Italian Cooking Class in Bedford, Pennsylvania

Last Sunday afternoon,  I dragged my friend Debbi to Bedford, Pennsylvania for a cooking class at one of my favorite little food shops this side of New York City. Okay,  there’s nothing but water on the other side of NYC, but I just want to emphasize how much  I love this store.  LIFeSTYLE, located on the main street in the little mountain town of Bedford, is, by day – or on most days – a store that sells beautiful Italian linens, first class and hard to find Italian meats and cheese and other carefully chosen items from the owner’s homeland.

Italian Goodies for Sale!

Then, every Saturday night, they host trattoria style dinners for about 20 lucky people who have signed up ahead of time. ( I’ve been itching to get to one of these, as I hear they are terrific.)  And once every few weeks on Sunday afternoons they offer cooking classes.  Our class was taught by Chef Matt Finarelli, who teaches cooking ( and other talents, too) in the DC area.

Squid Ink Pasta with Tarragon Butter and Roasted Prosciutto

The group learned how to prepare a sumptuous tarragon butter squid ink pasta, bright and fresh yellow (and fat free) tomato gazpacho, a baked mushroom/rabbit entree that I never would’ve  tried on my own (basically because it’s a bunny) and a dessert of warm, sweet, fried dough ribbons. Matt is a first class instructor. We learned a lot, and had fun, too.  I already try to arrange my Turnpike trips to coincide with LIFeSTYLE’s hours and now I going to factor Matt’s classes into my plans, too.

8 comment on “Italian Cooking Class in Bedford, Pennsylvania

  1. Ashley

    Hey! I found your blog through The Culinary Couple and am so excited. I went to school in Indiana and lived and worked in Altoona for a few years before relocating to Florida in March. So happy to meet another western Pa-er — have you met fellow Pittsburgh blogger Rose? We went to school together. Her blog is

    1. Staff Mary

      I checked out blog and it is terrific. And isn’t The Culinary Couple sweet and wonderful? I’ll check out your site when I get a free minute. Thanks for reading!

  2. Chef Matt

    Hey there Mary,

    Thanks so much for the kind words about my class. I’m glad you enjoyed the class and the food! It’s what I love to hear, and why I do this. My website is up and running once again thank God. You can find it at I have also placed a link to this blog post on my site because one good link deserves another.

    Hope to see you at a future class!

    Chef Matt Finarelli

  3. Emily

    Hello! I discovered your blog today through Lifestyle’s Facebook page. My husband and I live outside of Altoona and are celebrating our first anniversary this Saturday in Beford! Sounds like we also need to sign up for a cooking class 🙂 Anxious to read more about your foodie adventures throughout central PA!

    1. Staff Mary

      I will definitely be attending another class! We had a great time. I am making your gazpacho for dinner tonight. Yum.

      1. Staff Mary

        Happy Anniversary! What a great place to celebrate.

  4. Danette George

    Went with a fun group to a dinner at LIFeSTYLE, I can’t say enough good about it! The food was spectacular in a gorgeous, hospitable environment. You MUST try this! We only drove an hour, but would have been worth a longer trip! Wonderful couple, great gourmet selection of food and other gifts, old-world charming atmosphere, 5-STARS!!

    1. Staff Mary

      I can’t wait to get there for one of the dinners. Glad to hear that the dinners are as great as everything else that they offer there. Love it.

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