AUTHENTIC ITALIAN: Villa Cavour Bed and Breakfast owners Rocco and Mara Turina hold cooking classes at their Point Vernon home.
AUTHENTIC ITALIAN: Villa Cavour Bed and Breakfast owners Rocco and Mara Turina hold cooking classes at their Point Vernon home. Jodie Callcott

Cooking for love the genuine Italian way

VILLA Cavour Bed and Breakfast owners Mara and Rocco Turina offer authentic Italian cooking classes in an intimate setting at their Point Vernon home.

Their passion in life is cooking fresh food for their family and sharing Italian traditions with their guests.

Mrs Turina said people assumed cooking fresh pasta was difficult because they hadn't grown up making it as she and Mr Turina had.

"For us it's not really a new or strange thing, because we used to have our Nonna in the house and you would help Nonna to cook pasta, gnocchi, tomato sauce," Mrs Turina said.

"In our society, you take care of your family, but not just to feed your family, but to show your love and your affection through cooking."

She said there were eight classes to choose from ranging from basic to advanced.

"We found the first three were popular because they (guests) want to learn how to do the pasta and the gnocchi," she said.

"Normally we don't really want big groups, so six to eight is a good number.

"We try to have a small one so we can look after everyone and interact with everyone, especially Rocco. He gets to work with the people so it's not just a demonstration, it is a cooking class, so you have to do something with Rocco."

She said once guests finished preparing their dishes Rocco, who has been a professional chef for 50 years, would cook the pasta while guests tried the imported Italian wine.

"Our wine, in a sense, is important, because it's imported from Piemonte, from our region," she said.

"We try to combine the wine with the dish that we do to make a good combination and so far people appreciate that because it's also easy to drink, there's no preservatives, which is very important."

The Turinas came to Hervey Bay in 2005 after selling their Brisbane restaurant and were looking for a quieter life by the sea.

"We started looking around and we travelled a little bit and we found Hervey Bay and thought it was the best place," Mrs Turina said.

"We thought maybe about opening a restaurant because it's a nice little town, but changed our plan because we thought maybe a restaurant would be too much.

"We thought a bed and breakfast in Hervey Bay could be a potential for us because of Fraser Island, because of whale watching and it's a tourist destination.

"Even at the beginning, because it's changed a lot during the 10 years we've been here, we saw the potential and it's a nice place to live."

For more information about Mara and Rocco's cooking classes, visit