VIP Guests at Our Cooking School
of Our Distinguished Guests
Each and every one of our guests are VIPs for Mamma Agata and our entire family! Our warm family setting and traditional recipes have been a holiday favorite for guests from around the world, including many famous guests over the years. Here are just a few of the celebrated guests we have been honored to welcome into our home and cooking school!
Imagine our delight when basketball legend Michael Jordan, accompanied by his wife, the American model Yvette Prieto, and their two daughters, stepped through the gates of Mamma Agata in Ravello. For a day, Jordan set aside his global basketball legend status, immersing himself and his family in an unforgettable cooking experience at our beloved tourist-favorite cooking school.
Dressed casually in a red T-shirt and white shorts, Jordan selected a traditional menu, focusing on seasonally fresh, organically grown produce from our sea-view terraced gardens. Our very own Chiara Lima, along with her children Mario and Paola Petti, initially awestruck by the NBA icon's towering presence, soon made the Jordans feel right at home. Their family's sociable charm made observing and participating in the preparation of their chosen dishes – from classic Neapolitan fried pizza to eggplant parmesan, meatballs in sauce, Bolognese, and tiramisu – a series of endless inquiries, curiosity, anecdotes, and laughter!
After enjoying their meal under a cool, lush pergola of blooming bougainvillea, Jordan warmly thanked everyone for their hospitality, taking with him on his yacht Mamma Agata's famous lemon cake, the cookbook "Mamma Agata: Simple and Genuine," and a generous selection of Mamma Agata-branded products, including tomato sauce and extra-virgin olive oil.
Wow … when we found out that Pierce Brosnan wanted to spend the day with us we thought surely someone was playing a joke on us! James Bond here at Mamma Agata’s Cooking School. It can’t be true! Well, it was true and it was a dream come true since we spent the most incredible and enjoyable day of our lives ever! It was such a joy for us to welcome Pierce Brosnan, his wife Keely, and their two sons, Paris and Dylan, for a very special day at Mamma Agata’s cooking school.
They are the most amazing people, so sweet and genuine, and we spent a wonderful day with their family – cooking together, laughing, sharing stories, and hearing incredible moments from his life and experiences making movies. He asked Chiara about his movies and when he realized that she hadn’t seen very many he later sent the most amazing present … a box with all his movies signed and a with a very sweet letter. So incredibly kind and thoughtful! When people ask about Pierce Brosnan, Chiara always says that he has the most incredible, warm “Irish Heart!”
After the day with us, he praised Mamma Agata’s cooking saying, “Aromas & flavors that linger in the senses long after the sun has gone down.” He especially loved our Mamma Agata Tomato Purée, olives, and homemade jam. It was truly an honor when he called Mamma Agata’s Cooking School his “New Heaven on Earth.” We are eternally grateful for the memories from this special afternoon together with Pierce Brosnan, his gracious wife Keely, and their beautiful children!
We loved welcoming amazingly talented opera singer Alfie Boe to our cooking school on the Amalfi Coast! He came to Ravello the first time to produce the video for his new album called La Passione inspired by the very real passion he has for singing – but also for cooking. He asked to film a moment of the video in a real Italian family where they were cooking authentic Mediterranean food. That brought him to Mamma Agata’s class and he cooked the famous “Spaghetti of the farmer” with Mamma Agata and Gennaro. What a wonderful experience!
Then a few years later Alfie returned to Mamma Agata’s and this time came with his wife. He did the whole class and he loved Mamma Agata’s Tomato Sauce made with our Tomato Purée and could not stop dipping the bread in the sauce …for us of course such a joy and honor. At the end of the class, he sang a piece from “Les Misérables” and everybody was enchanted! He was so very kind and we all spent a fun day cooking together and sharing our family’s passion for simple and genuine recipes and learning about his beautiful talents and exciting career.
What a fun day it was when legendary American basketball player Jalen Rose and his wife Molly Qerim spent a day cooking with Mamma Agata and our family! We had so much fun with him and his wife. Chiara could not believe how tall he was and we all remember how she thought she looked like a leprechaun under his arm when she tried to wear his Mamma Agata’s Apron! He loved the cooking and his wife was so happy because she cooks mostly Mediterranean dishes.
Jalen Rose loves lemons and his favorite recipes were Mamma Agata’s famous “Lemon Chicken” and delicious Lemon Cake. He had to leave because he had dinner with Denzel Washington that night but he left saying that he must come back for more!
It was an honor to welcome culinary expert and chef Andrew Zimmern to cook with us in our family kitchen! Famous for his many Travel Channel shows from around the world, restaurants, books, and so much more, we have been huge fans for years. When the producer of his show wrote us because he was dreaming to come to Mamma Agata, Chiara almost fainted! We could not believe it was true. We had an unforgettable day sharing our family recipes, filming with him, and hearing his stories from traveling around the world trying many bizarre foods and so many fascinating adventures!
He was as extraordinary as he is in his show – so spontaneous, knowledgeable, and welcoming. Chiara told him when he arrived that she was just as nervous as when James Bond came and he laughed. We had the most incredible experience spending an entire day filming for his TV show on the Travel Channel. It was like welcoming a member of the family that we hadn’t seen for a long time. It was such a joy to see how captivated he was with Gennaro’s cooking and especially the meatballs. He said they were the best meatballs he had ever had in his life – what an honor! He loved our homemade products, including our garden grown Tomato Sauce, our extra virgin olive oil. Everything we were using he was tasting and he was in heaven, and, in fact, when he left he ordered a mountain of products and it was a joy and honor for us to send them to him.
What can we say about the incredible Hulk that millions of people have not said before? Mark Ruffalo is so very warm, friendly, and, of course, handsome! His Italian side was thrilled during the cooking class and he had tears in his eyes as he mentioned his grandmother and how much he loved cooking with her. When we were preparing the Eggplant Parmigiana, he said that his grandma told him, “Let the eggplant cry!” (When you put them in salt and let them sweat before cooking.) He was so happy to see us doing the same!
He could not believe the taste of Mamma Agata’s Sauce made with our Organic Homemade Tomatoes and he could not stop eating our spicy sauce called “Red Hell” because he loved it so much. He was like a kid in a candy shop enjoying all the authentic Italian flavors! Sharing a day with Mark Ruffalo at our cooking school was a laid back and fun experience. He enjoyed the simple and genuine cooking and relaxed moments in our garden sharing time together. He left with tears in his eyes and with joy in his heart and a full belly!
It was a wonderful experience welcoming Sela Ward to Mamma Agata’s Cooking School! She is an extraordinary woman, so full of heart and joy. We loved every minute of our time with her from the moment she arrived until she left. She couldn’t stop raving about the fresh ingredients, our family’s homemade products, traditional recipes, and garden setting in Ravello. Her favorite dish was Mamma Agata’s Eggplant Parmigiana. She very kindly keeps in touch with our family and orders our Tomato Purée and olive oil.
A big birthday celebration was going to bring her back to Mamma Agata’s, but it had to be postponed due to work commitments. We know we will see her and her husband Howard and their lovely kids Annabella and Austin one day soon on the Amalfi Coast!.