Last month they jammed with City Councilor Bill Linehan’s band in the atrium of City Hall. This week, city councilors participated in a group cooking lesson at Boston Public Market’s demonstration kitchen.

It’s all part of a monthly initiative by City Council President Michelle Wu to foster closer collaboration among members. But the cooking lesson was the idea of Councilor Ayanna Pressley, who enlisted the help of the New England Center for Arts & Technology.

After the politicians donned smocks and aprons, chefs and culinary students from NECAT coached them through a lunch menu of ricotta gnocchi and salad.

Laughter flowed as the group kneaded and rolled dough. Chef Paul O’Connell, the former restaurant head and teacher at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Cambridge, led the class.


“I wanted my colleagues to be aware of [NECAT] because they offer many free and stipend-based programs that we can refer our constituents to,” Pressley said in a statement. “I also believe in the power of food to build community, and thought cooking together would be a great way to build community with my colleagues.”

Astead W. Herndon can be reached at astead.herndon@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @AsteadWH