Lapo & Mama Elena Teaches True Italian Cooking in Observatory, Cape Town


Chef Lapo Magni is well-known for the fun and delicious long-table experiences hosted at his home in Observatory, Cape Town. For adventurous diners who are not content to simply sit on the sideline, this passionate chef is now teaming up with his mother and mentor, the renowned Mama Elena Mattei, to teach true Italian cooking in the best way possible – by getting your hands dirty!


  • Hosted by chef Lapo Magni, winner of the Italian version of MasterChef 2013, alongside his mother & mentor, Mama Elena Mattei.
  • Experience Italian cuisine prepared with South African produce and a dash of inimitable Mattei & Magni magic.
  • Learn traditional Italian cooking from a true Italian family.
  • Cook with the finest seasonally available, sustainable and ethical produce & ingredients.
  • Enjoy a step-by-step explanation of the menu alongside a cooking demo & take home the recipes!


11h00 – 15h00 (midday class)

18h00 – 22h00 (evening class)


Mama Elena Mattei is what one might call the OG Tuscan chef. She ran the restaurant La Baraonda in Florence since 1987, and soon after decided to start a cooking school, Cucina con Vista, to teach the traditional Tuscan recipes that her clients were always pleading for. This is where she fine-tuned the art of teaching true Italian cooking like the women in her family have been doing for centuries – creating spellbindingly delicious, deeply nutritious dishes that hum with the movement and magic of the Tuscan landscape.

Get in on the action as Lapo and Mama Elena join forces to teach passionate foodies to do as the Italians do – to cook and indulge with uncomplicated abandon. With Lapo in the mix to translate his Mama’s animated Italian instructions, the ambiance is electric with the shared energy that epitomises the heart of every Tuscan kitchen.

“We have a great flow in the kitchen and we love working together. It has always been my mother’s mission to pass her knowledge on to me – she was the one who sparked the passion for cooking in me and continues to keep it ablaze. Mama Elena brings the tradition, and I add my own touch with some modern elements. Guests can look forward to some serious hands-on cooking, after which they can sit down to enjoy a starter, main and dessert,” Lapo enthuses.

As for the menu on the day, this is wholly dependent on the fresh, seasonal produce Lapo manages to rustle up in the lead-up to the cooking festivities. Guests can expect to enjoy two of Mama Elena’s traditional courses with contemporary additions by Lapo, as well as an inspired experimental dish prepared by the man himself. Think along the lines of traditional Tuscan meatballs paired with a grape-and-honey crumble infused with burnt sage and charred orange, served with a black coffee reduction. Or perhaps a hearty bowl of fresh hand-made tagliatelle with braised red peppers, flash-fried capers, and homemade anchovy butter. Or how does some green bean purée with deep-fried zucchini flowers and basil foam with burrata sound?

Gather around as Lapo and Mama Elena unveil the secrets to recreating traditional Tuscan cuisine and home, and enjoy true Italian fare infused with uniquely African seasonal products – it’s an experience like no other.

What’s included

  • Demo cooking class
  • 3-course meal shared around a communal table
  • Jugs of water
  • Recipes

What’s not included

  • All drinks
  • Gratuity
  • Transfers

Important Information

  • A minimum of 4 bookings are required for the experience to take place. If fewer bookings are received the experience will be cancelled and you will be fully refunded.
  • A maximum of 6 bookings are available for each scheduled date.
  • Bring your own wine or other drinks
  • Park alongside Ossian Street
  • Uber or meter taxi transport recommended
  • Please specify dietary requirements at time of booking, or latest 2 days prior to event


18h00: Arrival at Lapo’s Kitchen in Observatory, Cape Town.

18h30: Welcome & introduction of the menu that will be prepared.

19h00: Demo starts around Lapo’s cooking island – take your places!

19h30: Get involved with some hands-on cooking with Mama Elena & Lapo assisting.

20h30: Gather around the table and enjoy your 3-course meal.

22h00: Lapo’s Kitchen closes for the evening.

Production: Eatsplorer / Photography: Jomeri Mouton


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