For more than 40 years, De Gustibus Cooking School has hosted celebrity chefs, sommeliers, cookbook authors, and restaurateurs. Below are testimonials messages from esteemed chefs and culinary figures who have taught at the school.


“I would just like to thank you! I'm reluctant and a little stubborn about speaking in front of so many people. Fortunately, I am someone who rises to the occasion. However, with your guidance and really very gracious presence, it all felt so painless. You and your team couldn't have made all of us feel so welcome. I hope you will make it in some time for dinner I would be so happy to return the hospitality. And I guess I've gotten over my stage fright just a little bit ;)”

—Melissa Rodriguez, Executive Chef/Partner at Mel’s, ​​Discolo and Al Coro 

“The interactive demonstrations [at De Gustibus] enable me to connect with guests outside of the restaurant in an intimate environment that is both fun and educational.Students have a unique opportunity to ask questions they might not otherwise have a chance to ask a chef directly, and the feedback I receive is invaluable. De Gustibus is a very special cooking school, unlike any I have experienced before, and I recommend it highly to my colleagues.”

-Daniel Humm, Chef/Owner at Eleven Madison Park

"Walking into De Gustibus always feels like coming home to friends. The kitchen team and the front of the house team are extremely helpful and well organized and the audience is always engaged and interested in learning. The De Gustibus community holds a special place in my heart and events there always feel more like celebrations than work."

- Carla Hall Chef/Cookbook Author/ TV Celebrity

"They say work isn't work when you do what you love. When I'm at De Gustibus, I never feel like it's work; it feels more like a privileged pleasure to be around such professionals who make me feel right at home. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for always thinking of me to teach a class. This year, my team and I had a fantastic time. The endless laughs were much needed for all!"

—Ayesha J. Nurdjaja, Executive Chef/Partner at Shukette & Shuka

"Thank you for honoring and having me at your amazing kitchen ! There are no words to explain how wonderful and amazing your hospitality was! Sal, I have very rarely felt such a hospitality and professionalism like yours ! Thank you all again and I can not wait to be back again at De Gustibus!"

-Nick Poulmentis, Executive Chef at Marathi Greek Bistro

"Seriously the best class I ever did. Proud to have done what all those great chefs have done all these years! Your crew is very focused, and I am very happy to have worked with them."

-Chris Cheung, Executive Chef/Owner at East Wind Snack Shop

"De Gustibus has served as one of New York's original sources of inspiration to our growing culture of food and dining by bringing the greatest chefs from around the world to the greatest audience in the world--the New York audience. Through this one-on-one contact, chefs have been able to pass along their love of food and cooking to like-minded and enthusiastic student-participants. This exchange has elevated the art of cooking in America--all at the crossroads of America… it’s been my home base cooking school for more than 20 years."

—Michael Lomonoco, Executive Chef/Owner at Porter House, Hudson Yards Grill

"You and your team make my job so easy and it is a real pleasure to work with them — professional and warm. De Gustibus has twice been the best experience of cooking outside of my own kitchen. Looking forward to next year."

—Daniel Rose, Executive Chef/Partner at Le Coucou

"It was such a pleasure co-hosting this event with you! These moments are part of the reason why I love my job and this industry. Let’s do it again! Thank you Sal for making this so fun and professional at the same time!"

— Pierre Chichportiche, Eastern US Sales Manager at Champagne Billecart-Salmon

“Thank you so much Sal, YOU are the star!”

                                        —Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Chef/Restaurateur

“We will be back!!! Thanks. You are pros and make it feel special always..”

                                                                                                              —Geoffrey Zakarian, Chef/Restaurateur

“Teaching at De Gustibus gives me a chance to connect in a closer environment with enthusiastic diners. It has become part of the fabric of the New York restaurant scene, and Salvatore Rizzo is perfectly situated to continue the tradition.”

—Michael Anthony, Executive Chef/Partner at Gramercy Tavern

“De Gustibus bring[s] riches into the lives of those that attend its classes, and I know every class at De Gustibus will send the attendees home with an experience that will deliver in more ways than one.” At De Gustibus, you are assured great education and more. Superlative food, excellent teaching, great hosting and memorable pairings of wine. What would cost a mighty fee at a restaurant, comes to you at a modest price. Education, interaction with chefs hungry to share, and a place to study wine and pairings, are only a teaser.... The experience you go home with, will give you reason to cook at home, cook with care and invest in your future in special ways.”

—Suvir Saran, Chef/Cookbook Author

“Sal, thank you much! You and your staff were unbelievably warm and welcoming. The legends are all true! You guys are true professionals. We were honored that you thought of us. We all look forward to coming back. We had a blast! Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

—Joe Vigorito, Executive Chef at L'Artusi, NYC


Thank you both for curating such a special night! I can’t tell you how many people have already reached out to say how much they enjoyed the event. Some have even circled back a few times! I personally keep trying to taste the amazing food again.. in my head!Without a doubt – this outing received the most positive feedback of any event that I have coordinated.The food and wine were fantastic. Your warmth, talent and humor made the night truly unforgettable— private event guests.

—Laura J. (Ares Management)

DG was the perfect space for the event – lucky we were able to secure the space and rehearsals the day of was better for allSal was so hospitable and entertaining – from making things seamless and easy like having lunch available, coffee and water. The team felt very supported throughout the day with any needs, changes, requests we had to make the event successful. The team and Sal made the day amazing and created the right feeling of celebration at the end. The demo ended up looking very professional and high quality. The camera angles were really unique to other virtual events and the event felt very dynamic with the split screens. The media have never attended a virtual event like this before.

—Ishita R. (IDR Consulting)

My wife and I have been participants in the De Gustibus programs, both in-studio and on-location, for over twenty years. On many occasions our children would join us, especially for on-location activities. Each experience was exciting, educational and enjoyable and provided us with many meaningful memories. These events are a euphoric experience as they allow us to meet with old friends, cook with experienced chefs, and create another family of fellow “foodies” who bond by cooking together. My family is excited to continue our trips to the De Gustibus events and to continue making meaning memories. 

—Neil P.

Sal, you are our hero. Not just because of the magnificence of the tastings but as a much needed window into a life we haven't been able to enjoy for the past year. You and your pros, both staff and visitors, have given us a taste of the world we used to live in and hope to live in again soon.

 —Sheila O.

My husband and I attended last night’s demonstration with Melissa Rodriguez and it truly was a most enjoyable evening! Please allow me to compliment you on providing a truly outstanding customer experience. From the comfort of the updated facility, to the service provided by your attentive staff, it’s easy to feel like a welcomed guest in your kitchen. The secret ingredient, however, is the pure joy you bring to the De Gustibus experience. Through your knowledge, experience, warmth and sense of humor, you have truly recreated a very special place. Attending last night’s demonstration was a birthday gift from my husband, I could not have asked for more.


My husband and I just want to thank you for an amazing night at the De Gustibus cooking school. From the minute we got there, you welcomed us warmly, the staff was friendly and helpful and overall the whole evening was so well organized. Your questions to the chefs were inquisitive and interesting, and your personality and wit were so entertaining! Oh yes, and of course, the chefs, food and wine pairings were fabulous! 

—Elisia and Todd S.

It was a truly unforgettable evening. I can't tell you enough how impressed I was with the organization, atmosphere and hospitality in the room. And, of course, that amazing food from the uber talented Ayesha! It was an honor to be asked to participate and a pleasure to share some halva with your guests. I will definitely be coming back for some more classes with friends! 

—Rachel S (Seed + Mill)

I just wanted to thank you for such a lovely evening last night. You are a gracious host who makes all of us feel like we are dining in your home, and your staff is awesome. As usual, Chef Sobel was ON HIS GAME!! The food was simply delicious and he is both informative and entertaining. I am sure to try to recreate the recipes at home.... especially the cauliflower wings.

—Marianne L.

You are amazing!!!! Everyone loves you. You are just a dynamic, enthusiastic and soulful person who seriously is in the right business. You obviously enjoy what you do and make it special for everyone around you. Workers and clients. Thank you so much for making the evening so special. Classy yet fun. Upmarket and not pretentious. Fun but still a learning experience. 


Thank you again and again for the hands-on cooking experience last night. I loved the people and the food and especially the warm and welcoming family atmosphere. This was my introduction to Peruvian cooking but it was so much more. The great crew at De Gustibus kept it moving invisibly and efficiently and timely which is impressive as we all had glasses of wine in hand. I know I will be cooking all of the food we made last night again and again.

—Janet C.

Wow! What a couple of days we had in Manhattan. Your team are pros! You are a star. The facility from the kitchen to the stage to the well-oiled execution of your classes, to the entertainment and engagement of the audience, it truly was a performance and fantastic at that! Bravo! A million thanks to you and your team. Every single team member was a delight. And I couldn’t help but feel like new friendships were made. We were nothing but thrilled with both events and heard such terrific feedback from both groups. 

—Jennifer S (Visit Greenville)

Last night was wonderful… I so much appreciate the many opportunities you offer for excellent food, an education, and an evening’s entertainment. Thank you.

 —Helene L

Can't tell you how much I enjoyed last night. You were the star of the show!!I think you need to figure how to get a syndicated tv show!  

—Sidney S