Learn to Cook Gnocchi and More Specialty Dishes at Hana Kitchens

Support—and learn from—local chefs and their small food businesses with artisan cooking classes at Hana Kitchens.


Onda Pasta’s Andrea Onetti rolls gnocchi

Onda Pasta’s Andrea Onetti rolls gnocchi. Photo: Sean Marrs


“I don’t like recipes. Recipes are outlines.” So begins a gnocchi cooking class at Hana Kitchens, an incubator of culinary microbusinesses at the edge of downtown Honolulu. Tonight’s class is taught by Andrea Onetti, founder of Onda Pasta. “It’s a matter of muscle memory,” he tells 16 apron-clad students who line the counters in the commercial kitchen. They’ve signed up through Instagram, where pasta workshops are joined by classes that include Lebanese cooking and Chinese dumpling making. All are taught by instructors with deep roots in each cuisine, says Hana Kitchens owner Joe Di Condina.


SEE ALSO: Hana Kitchens Incubates New Culinary Community


Students follow with their own fresh dough

Students follow with their own fresh dough. Photo: Sean Marrs

Cooking classes are part of the recipe for the incubator, a way for microbusinesses to earn revenue and increase exposure. Onetti, a native of Rome who grew Onda from a farmers market booth into a purveyor for Foodland and about 20 O‘ahu restaurants, is the most frequent teacher. Hana Kitchens’ roster is rich in artisan producers like Banán, Peruvian food truck El Gallo, Tali’s Bagels & Schmear and spaetzle maker Little Sparrow. Newer ones include Sandra’s Bavarian Delights, which makes soft pretzels and pastries; and Umma’s, which makes Gwangju-style kim chee.


Most take turns in the kitchen prepping food for weekend farmers markets, making them unavailable to teach on the days the commercial kitchen sits empty. That could change soon: Di Condina plans chef tastings, pop-ups and more classes later this year, once a bigger show kitchen opens.


FAST FACT: Classes average $135 and are open to the public.


Eating freshly made samples is part of the class

Eating freshly made samples is part of the class. Photo: Sean Marrs


Tonight, after walking students through the history of gnocchi, having them knead dough and roll it into striated nuggets, Onetti parboils everyone’s batch. Chill your potato dough overnight to reduce moisture, he tells them. If it’s too wet, add more cheese. The gnocchi, fluffy and warm, are tossed in his tomato-mushroom sauce and served with wine, part of a four-course dinner included in the class. The tips, the food, the take-home containers of more gnocchi end up being as experiential as educational—typical of the classes, Di Condina says. Recipes will be emailed later.


55 Merchant St., Suite 20, (917) 854-5069, hanakitchens.com, @hanakitchens_hawaii



Sean Marrs Headshot

Photo: Courtesy of Sean Marrs

About the Photographer

Photographer Sean Marrs believes in everyday magic. He’s fascinated by good storytelling, loves meeting people and helping to tell a little of their stories through tiny fractions of seconds. This month, he photographed Onda Pasta’s cooking class at Hana Kitchens. His favorite magical moments involve adventures with his wife, Candace, and their two wonderful children, Noah and Sadie.