About Us

Contact Us

Rustico Cooking is located at
40 West 39th Street
Third Floor
New York NY 10018
Visits by appointment only.

Our Kitchen & Facilities


Open since 2004, RUSTICO COOKING is New York City's premier location for private cooking parties and hands-on cooking classes. Located in the heart of Manhattan, our 4000-square-foot cooking loft boasts two independent dining rooms and kitchens equipped with top-of-the-line appliances, and a spectacular view of the Empire State Building.

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cooking parties cooking classes

Our cooking loft boasts the following:

Our History

RUSTICO COOKING was launched by Milan-born Micol Negrin. After obtaining a Psychology Degree at McGill University despite gnawing doubts that what she really wanted to do was to cook, Micol decided to take the plunge and enrolled in culinary school. With a degree from Canada's premier culinary academy, L'Institut du Tourisme et de l'Hotellerie du Quebec, Micol moved to New York City and became the Editor and chief writer for The Magazine of La Cucina Italiana. For six years, until she resigned, Micol wrote and edited full-time... but in her heart, she knew she wanted to be back behind the stove, cooking for people who wanted to experience a true taste of Italy and teaching Italian cooking to anyone eager to roll up their sleeves.

And so, once again, Micol followed her dreams. She opened RUSTICO COOKING in Midtown Manhattan, where she and her husband Dino De Angelis host cooking classes, cooking parties and team-building events.

Author of three cookbooks (the James Beard-nominated Rustico: Regional Italian Country Cooking and The Italian Grill, both published by Clarkson Potter, and The Best Pasta Sauces: Favorite Regional Italian Recipes, released by Ballantine Books, a division of Random House), Micol is not only a skilled Italian chef, but an accomplished writer and well-respected authority on Italian cuisine. She teaches Italian cooking across North America and has written for major publications (including Fine Cooking, Cooking Light and Bon Appetit).

Micol's husband, Dino De Angelis, earned a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from McGill University in Montreal. The couple moved to NYC in 1995, when Dino was hired to do cutting-edge biomedical research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. During the summers, Dino took time off from research to photograph Italian food and landscapes for Micol's cookbooks and magazine articles. In 2006, Dino decided to take a plunge himself, and went into the family business full time. Dino designed and maintains the Rustico Cooking website and blog, deals with administrative aspects of the business, and teaches at RUSTICO COOKING.

After years of traveling across Italy in search of its most beguiling landscapes, heirloom recipes, and passionate cooks, Micol and Dino now welcome guests and students to their NYC cooking loft with trademark Italian hospitality, sharing the joys of great food around a convivial table.

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Our Staff

Gerri Biordi

Gerry Biordi

Gerry Biordi developed a passion for feeding people when living in Bologna, where she learned authentic Italian cooking from the best cooks imaginable: Italian grandmothers! She learned all their coveted recipes, their techniques and tricks that make Italian home cooking so special. Upon her return to New York, Gerry started Sarabella Catering, and enjoyed planning parties and events for several years. She graduated from the Culinary Management Program at the Institute of Culinary Education, and interned at The Magazine of La Cucina Italiana, working in the kitchen and on magazine photo shoots, and at Indiana Market and Catering. Gerry has always believed that people who don’t have time to cook need a better option than take-out or expensive restaurants; that's the idea behind her personal home chef service, Sarabella Cooks, a meal delivery program that delivers fresh, homemade food for the week right to your door.

Costas Mouzouras

Costas Mouzouras

RUSTICO COOKING's Wine Director was born and raised in Cyprus. From a childhood pruning, harvesting and stomping grapes in the family vineyard, Costas was fascinated with how wine is made and develops, and how it brings people together. Costas moved to NYC when he was 19, where he began working full-time on his BA.

Today Costas runs Gotham Wines & Liquors in Manhattan, where he has set many new trends. He lectures on wine to food industry professionals and amateurs, and is a regular radio show guest wine expert (every Monday in season on WSNR Radio). He has been quoted in the Wine Spectator and the New York Sun among other publications.

To keep in touch with what's new, what to stock, and what to recommend to his loyal following, Costas tastes 25 to 30 wines per week. Costas believes that wine should be enjoyed in moderation, but definitely imbibed! Costas hosts RUSTICO COOKING's private wine tastings for such diverse clients as AmEx, Victoria's Secret, Roche, Unilever, Nestle Waters, KPMG, Arts & Entertainment Television Network, and more.

Elizabeth Simms

Elizabeth Simms

Having worked in four NYC restaurants, Elizabeth M. Simms is now a personal chef, caterer, culinary writer and teacher. Though cooking had always interested her (culinary shows on PBS were some of the few tv programs her mom allowed her to watch growing up), she attended and graduated from Brandeis University. However, sending away for a culinary school brochure during her senior year cultivated the idea that maybe neither academia or a desk were meant to be. Following a half-year stint working in offices post-graduation, it is now five years later, and one finds Elizabeth happily ensconced in her right place.

Melissa Ricketts

Melissa Ricketts

While working professionally for several years in the corporate arena, Melissa decided to focus on her true passions: food and travel. After graduating with highest honors from the Institute of Culinary Education and externing at Gramercy Tavern, she launched a personal chef service. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Lauren Wilson

Lauren Wilson

Since completing her culinary training at Toronto's George Brown Chef School in 2008, Lauren has worked in various capacities in the food world - from restaurant cooking to cheesemongering, online sales to catering, teaching cooking classes to writing for print and online media. She completed a research project at George Brown examining the career motivations, ambitions, and expectations of students, with the aim of better understanding the low female representation at the executive level of professional kitchens. She is now working on course development related to her research. Lauren received a Bachelor of Commerce in marketing from McGill University, and worked for an environmental non-profit organization that works to promote certification for sustainable forest management. After eating up all the good bits of Toronto, Lauren followed a trail of crumbs to Brooklyn, where she is cooking, eating, writing, and teaching at Rustico happily.

Caitlyn Nies

Caitlyn Nies

Caitlyn graduated from the College of Mount Saint Vincent with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Certification in Elementary and Early Childhood Education. Subsequent to her graduation, she pursued her passion for cooking by enrolling in the Culinary Arts Program at the Institute of Culinary Education. Upon her certification in Culinary Arts she began working at Vetro By Russos on the Bay, in Howard Beach, as a prep and catering cook. In her desire to combine her passion for teaching with her culinary passion, she now works independently, conducting both adult and children’s personal cooking classes. In addition to her work at Rustico, she does private catering and personal chef work, specializing in Weight Watcher conscious meals. You can find her selling her creations, each Saturday, at the local Farmer’s Market in Breezy Point, Queens.

Robby Jay Bither

Robby Jay Bither

Robby Jay is a graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City. He has a B.A. Degree in Philosophy from Belhaven University. After graduating from culinary school he travelled and studied regional cooking in Europe refining his skills and passion for the Culinary Arts. His love of food is only matched by his love of people and the celebration that occurs around a communal table. Robby Jay is currently a chef, teacher, and caterer, and owner of Carving Board Catering

Nora Watson

Nora Watson

Having grown up with Sunday dinners cooked by her father using recipes by Julia Child and Michael Field, Nora developed early on a taste for fine, well prepared food. After many years of working as an accountant in corporate real estate, Nora decided to follow her true passion for cooking. She graduated with highest honors from the Institute of Culinary Education and started her new career at David Burke's Fromagerie in Rumson, NJ. Nora then spent time in France, refining her skills and learning the art of hotel management at Le Moulin Bregeon, a luxury country inn in the Loire Valley. She splits her time, spending part of the year at the Moulin and the rest here in New York, working as an instructor and caterer.

Anthony Contrino

Anthony Contrino

Anthony earned a Grande Diploma in Classic Pastry Arts from The French Culinary Institute. He staged in Beziers, France and has worked in bakeries, restaurants and in catering. When not teaching at Rustico, he works as a freelance pastry chef, food consultant, food stylist, recipe tester and developer and as a culinary producer.

Sunny Gandara

Sunny Gandara

Sunny Gandara is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education in NY. A native of Norway, Sunny has also lived in Rome and developed her passion for food in Italy before moving to the States where she earned her B.S. Degree in Business Administration from the University of San Francisco. Sunny is equally enthusiastic about wine as she is about food; she is a Certified Wine Educator and holds the Diploma from the WSET (Wine & Spirits Education Trust).

Our Philosophy

We believe good food does not need to be complicated. In fact, the best food is often the simplest. Our recipes and our cooking style reflect this fact. Fresh ingredients, treated simply and with respect, are the foundation of memorable meals. We do not complicate simple recipes just so that our students and class participants can walk away with a sense of accomplishment. Rather, we emphasize cooking techniques that most effectively draw out flavor from each ingredient in a dish. And we make cooking fun, so that people are actually motivated to do it on a regular basis, instead of being intimidated by lengthy processes and hard-to-find ingredients.

This also means that we do not use any processed ingredients or pre-packaged food in our cooking. All our stocks, broths, and sauces are homemade. Nothing goes to waste, and everything we incorporate in our cooking is natural. After enjoying a meal cooked in our kitchen, you will feel satiated, never heavy.

In order to facilitate the learning process and allow us to spend more time focusing on the relevant techniques of a given class (say, making fresh pasta from scratch, rolling out flaky pie crust, stuffing ravioli, kneading pizza dough), we chop, prep, and measure all necessary ingredients before students arrive. The onions are minced, the potatoes washed, the flour and sugar measured. This way, we can spend longer mastering truly essential cooking techniques.

To ensure all class participants learn the most important parts of a given menu, certain key techniques (such as making fresh pasta dough from scratch) will be executed by class participants in small teams.

One last thing: we believe food should be delicious, and every meal should be a celebration. So when you come to our kitchen, you will not only learn how to execute a menu; you will also learn how it should taste, because the food we make in your company is always flavorful, fresh, and satisfying.

Employment Opportunities

We are looking for enthusiastic, hard working, fun-loving chefs who enjoy teaching amateur cooks and food lovers. Several part-time opportunities available, as independent contractors (you will need to fill out a W-9 form). Email us at micol@rusticocooking.com and put "working at Rustico Cooking" in the title. Please attach a resume and include a few words about yourself. Thanks!

Contact Us

The best way to reach us is by email at micol@rusticocooking.com. We can also be reached by phone at 917-602-1519. We will contact you by phone/email within 24 hrs to coordinate your party.

If you know the date that you want to book your private event, please use our event request form

Our address is

Rustico Cooking
40 West 39th Street
Third Floor
New York, NY 10018

We run events and classes in the morning and the evening, therefore all visits are strictly by appointment - no walk-ins... Please email us or call ahead if you wish to schedule a visit.

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