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Cooking Vacations in Italy

Learning to cook gluten-free is a way to approach food intolerances and those who suffer from them. The purpose is to help those who live with this condition and who have to follow a specific diet which can sometimes be demoralizing and result in loss of appetite. Eating is one of lifes pleasures. Get to know more about gluten-free products in order to bring back the joy of food and satisfy the palate by broadening the gluten free diet while you enjoy a first-class accommodation.


  • Pastry classes
  • Cooking lessons
  • Qualified chefs training
  • Learn to cook pizza and focaccia using gluten free flour
  • Handbook of gluten-free foods
  • 5 nights accommodation


5 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: English
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Cascina Salerio: the students guest-house

The students of the culinary and oenology courses, from around the world are housed at Cascina Salerio, the ICIF guesthouse, located in the village of Costigliole dAsti, in the middle of a leafy residential area, in the vicinity of the picturesque medieval fortress. The guesthouse is housed in old farmhouse in the piedmont hills where the students can experience the Italian style of life.

It contains 14 independent mini-apartments measuring 55-60 square meters each, with two bedrooms, with the capacity of accommodating a maximum of 4 people per apartment, plus a bathroom. The communal areas are located on the ground-floor, with a laundry-room in the basement. Room cleaning service, the change of linen and towels and breakfast are all included (except on Saturdays, Sundays and on Italian national holidays). Internet access through wireless connection available.



  • Arrival of the participants and accommodation at the ICIF guesthouse.


  • Morning (09:30-12:30)
  • Theoretical introduction in the cooking demonstration room.
  • Definition of celiac disease, how to detect it and its effects.
  • The handbook of gluten-free foods compiled by the Italian association for the celiac disease.
  • Practical advice for finding gluten-free products.
  • Personal experiences from people with celiac disease.
  • Lunch break (12:30-13:30)
  • Lunch at ICIF School.
  • Afternoon (13:30-17:00) specific information for restaurateurs dining room.
  • Measures to be taken in a restaurant that offers a gluten-free service.
  • Risks of contamination.
  • How to organize the kitchen and the dining room.
  • Dining room service: the psychology of welcoming a celiac customer, the service of gluten-free courses, gluten-free cocktails and beverages.
  • Dinner (18:30)
  • Dinner at ICIF.


  • Demonstration of various shapes of home-made fresh pasta from different regions of Italy with the use of gluten free flour combined with traditional sauces.
  • Tips for the success of the various preparations.
  • Lunch break (12:30-13:30)
  • Lunch at ICIF.
  • Afternoon (13:30-17:00) practical classroom
  • Preparation of various shapes of home-made fresh pasta from different regions of Italy with the use of gluten free flour combined with traditional sauces.
  • Dinner (18:30)
  • Dinner at ICIF.


  • Morning (09:00-12:00)
  • Pastry classroom.
  • Italian traditional desserts with the use of gluten free flour and simple and quick desserts to prepare without the use of flour with particular attention to specific types of food raw materials.
  • Lunch break (12:30-13:30)
  • Lunch at ICIF.
  • Afternoon (13:30-17:00): pastry classroom
  • Biscuits and small pastries from different regions of Italy with the use of gluten free flour.
  • Dinner (18:30)
  • Dinner at ICIF.


  • Morning (09:00-10:00)
  • Theoretical lesson cooking demonstration room.
  • Main courses of meat and fish with side dishes.
  • Precautions for the use of sauces, basic brown sauces or thickeners.
  • Morning (10:00-12:30): hands-on cooking lesson- in the main kitchen of the school.
  • The participants and chef instructor will simultaneous prepare two menus, one with gluten and one which is gluten-free (a practical exercise about the risks of contamination).
  • Lunch break (12:30-13:30)
  • Lunch at ICIF School (menu prepared in the morning).
  • Afternoon (13:30-17:00): pastry classroom.
  • Special bread and bread sticks using gluten free flour.
  • Dinner (20:00)
  • Dinner at a restaurant with the possibility of choosing a gluten-free menu.


  • Morning (09:00-12:30)
  • Pastry classroom.
  • Various types of pizza and focaccia using gluten free flour.
  • Tips and tricks for the leavening process.
  • Lunch break (12:30-13:30)
  • Lunch at ICIF.
  • Afternoon (13:30-17:00)
  • Preparation of a gluten free menu (4 courses).
  • Dinner (19:30)
  • Final dinner with presentation of the certificates of participation.


This retreat will take place in Castle of Costigliole dAsti, a small town in beautiful hills of Monferrato, the gateway to the Langhe, in a land with a strong farming vocation, famous for the production of Barbera and Moscato wines. The town is dominated by the impressive contours of the castle, one of the largest and best preserved in the province of Asti. It is of medieval origin and has been restored over the centuries, passing through the hands of several owners until 1854, which saw the arrival of Virginia Oldoini, the bride of Francis Verasis and countess of Castiglione, whose legend is still part of the castle walls.

It is said that due to her resourcefulness and her charm, her cousin Cavour sent her on a mission in 1855 to the court of Napoleon III to plead with the emperor for the Franco-Piedmontese Alliance.The imposing presence of the worldly and seductive countess gave the expected results: she was hosted lavishly in Compiegne, the Countess was an expensive high class socialite and was effectively the official mistress of the emperor.

On the western side of the castle, which is municipal property, there is a large doorway located at the top of a double flight of stairs: this is the entrance to our institute, the professional school of Italian cuisine, where, from 1997 to the present day, within those same walls, young chefs from all around the world come to learn the secrets of Italian food and wine.


The master in Italian food and oenology offers comprehensive training in all areas of Italian cuisine, from appetizers to desserts, lessons on bread making, pizza and focaccia, wine tasting and food and wine pairing wine plus educational trips to food and wine companies. Meals at the institute and accommodation at Cascina Salerio, the ICIF guesthouse are included in this package and during this retreat you will have the opportunity of enjoying the cooking facilities within the cooking school.

Tasting room and wine cellar

The schools wine cellar is housed within the historic cellars of the castle, where top Italian producers have their products on display. The ICIF national wine cellar is among the most advanced in Italy for an in-depth study of Italian wines. The wine cellar hosts a modern tasting-room with a futuristic design, equipped with 20 multi-function tasting stations that can be used not only for wines, but also for the sensorial analysis of other products such as oils, vinegars, coffee, etc.

The olive oil cellar

Inside the school, in the old cellars of the castle, an olive oil cellar has been set up, where a selection of Italian extra-virgin olive oils is on display. The ICIF national olive oil cellar, gathers experts and lovers of this mythical product and is so far the first and only initiative of its kind in the olive oil sector, providing an objective review of quality Italian extra virgin olive oils, whose profile and culinary uses have been certified by an international panel of tasters recognized by the international olive oil council.

We exclusively selected products of Italian origin guaranteed by a DOP seal or IGP certification or from organic farming with product quality certification. The ICIF national olive oil cellar represents an important and unique means for the appreciation and comprehensive study of the best Italian extra-virgin olive oils and their best culinary uses.

Dining room restaurant

An elegant and an exclusive environment, adjacent to the main kitchen, used for front-of-house training, for events and official dinners. The final exams of certain training courses also take place in the dining room, during which the students prepare a menu for guests and authorities in order to demonstrate what they have learnt during the course.

Laboratory of chocolate

A new educational space, equipped with all the facilities to learn the art of approaching and the treatment of the different cocoa varieties and ingredients to create a delicious chocolate of quality, led by masters chocolatiers discovering their secrets.

Officina aromataria

The realm of aromatic herbs, medicinal herbs and spices, is a sensorial analysis classroom with 20 workstations each equipped for an innovative training procedure, the sensory and organoleptic analysis of products and quality raw materials carried out by industry experts and academics.

Cheese cave

A display area created as a reminder of the crutin of our ancestors, to accentuate the great variety and quality of Italian cheeses. A reminder of the importance of history and tradition of an ancient culture which is highly esteemed around the world.

Ham and salami cave

An area to display the many varieties of Italian cured pork products, an asset to use when teaching about production methods, together with nutritional advice about the moderate consumption of cold cuts in a balanced Mediterranean diet, without taking away the pleasure of a starter of Italian mixed cold cuts.

Boutique of Italian regional products of excellence

A space dedicated to the display and promotion of Italian top quality regional products, selected by ICIF in view of a continuing partnership and the mutual respect and trust placed by Italian food and wine companies in the Institute.

The orangerie

On 29 March 2014, thanks to a contribution from the European Union dispensed by the Piedmont region, a new school building was opened in the park in front of the castle. The new building called orangerie, is a contemporary structure made entirely of glass and metal with modern classrooms fitted with the latest technology.

These new laboratories are the beating heart of the school and its educational activity:

  • Coffee training classroom
  • Food and beverage management room
  • Ice cream laboratory
  • Lecture hall
  • Library on Italian food and wine
  • Pastry, bakery and pizza laboratory
  • Practical room for first courses
  • Practical room for main courses
  • Self service

What's included

  • 5 days of lessons at the ICIF headquarters in the castle of Costigliole dAsti
  • 5 nights accommodation at the ICIF guesthouse
  • A chefs jacket with the ICIF logo
  • Certificate of participation
  • Meals at the institute
  • Recipe book with all the recipes that will be carried out in class

What's not included

  • Anything not mentioned above is not included in the price.
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