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We no longer offer culinary training courses

Recipe Testers, Julia & Pino Ficara

Italian born and raised, Pino trained as a Chef in French Culinary Arts & Pâtisserie in the USA at the Institute of Culinary Education, NYC.
With over 20 years experience in the profession, Chef Pino has worked in some of NYC's best restaurants (11Madison pastry dept and Del Posto to name a few), he has run his own catering company, been a chef for private clients & a professor of Culinary Education in Paris, London, Tuscany and the South of France. His passion for cooking started early and was (as with most Italians) honed in his mother's kitchen. His shared love of food with wife and partner Julia permeates the school and its lessons.

American born and raised, Julia arrived in Italy 35 years ago for a career in film and photography. After 10 years in advt, she spent 17 years as a working photographer until a back injury made carrying the camera equipment difficult. Husband and partner Chef Pino took her to Bologna for a class in traditional sfoglia rolling by hand and the rest is history. With over 10 years experience producing and teaching hand rolled pasta; Julia has expanded her pasta making knowledge thanks to her collaboration with the Pasta Grannies project. Her repertoire of over 80 different hand made pastas truly promote pasta culture & tradition.

Here at Grano & Farina, we believe in understanding the science of food and how & why recipes work. This knowledge gives you confidence in the kitchen & allows you to troubleshoot when dishes don't come out quite right. We also believe that providing historical background gives context to where traditions come from, why certain ingredients are used & why these customs are held onto so tightly and need preservation.
Km.0 - We work with a network of local farmers, millers & dairy producers in addition to other organic suppliers and our own organic garden. We value sustainability both in food production and in waste management. We aim to use all parts of the plants and animal products we cook with as well as teach these concepts to students and readers. We promote the support of regional & national economies through gastronomy.

Who we are
Test kitchen

Chef & Educator - Pino Ficara
  As a trained chef, Pino can assure that your proportions and measurements are correct and as a culinary instructor of amateur cooks, Master Chef contestants and professionals, he can hone your recipes for publication. With over 15 years experience in culinary education, he is well versed in how the ordinary home cook approaches their work.
  His years of restaurant and catering experience in the US, UK, France & Italy together with extensive experience with the Asian market, allow him to understand and identify not only the needs of a global audience but provide you with complimentary products when what you propose is not available locally; a great choice to render your recipe functional world-wide.
  Curious and food science based, Pino takes the time needed to verify that what you offer your readers will work in any kitchen your book ends up in.

Sfoglina & Teacher - Julia Ficara
  If you are writing a book about hand made pastas, Julia can verify that your proportions are correct for a variety of flours and hydration sources. She can review descriptions of how to use hands and tools to best illustrate how to work for amateurs and professionals alike.
  Her 10+ years experience at the pasta table and years of teaching home cooks & aspiring pros makes her uniquely qualified to help transmit what you want your readers need to achieve.
  Through her own research and her collaboration with the Pasta Grannies project, her repertoire has grown to an impressive 80 different hand produced pastas, from the most popular to the least well known.
  To see a dedicated set of imagery of what she does, goto IG account sfoglinainsabina


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