Overview of the Cooking Vacation Experience:
During the week, participants encompass every level of experience, from culinary beginners to accomplished chefs who come to study the unique nature of Tuscan cuisine. The classes are taught by experienced, professional instructors and all classes are based in a group format with the other travelers in your program for the week and completely hands-on and conducted in English.
During the cooking class, the school’s instructional emphasis remains focused on the same three things: traditional Tuscan technique, innovative use of ingredients and aesthetic presentation.
What changes is the seasonality of the food. Each course devotes special attention to pairing foods with appropriate wines.
The package price for each program includes accommodations, lessons, all meals (paired with excellent wines), daily sightseeing tours, taxes, tips and airport or train transfers to and from Pisa airport or Pisa train station.
Your Program for the Week
You arrive on Sunday and are welcomed with lunch served on the main lawn. The remainder of the day is yours to settle in, explore the estate and enjoy a delicious four-course gourmet dinner prepared by your instructors.
Monday through Friday, your hands-on cooking lessons are held from 10 am to 1 pm. All of the cooking classes are small, completely hands-on, and make use of all-natural, seasonally-fresh ingredients.
Essential Tuscan techniques you will master include: homemade pasta, ravioli, gnocchi, pizza, focaccia, risotto, bruschette, crostini and other types of canapes, vegetable and grain soups, grilled, roasted, fried and stuffed vegetables, fish and meat preparation, sweet and savory tarts, pastries, ice creams and sorbets.
After you've enjoyed your morning cooking lesson, you'll join your group for an early afternoon lunch, based on the delicious menu items prepared during the morning lesson. All meals are multi-course and accompanied by local wines.
Afternoon sightseeing tours:
Afternoon sightseeing tours are led by professional, English-speaking guides who will introduce you to such undiscovered treasures as Lucca (an 11th century walled city surrounded by 3 1/2 miles of perfectly preserved walls), the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the seaside resorts of Viareggio and Portovenere and Pietrasanta, famous for its marble works.
Dinner each night is a glorious affair featuring four delectable courses prepared by your fabulous cooking instructors and accompanied by a variety of excellent Tuscan wines.
Your Tuscan experience reaches its climax on Friday night at our graduation festival dinner, where you receive a diploma certifying your newly acquired status as an "Authentic Tuscan Cook."
Participants stay on the grounds of a gorgeous 16th century villa where Giacomo Puccini, the famous opera composer, used to spend long periods of time hunting and fishing.
All bedrooms have self contained bathrooms and are air conditioned. Private apartments are available upon request and based on availability.
Bicycles are available to all guests at no extra charge. Horse back riding lessons available for an additional fee.
Non-Cooking Guests - We welcome friends and spouses who would like to come without taking part in the cooking program. Ask us about this at the time of the booking.
$2,700 per person based on double occupancy
$500 additional for single supplement (private room/bath)
All rooms include ensuite private bathroom