By Julianna Wilmoth, Director of The Cucina

The instructor-chefs who lead classes in The Cucina are some of the region’s most sought after culinary experts. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be introducing our highly talented instructors who teach, guide and mentor here in The Cucina. Without further ado, meet nationally recognized chef-entrepreneur, Carla Snyder.

After a spending a college semester studying in Spain, Carla discovered just how delicious life could be. She has spent the past 30 years in the food world as a caterer, artisan baker, cooking school teacher, culinary team building company owner, freelance food writer and co-author of numerous cookbooks. Her work has appeared in Bon Appètit, Chili Pepper, Better Homes and Gardens, Family Fun and numerous local and regional magazines and newspapers.

Carla is co-author with Meredith Deeds of The Mixer BibleThe Mixer Bible 2nd Edition, 3rd Edition, and newly released 4th Edition (Robert Rose 2005, 2009, 2013, and 2018), the 2007 James Beard nominated The Big Book of Appetizers (Chronicle Books 2006), The Take-Out Menu Cookbook: How to Cook IN The Food That You Love to Order Out (Running Press, 2007), Good Morning America’s Top Ten Pick of 2008, 300 Sensational Soups (Robert Rose, 2008), Fish for Dinner (contributor, Williams Sonoma, 2009), the digital e-cook book with apps Serves Two (2010, available on iTunes) and Everyday to Entertaining (Robert Rose 2011). Carla’s series, One Pan Two Plates/Whole Family/Vegetarian books began in 2013 and she continues to use the recipes as inspiration for the classes she teaches at Gervasi. In Fall 2015, she released Sweet Tart: 70 Irresistible Recipes for Desserts and Savories Made with Citrus. She has appeared on Fox Morning News Indianapolis and Cincinnati, Lake Effect Radio’s Dinner Plans, Martha Stewart Living Radio, Good Morning Cleveland and Hallmark Channel’s Home and Family.

With her vast spectrum of knowledge and experiences, it is an exciting personal culinary moment to attend her classes. This fall, Chef Carla will be leading classes ranging from Chop (and Cook) Like a Chef: Knife Skills to One Pan-Whole Family to Homemade Artisan Pasta. View our Cucina class schedule for more information on Carla’s classes and the rest of our fall lineup.

Look for Carla on Facebook (Carla Snyder), Twitter (carlacooks), Pinterest (Carla Snyder) Instagram (carlacooks) and at where she blogs about everything from cooking for two to easy weekend entertaining for a crowd.

The recipe below is from her Chop (and Cook) Like a Chef: Knife Skills class, just one of the many recipes she will be teaching this fall. Knife skills are immensely important to cooking times and even presentation, and Carla will guide you through correct ways of bruniose, chiffonade, and more!


Minestrone for two recipe by Carla Snyder

Minestrone for Two

Start to finish: 45 minutes
Hands on time: 15 minutes

Minestrone is the epitome of an “everything but the kitchen sink” soup. Even though we’re giving you a recipe, and it’s a good one, remember that at its essence, it’s a vegetable soup that needs to take advantage of what is in season and at its peak to be great. If zucchini doesn’t look good at the market, don’t use it, use yellow squash instead. If green beans don’t look good, leave them out. The bones of this soup are good canned tomatoes, good extra virgin olive oil, and real Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, and the rest is up to you.

2 slices bacon, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped fine
2 zucchini, sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 new potatoes, chopped
1 cup thinly sliced green cabbage (preferably Savoy)
One 15-ounce can whole tomatoes, chopped coarse, with juices
1/2 cup canned white beans
2 cups chicken broth
Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Good quality extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

In a heavy kettle cook the bacon in the oil over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp and pale golden. Add the onion, and cook the mixture, stirring, until the onion is softened, about 2 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, garlic and zucchini along with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and cook the mixture, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes and cabbage and cook the mixture, stirring, until the cabbage is wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, white beans and the broth and simmer the soup, covered, for 15 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into a serving bowl. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and drizzle the top with extra virgin olive oil.