Ela Vivonetto is very passionate when describing the process of preparing a meal in her cooking class.

The Sauce Lady served up food and personality at her premiere cooking class on June 23 and everyone ate it up.

Ela Vivonetto, the woman known as “the Sauce Lady” for the array of sauces and soups she sells at farmers markets and at her J&C Boulevard storefront, showed about 15 personally invited guests how to re-create authentic Italian dishes using her famous sauces.

Attendees dined on small bites of crunchy shrimp toast, spicy seafood fra diavolo, juicy stuffed peppers and tangy puttanesca pasta while Vivonetto, 54, guided them through each recipe with her usual confidence, enthusiasm and passion for food.

“I guarantee my food is good,” Vivonetto proclaimed teasingly in a strong New York accent, “Even if you buy the crappy stuff at the store and you put my meatballs in it, it’ll be good.”

Many at the class are long-time customers who have been buying sauces and prepared meals from Vivonetto’s stand at the Third Street South farmer’s market for years. After her husband, Jim, passed away in 2003, Vivonetto started selling her Italian specialties ? which were the mainstay of the couple’s catering business ? at local farmers markets.

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