Discover Luciana

How it all started…

Luciana Sampogna, the founder, can trace her love for Italian food from the early stages of her childhood. She would be carefully watching her mother stirring a traditional Venetian polenta or helping her grandmother make the eternal melanzane ripiene.

Luciana’s passion for Italian food was further developed when she met the Simili Sisters. As the Gourmet Traveller article recalls: “Not only is she their biggest fan, she is also following in their footsteps: her cooking school Cucina Italiana, teaches the Simili Sisters’ recipes, as well as following their philosophy of introducing the time- honoured traditions of regional Italian cooking to a new generation who, even in Italy, are fast losing these skills.” Gourmet Traveller, June 2004.

After graduating from the Simili Sisters’ school in Bologna, Luciana opened her first cooking school in Auckland, New Zealand in 1998. The media were quick to spot her talent as were the winners of the America’s Cup, Alinghi. Luciana trained the chefs on the multi-million dollar support boats. It was with great enthusiasm that Luciana then opened her cooking school, Cucina Italiana in Sydney in 2002.

With an extensive knowledge of Italian food Luciana strives to teach that it is the simplicity of Italian Food which makes it so special. Through her classes you will learn that Italian Food is not about techniques but carefully balancing ingredients without letting them overpower, giving you the opportunity to discover the real flavour of Italian cuisine. By tasting the food throughout the class, you will learn the balance of each flavour.

Luciana Sampogna’s cooking classes are widely acknowledged as one of the most authentic cooking schools in Sydney, offering traditional Italian fare from her extensive repertoire. Her collection of recipes are regional and accessible, and from her home in Annandale, Luciana shares a truly participatory experience with her students through her passion for food that is defined by its generosity.

Keeping Italian flavours alive and pure has been important to Luciana Sampogna, ensuring that her beloved culture would never be misinterpreted. Sampogna has long wanted to record her passion and tell the stories she learned from generations ago through her family. With a strong desire to truly capture the essence of her childhood and culture, she finally crumbled to student’s requests and released her first cookbook with Murdoch Publishing.

As the Sydney Cooking School proves to be a huge success a sister school has now opened in Venice on the island of Lido.
Luciana will share her time now between the Venice cooking school and Sydney Cooking School giving her students the passion that fuels Cucina Italiana.