d09fed64-df76-48d9-9b1a-e29c451a5b33[1]It didn’t take long for the charismatic Damiano Carrara to become a fan favorite on TV’s popular Food Network.  It took even less time for him to become an honored donor and supporter of our very own Widows & Orphans.

Back in 2011, Damiano and his brother, Massamiliano Carrara, brought a little slice of Italy to the quaint Ventura County town of Moorpark, California, in the form of a unique bakery, Carrara Pastries.  The shop became so popular that two years later, the delightful purveyors of authentic Tuscan breads, cakes, cookies, gelato and other delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner items, opened a second location in Agoura Hills. Now, this dynamic duo has decided to spread some of their good fortune to those in need by contributing to our charity auction.

The lucky winner gets to enjoy a cooking class for four with pasticcera expert Chef Damiano. The class will take place at the new cooking school, Carrara Kitchen, and will allow the winners to learn how to craft authentic Italian pastries from this culinary star.

“We have worked with Boys and Girls Club of America, American Cancer Society, food banks and numerous other organizations,” explains Carrara Pastries general manager Shaylee Olson. When it comes to helping our firefighters, she says “We are honored to partner with them.”

Damiano has wowed judges and fans on “Food Network Star,” “Cutthroat Kitchen,” “Spring Baking Championship” and recently went from contestant to judge on the “Halloween Baking Championship.”

Born in the small town of Lucca, Italy, Damiano and Massamiliano not only brought their flair for all things culinary to the States, they’ve also grown very proud of calling Southern California home. And their concern for keeping their new land safe and sound has urged them to support the local firefighters and those who put themselves in harm’s way for so many.

“With the recent fires in Los Angeles, it was a reminder to everyone here to thank and support our firefighters for keeping our homes safe,” shares Shaylee. Damiano even appeared on a Food Network Halloween special dressed in costume as a firefighter!

Dedicated to always making every customer feel like family, the Carrara brothers understand how firefighting families can grow to include not only those in uniform, but everyone in the community as well. That’s why the new Carrara Kitchen offers hands-on classes open to kids, adults and professional chefs hoping to learn all the exquisite treats that remind you of Italy, from pasta to cakes to gelato to pizza.

Whether it’s joy in the kitchen or comfort in a time of loss, when it comes to the LAFD or Widows & Orphans, this Southland bakery is “happy to help again in the future” because a community that supports each other always makes life a little more sweet.

If you would like to learn more about classes at the Carrara Kitchen or what’s on the pastry shop menu, visit carrarapastries.com and carrarakitchen.com

By Candace Nicholson