Balducci's Celebrates Italy with Bene Magazine

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Specialty food store offers series of free cooking demos by top Italian chefs leading up to city-wide Italian celebration in May. Join Balducci's in Chelsea for a Cooking Demo with the famed Italian restaurant Al Forno on January 17 at 6:30 pm.

Anyone in the mood for a little spaghetti and meatballs? How about if it is being served up with a free cooking demo by the chefs of the famed Providence, R.I. restaurant, Al Forno, and co-hosted by Balducci's and Bene magazine- the hot new Italian lifestyle magazine?

Thought you might be interested. This month, Balducci's kicks off a five-month partnership with Bene magazine- the lifestyle magazine of all things Italian - to offer a series of free Italian cooking demonstrations in their landmark Chelsea store.

The series will begin with a cooking demo by Johanne Killeen and George Germon, owners/chefs of Providence restaurant Al Forno, on Wednesday January 17th at 6:30 pm. The hour-long cooking class is free, though space is limited.

Killeen and Germon, who recently released the cookbook, On Top Of Spaghetti - a collection of favorite pasta recipes featuring variations of Italian standards - will offer their secrets behind some of the featured dishes from the cookbook. Cookbooks will be available for purchase on the evening of the event.

The free series will continue with cooking demonstrations in February, March and April, leading up to Bene's city-wide Italian Celebration in May. Additional chefs on the horizon include: Chef David Poran, Balducci's Culinary Director (February 15th, 6:30pm) and Manuel and Mike Greco, of New York favorite, Il Mulino Restaurant (March 15th, 6:30 pm).

The series will conclude with Bene's New York Toasts Italy event on Saturday May 19th, an inaugural city-wide celebration of exquisite Italian style. Ticket holders will receive special discounts and gifts on Italian designer clothing, jewelry and home furnishings; sample great Italian wines and food and dine with famous chefs and food personalities at some of the best Italian restaurants in the city. Balducci's will be a featured destination during this day-long tour of tasting, sampling, sipping, shopping and dining.

Balducci's landmark store is located at 81 8th Ave., on the corner of 14th Street, in Chelsea. For more information on the January 17th event, please contact Balducci's customer service at 212-741-3400.

Bene was launched in 2006 and is the only magazine in the US completely dedicated to all things Italian. Created for anyone who adores eating divine Italian food, dressing in exquisite Italian clothes and accessories and traveling anywhere in the magnificent country, Bene captures the intoxicating essence of Italy from new and interesting perspectives.

The original Balducci's was founded as a fruit-and-vegetable stand in Brooklyn in 1916 by a young immigrant from Corato-Bari, Italy named Louis "Pop" Balducci. Balducci's quickly acquired an outstanding reputation throughout New York. In 1946, Pop and his son Andy opened their first retail store in Greenwich Village; this expanded, department by department, until they finally opened a new store at 424 Sixth Avenue that would become known as the Balducci's. That store was acquired by Sutton Place Gourmet in 1999, which in turn was acquired by Bear Stearns Merchant Banking in November, 2003.

For more information, please visit http://www.balduccis.com.

Balducci's Food Lover's Market is one of the largest specialty food companies in the country, with 10 stores and 4 restaurants, and a heritage that dates back to 1916. Formerly operating under the names Hay Day Country Farm Market, Sutton Place Gourmet and Balducci's, the company was purchased in November 2003 by an investment group led by Bear Stearns Merchant Banking. The Balducci's flagship store on 8th Avenue in Manhattan opened in December 2005. For more information on Balducci's, visit http://www.balduccis.com.

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CARRIE FOX
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