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3 Days Classic Italian Cooking Vacation in California, USA

Babcock House in Montecito, California, USA

California Style Cooking Vacation USA

This listing has one of the 10 most popular offers available in The Americas & Caribbean

Join California Culinary Retreats for an exquisite weekend of authentic Italian cooking. You will make fresh pasta, hand-rolled gnocchi, and learn the secrets of perfect risotto. In addition, you’ll taste olives oils, specialty Italian cheeses and wines, among other things. This cooking vacation is perfect for those people who are looking for a short getaway from the Los Angeles area, and want to learn more about Italian cuisine!

Meet the instructors

Jill & Carol Cotner
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  • Take part in olive oil tasting
  • Enjoy 4 hands-on cooking classes
  • Learn to master porcini risotto, ravioli, and more
  • All food and drinks, including beer and wine
  • Beautifully appointed accommodations
  • 2 nights of accommodation


3 days with instruction
The maximum participants in the group is 8
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Babcock Estate House & Guest House is a 1930’s villa situated on a lush sleepy street, minutes from the beach and hiking trails. The rooms have one bed. Whoever books the room must be okay to sleep with their companion. Be it a mother / daughter, couple, best friends, etc.


Chef Carol Cotner Thompson has been teaching cooking for over twenty-six years. Join California Culinary Retreats is delighted to present their fifth annual regional Italian cooking weekend.

You will have four cooking classes while staying with California Culinary Retreats Cooking Vacation at the beautiful Montecito property. All the classes begin with an overview lecture and move to hands-on cooking in the kitchen. You will dine together at beautifully-set tables.

When you are not cooking, you are free to relax, read a book in the garden, go for a walk in the hills, stroll on the beach, or shop in Montecito - your choice.

The retreat begins on Friday afternoon between 4 - 6 p.m., and you will conclude your weekend on Sunday after a leisurely late lunch.

Classes will include:

  • Friday evening: porcini risotto, roast salmon, farmers market vegetables, panna cotta
  • Saturday morning: ravioli, butternut squash sage lasagna, chopped salad, almond cake
  • Saturday evening: olive oil tasting, chicken scaloppini, tiramisu
  • Sunday morning: gnocchi & ricotta gundi, bolognaise sauce, classic tomato sauce


Jill Chessé

Carol Cotner Thompson


This cooking vacation will take place in Montecito, California, USA. The seaside haven of Montecito is a stone’s throw from Santa Barbara. This treasure, known as "The American Riviera", exudes relaxing luxury. Montecito has a fantastic Mediterranean climate - it boasts a perfect cool temperature year round. Some of the most beautiful beaches in all of California are in Montecito - Butterfly, Miramar, and Fernald.


  • Santa Barbara Municipal Airport (SBA) - 30 minutes by car
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) - 2 hours by car


The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

  • Explore Montecito
  • Hiking
  • Read a book at the garden
  • Relax at the villa
  • Shopping in Montecito
  • Stroll on the beach

What's included

  • 4 hands-on cooking classes
  • Knife skills and Italian olive oil tasting
  • All food and drinks
  • All materials
  • Take home items
  • 2 nights accommodation

What's not included

  • Transportation to the retreat

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Santa Barbara Municipal Airport (SBA).

Santa Barbara Municipal Airport (SBA) is the nearest airport, only 30 minutes away by car meanwhile Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is two hours away. Car rental would be necessary, as California Culinary Retreats does not provide transportation to and from the retreat place.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 100% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
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