Local Restaurant Hosted First-Graders’ Italy Day

Bardonia Elementary Visited Jimmy’s on Main on Thursday

“Uno, Due, Tre, Quattro, Cinque, Sei, Sette, Otto, Nove, Dieci”

First-graders from Bardonia Elementary chanted in unison to Jimmy Guarasci to show him what they had learned as part of their recent Italian-themed curriculum.

Guarasci, Italian-American, owns Jimmy’s on Main and hosted an Italian cooking lesson for the students.

“Jimmy’s on Main is a comfort food restaurant with heart healthy options. We’re not an Italian restaurant, but today, we made pasta for them as part of their Italy Day,” said Guarasci.

“We learned about Italy in the classroom,” said Teacher Susan Koppel. “This was the culminating event to our Italy Day.”

 “The kids are also learning about colors and we showed them how red and white made pink,” said Head Chef Laurie Dunne, referring to changing the red marinara sauce to the pink vodka sauce using white cream. She did this as part of a food demonstration for the students.

“I liked the pink (sauce) because it was very yummy,” said Student Ashley Thomas.

“I wanted to come out today,” said Student William Sun.

“I like the pink (sauce) because it’s creamy,” said Student Matthew Danao. He and fellow student Caitlin Petrellese said the bus trip was their favorite part about this event.

The students had Italian bread with their pasta and also got a treat after eating with the devil dogs from the Jimmy's on Main Kids menu. Guarasci quizzed the students, asking questions such as:

  • What’s the difference between the red (marinara) and pink (vodka) sauces?
  • Why is the pink (vodka) pasta creamier?
  • Why is it called penne?

After their Devil Dog desert, Guarasci asked the students to tell him Italy facts that they had learned in class. The students talked about Galileo, Gondolas, the Opera,  Venice, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and even counted to ten in Italian.

Each student left with a full stomach and a little more knowledge of Italy.

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