Text Box: About The Instructor

Friends of Italy Private Cooking Parties
Providing social catering to corporate catering

Friends of Italy • P.O. Box 3647 • Houma, LA 70361 • 985-226-0093


Neil “Nino” Thibodaux, native of Franklin,

La. and resident of Houma, La., will

serve as the instructor for the course.


Neil has a great love for Italy, its unique

culture, and its people and enjoys not

only teaching the language, but also

sharing his life’s experiences - he lived

there for 13 years. His wit and humor in

telling stories from his life in Italy is sure

to make the class interesting and fun.


Neil has a very well-rounded education.

A graduate of Franklin High School; 

Earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in

Theology/Psychology from Trinity Baptist College in Jacksonville, Florida and received his Doctorate in Theology/Psychology from Victory Baptist College in North Augusta, South Carolina. He earned his Associate’s Degree in the Italian Language from Perugia University in Catania, Italy. He also has taught at the university level for several years.


He has taught the Italian language at Remington College in Lafayette, Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, and at private homes from Lafayette to New Orleans.

Oftentimes people ask me ‘is Nino your real name’, and I reply no

my real name is Thaddius Zenodotus Doryphoros! No, really, my

name is Neil Anthony Thibodaux!


But why are you called Nino? My first year in Italy was absolutely

amazing; especially learning the language. I would tell them that

my name was Neil. The name did not work for them. When they

said it, it sounded like “leil” or “lilli” (which is a common dog’s

name like spot or rover). Well, after being called ‘Rover’ in Italian

many times a Good Samaritan named Franco Pastura came to

my aid. He knew my middle name was Anthony because he

helped me with my documents to legally live in Italy (amazing isn’t

it!, you have to have permission to live In Italy and do it legally or

you are literally thrown out) unlike America. Anthony is translated Antonino, or Nino for short. So, the name Nino came to be mine almost 20 years ago. I am not Italian, I am French. A Thibodaux and a Guichet married and had the most beautiful handsome intelligent baby, me!

From Neil to Nino

How Chef Nino got his name