put it to use!

    • Mr. Neil May 6, 2011 at 07:56 #

      …and I promise to keep researching for you, Mindy.

      Oh, the crosses I bear to support this blog….

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite May 6, 2011 at 17:48 #

      Yes even though the boys didn’t need wine pairings, perhaps their parents did!

  6. Emily May 4, 2011 at 15:49 #

    That’s adorable! I loved making my own pizza as a kid. I’m sure it was great fun.

  7. Tami May 4, 2011 at 18:58 #

    What a great experience for the little guys. Hoping to save enough $$$$$ aside from wedding costs to buy an outdoor pizza/smoker oven. Homemade pizza will feature on a regular basis then.

  8. sippitysup May 4, 2011 at 21:33 #

    I swear these kids are getting to be better cooks under your tutelage! GREG

  9. Paula May 5, 2011 at 11:01 #

    What a cooking class that was! How wonderful for the parent’s to contact you and let you know how much the boys enjoyed both the class and the recipe. So good of Chef Massimo to come and teach this class to your Les Petits Chefs. As much as they love their Mardi, to have a lesson from a Chef from a *real* Supper Club is an experience they will never forget, nor will they forget the lesson that were installed while they were having so much fun.
    Bravo Mardi and Chef Massimo!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite May 6, 2011 at 17:47 #

      Yup, what you said! I think it’s great for them to be exposed to new cuisines and different chefs :)

  10. Chris's Gourmet Fashion May 5, 2011 at 13:38 #

    What a great opportunity for you and the boys! It’s wonderful when a talented chef takes the time to share their passion with kids. I could have one of those margheritas for lunch.

  11. Martha May 5, 2011 at 19:33 #

    The boys must have loved having a guest chef! We’ve been making pizza dough from scratch lately and Wayne’s been teaching Patrick to toss it in the air. No accidents yet!

  12. Maya May 5, 2011 at 20:54 #

    Those boys did well under Massimo’s masterful eye…those are some gorgeous-looking pizzas! I’m sure that was a lesson your boys will not forget easily. Some of my most enjoyable moments have been rolling pizza dough in the kitchen with my children, but we’ve never been able to get it that thin!

  13. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction May 5, 2011 at 21:41 #

    Oh, how fun! I bet the boys love the guest chefs… And, that pizza looks very yummy!

  14. Magic of Spice May 5, 2011 at 22:50 #

    And thank you to Massimo for such a wonderful view of pizza making! I bet the kids were so thrilled, such fun and very delicious :)

  15. foodwanderings May 5, 2011 at 23:48 #

    Mardi, first off I knew you were a PhD candidate but didn’t know you were teacher. I did read correctly, didn’t I?! This is th emost adorable wonderful series you embarked on and what lucky kids/students you have.

  16. Conor @ Hold the Beef May 6, 2011 at 09:08 #

    How fantastic to get real live chefy types in to teach the boys! Well, you’re a real live chefy type, so I guess I really mean real live chefs.

    The big question though.. did he stick around for a game of hangman?

  17. Winnie May 6, 2011 at 19:47 #

    Awesome post and awesome pizza Mardi! You know I adore Les Petits Chefs!!!!

  18. Liz May 10, 2011 at 07:49 #

    What yummy pizzas! What fun for the boys!!!

  19. Clairer October 19, 2011 at 17:21 #

    Wow, these pizzas look great, I’m sure the kids loved Massimo’s class! Is there any recipe available for this pizza dough? It looks really perfect.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite October 19, 2011 at 17:59 #

      Sadly I never got the recipe for the exact amounts of flour etc.. from Massimo. he cooks by sight and feel so doesn’t need a recipe, unlike the rest of us!

  20. Claire October 19, 2011 at 20:57 #

    No worries, thank you anyway!

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