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Photo credit: Caruccio’s / Facebook

Before the kitchen was even built, Lisa Caruccio laid one of her grandfather’s recipes into the literal foundation of the building. It serves as a symbol of what guides the culinary event and teaching space: those who have cooked before her.

Opened by Mercer Island locals of more than a decade, Lisa and her husband Rino, the space strives to serve as a food-focused community center for people on the Island—and who travel here for events and classes—to learn about food, share meals, and interact with other people passionate about great cooking.

Photo credit: Caruccio’s

The space offers a variety of set-ups, many centered around a demonstration kitchen with a countertop wrapping around it and big communal tables, conducive to sharing meals with strangers and friends alike. Big windows open onto the street, letting passersby peek into the excitement within. What, exactly, that excitement is changes on a day-to-day basis. It could be a Wine Wednesday happy hour, open for anyone to drop in, or a pop-up dinner, or perhaps a three-week class for young adults to learn the essential cooking skills they’ll need when they move out on their own.

Whatever it is, it comes tinted with Lisa’s worldly expertise in all things culinary and deep family history with food: she lived in Italy, Tokyo, and Singapore and her grandfather was trained as a chef in Italy before moving to the States. While not everyone can have a background so beneficial to their time in the kitchen, Caruccio’s is Lisa’s way to share what she was lucky enough to have with the rest of the world.

Caruccio’s is located at 2441 76th Ave SE, Suite 100, Mercer Island, WA. Learn more at

Written by Naomi Tomky