A Taste of “Little Italy” Pizza Making Class at Sur La Table

WestsideMommy.com | Ruby Hunt with Director Donald Petrie
Pic credit: Jen Miyagishima, realmomofsfv.com

Today, my daughter and I attended a special pizza making class at Sur La Table at The Grove to celebrate the release of the Lionsgate romantic comedy, “Little Italy“, starring Emma Roberts and Hayden Christensen. The movie centers around food, specifically pizza, so this event was a perfect fit.

In attendance for a brief Q&A session was the director of the film, Donald Petrie, known for How to Lose a Guy in 10 DaysMiss Congeniality, and Grumpy Old Men. Funnily enough, 30 years ago, Petrie directed another pizza-themed movie, Mystic Pizza, starring Julia Roberts – the aunt of Emma Roberts!

I definitely had a hankering for pizza while watching the movie (I saw a special screening of it). Little Italy, which takes place in Toronto, Canada’s Little Italy, focuses on family, love, and the emotions. It’s about returning home, seeing how things have and haven’t changed, and making big life decisions.

Petrie shared with us that when he received the script for Little Italy, there were no actors attached. Eventually, the recognizable faces of Emma Roberts, Hayden Christensen, Alyssa Milano, Danny Aiello, and Jane Seymour were cast. One of the things that threw me off was Alyssa Milano as the mom of a 20-something year old in the movie. I mentioned this to Petrie while we were making pizza at the Sur La Table event, and he told me (and the rest of us later at the Q&A) that Alyssia Milano wanted to play the role of Dora, the mom of of Emma Roberts’ character Nikki in the movie. He told us that she was convincing in the fake lashes, done up the hair, and  transformed herself when auditioning for the role. When I calculated it all, it did make sense that she could have been a young mom…and made me feel old at the same time.

Little Italy is definitely in Petrie’s wheelhouse of directing romantic comedies, something he’s always enjoyed since his early days of directing.

Little Italy comes to theatres and On-Demand September 21, 2018.

The Pizza Class at Sur La Table

My daughter and I enjoyed making pizza with other bloggers and media members. I learned some great lessons during the class that I would not have otherwise have taken away from a printed recipe. We made kale salad, dressing, and pizza! Here are some of them:

  • tear kale from spines and cut before washing
  • the acid from the lemon actually cooks the kale a bit, softening it for easier digesting
  • dress the bowl, not directly on the salad, to ensure even distribution
  • the proper way to juice lemon in a handheld juice press (make sure the lemon faces down)
  • the proper way to use a microplane with the catching side up, and rubbing your object in one direction
  • if you own a Cuisinart Mixer, you should turn it on at least once a month so it doesn’t “gunk” up
  • if you use the bread kneader on your Cuisinart Mixer at a speed higher than “medium”, you void the warranty
  • that you should proof your yeast before making the dough
  • that you shouldn’t use a towel (because of lint) to cover the dough when it rests; instead use plastic wrap
  • how to tell if your dough is ready (you will see a “window” when you pull)
  • that you should pinch your dough and let gravity do it’s job
  • you should put your dough on the pizza peel before putting on the toppings
  • make sure you can easily move the pizza off the pizza peel by adding flour between the peel and the dough
  • dough will rise twice the size, so if you want to make a thin crust, it needs to be extremely thin
  • if you mess up your roll, don’t ball the dough together and try again – it won’t work correctly

My pizza came out “rustic” looking, but kind of heart-shaped, which is pretty cool! It was really delicious, and nothing is more satisfying than making everything (or kind of making it) from scratch! We definitely enjoyed the lesson at Sur La Table and think the instructor was fantastic.

Sur La Table


Disclaimer: WestsideMommy was invited to this press event by Lionsgate Pictures. No monetary compensation was exchanged for this post. All opinions are honest and 100% my own. This post may contain affiliate links.

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I am a new mom to a baby girl. I live in West Los Angeles. This blog is about my experiences as a new mom and navigating my way through kid-friendly L.A.

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