You learn more than recipes from teachers
I'll never forget going to "Cooking with Nonna," a class taught by sweet Italian grannies. "Cooking has always been my passion," said Giuliana, my group's Nonna. "I love it because it gives me a chance to practice my English."
With a translator's help, Nonna instructed us on how to make gnocchi from scratch with a gnocchi paddle (harder than it looks, folks). In turn, we got to grill her on the history of tiramisu as we blended up mascarpone and eggs for the caffeinated dessert.
"Well," she said, "it started with a bar."
"Nonna, it wasn't a bar," the translator said. "It was a brothel."
Nonna went on to explain, very sweetly, why tiramisu literally translates to "pick me up." And I've not looked at tiramisu the same way since.