Viva Italia – as York’s The Grand welcomes Valentina Harris


One of the cookery world’s most respected chefs is heading to Yorkshire next month to share her skills and tips with Italian food lovers.

On 22 and 23 June, award winning food writer, cookery teacher and chef, Valentina Harris, will be hosting a Chef’s Table event and A Taste of Italy session at The Cookery School at York’s Grand Hotel.

Both of the events will give ticket holders the chance to learn some of the secrets of classic Italian cookery from a chef whose highly acclaimed books helped bring it to a worldwide audience.

The youngest member of a large Anglo-Italian family of gourmets, Valentina was educated in Italy before heading to London, where she built her reputation primarily as a private chef until the publication of her first award-winning cookery book in 1984.

Famous for its bold flavours, seasonal ingredients and vibrant colours, Italian food has repeatedly been voted the world’s favourite cuisine and the first of Valentina’s Chef’s Tables on Saturday 22 June, is A Venetian Feast.

Valentina will be joined by The Cookery School’s head chef tutor, Andrew Dixon, to demonstrate a four course feast of classic Italian recipes, starting with Frutti di Mare Gratinati – mixed, grilled seafood.

This will be followed by stuffed Venetian duck with a Salsa Peverada sauce with Venetian Stewed Peppers and her famous Asparagus Risotto.

The demonstration will be rounded off with Torta di Zucca – soft, grappa drenched pumpkin cake – and not only will guests be able to sample all the dishes, each paired with a complimentary wine, but Valentina will also share tips and stories from her long career.

The following day, Sunday 23 June, Valentina will be bringing a Taste of Italy to The Cookery School, this time with an emphasis on pasta.

Valentina will reveal her recipe for La Sfoglia – fresh pasta dough – before assisting the pupils with their own hands-on version of her classic pasta dish, Tagliatelle alla Bolognese.

This will be followed by a demonstration of Ravioli alla Pesarese and participants will then be able to enjoy both dishes with a glass of specially selected wine. For dessert, Valentina will demonstrate Torta di Paparele alla Veronese (Veronese pasta chocolate cake).

One of the founders of the London Chapter of the prestigious Les Dames D’Escoffier society for women within the catering and hospitality industry, Valentina teaches at a number of cookery schools across the UK and can be seen demonstrating at food and drink festivals worldwide.

Valentina is delighted to be part of The Cookery School at The Grand, York. “It really is one of the most fantastic cookery schools I’ve ever visited,” she said. “It’s state of the art in terms of design and equipment but it also has a lovely, welcoming atmosphere.”

The Cookery School at The Grand York – Yorkshire’s only five-star hotel – opened in Spring 2019 and has unveiled a packed calendar of workshops, classes and demonstrations for the coming months.

“We are thrilled to have secured Valentina,” said Andrew Dixon, Head Chef Tutor at the school, “because, within our industry, when you think of Italian cookery Valentina Harris is the name that springs to mind.

“She’s not just an excellent cook and teacher, she is also a world renowned expert and author on Italian Food and Culture and those who sign up for these events really will take away skills and advice they can draw on for the rest of their lives.”

The Venetian Feast/Chefs Tables on 22 June will take place between 6.30pm and 9.30pm and places cost £150. A Taste of Italy will be held on 23r June from 12 noon to 3pm with tickets priced at £95.

For further information, or to book, please contact The Cookery School on 01904 380045 or