Alberhiera School (Italian)
Chef Fabrizio grew up in a family with strong Italian culinary traditions, foundations of the traditional Tuscan cuisine, and the Mediterranean diet. After a long experience in the UK as a chef, then he moved to various countries and worked with important chefs, who have taught him new techniques and exotic touches. While favoring the traditional cuisine, using methods of the past and highest quality ingredients, Fabrizio can delight with aromas giving them a contemporary twist.
Terri Chrisman Hong Kong
I really enjoyed the cooking part of the holiday. Chef Fabrizio has an easy going nature and is a very lovely man. He explains things very well. I liked the selection of things that we made. There was a mix of cooking, resting by the pool and cultural excursions. I would have preferred a bit more cooking though.
I am vegan and I was hoping to learn more about vegan cooking. I did not. In fact, if you know anything about vegan cooking you will not learn anything new. I did learn new things about Tuscan cooking though, and that was fine with me. If you are vegan and you don't tolerate animal products in the kitchen, you will not be happy as there are non vegan dishes being made for other participants. However, Fab is very accommodating, so if you booked for 4 people I'm sure he would make it totally vegan. However, there were 2 omnivores and a vegetarian in my course. Sometimes it was a bit disappointing that my dishes were the same as the others, just without the cheese for example, but other times commercial vegan cheese was used. I think Fab is new to vegan cooking so it is still a learning experience for him. As a chef, he was great and I would hire him again another time.
The accommodation, The 3 Roses, and it's kitchen facilities on the other hand were poor. I get the impression that Chef Fab from Mangiardivino just rents the space for the cooking classes from different villas. The location was good and the views and surroundings spectacular, but the cleanliness was poor and the accommodation basic at best. The bathrooms were dirty, the towels old and threadbare, cobwebs, dirty curtains etc. Basically you are living in someone's house along with their noisy teenage children, motorbikes and barking dogs.
The kitchen equipment was inadequate too. For example we had 1 old plastic measuring jug between us that the measurements had worn away it was hard to see what you were measuring. Those things are only 99c so it would not be hard to get a few new ones. We had a kitchen scale that did not work. We often did not have the correct sized pan for the job.
So, if you are looking for a cooking holiday I would definitely use Chef Fabrizio. I would rent my own villa and get him to come to me. Or I would ask him if he had a better villa on his books than The 3 Roses.
I spent 6 fabulous days with Fabrizio and every day was a new adventure! Fabricio is professional, entertaining, energetic and friendly, and he has a shining personality that brings so much added value to the cooking experience! Awesome chef, delicious food, relaxing atmosphere, beautiful views. Everything you could hope for in your cooking vacation. Thank you Fabricio for a wonderful experience!
I had the opportunity to spend four days in a villa in Arezzo, about ½ hour from Florence, to enjoy daily Tuscany cooking classes. I am used to cooking lessons for several years since I am fond of gastronomy but that one is really the best I have ever tested. Everything was perfect: the place (a quiet villa with a swimming-pool in a wonderful Tuscany landscape), the food (Italian food is so tasty! I ate truffles for the first time and it was just marvelous), the lessons (I learnt to prepare fresh pasta. It was really easy and I succeeded to make it again back home, with no pasta machine, only a rolling pin. Thanks to the chef for sharing his cooking secrets.), and above all the chef, Fabrizzio who is very professional and so kind. We had the impression to cook with a friend and had good times sharing a glass (or more !) of wine after the lessons. Thanks to Fabrizzio for these beautiful holidays, in the villa’s kitchen and also in tours (visit of a winery and the Arezzo old city with the chef). I will never forget these holidays and really hope to have other stays in Tuscany and cooking lessons with Fabrizzio.
a traveler Italy
Fabrizio is a wonderful teacher... patient, fun, funny and an excellent chef! Our cooking class for four women who made pasta and tiramisu from scratch was amazing! We liked the class so much we are already planning a return next year. Thank you, Fabrizio!
a traveler Canada
This past June four Canadian couples rented a villa for a week in Tuscany and hired Fabrio to provide meals for three of the nights; two nights he cooked at the villa and we bought a lasagna to have for a third night. Fabrizio and his assistant presented a wonderful meal on all occasions... Flavorful, authentic and beautifully plated. Being accomplished in the kitchen ourselves, we had a rather high standard to achieve. Fabrizio exceeded our expectations with his warm and engaging manner, his skill in the kitchen, the wonderful meals he prepared and served, and the way he quietly moved into our kitchen, elegantly wowing us through every course. We also thoroughly enjoyed the wine he provided from his family's vineyard. We would highly recommend this wonderful experience.
Jerry United States
My wife had lunch before our trek through Assisi. The Caprese with bufala mozzarella was excellent. I had the pizza tortufo extra, which was good, but not a lot of flavor. I had to spice it up a bit and added a little hot paprika! My wife enjoyed the porcini pizza. Definitely worth the visit.
My wife and I shared an amazing 5-course meal prepared by Fabrizio on the evening of our wedding at a villa in Tuscany. Everything about our experience was fantastic - Fabrizio designed a menu to fit our tastes, and paired his exquisite food with some excellent local wine. Each course was perfect; my wife especially enjoyed the truffled beef entree, and I was amazed by Fabrizio's handmade pasta with seafood sauce. The delicate ricotta semifreddo was the perfect finisher as well. We would highly recommend Fabrizio to anyone visiting Tuscany and looking for an amazing personal chef!
Anne L Canada
8 friends, a beautiful Tusan Villa and a wonderful 4-course meal prepared by Fabrizio! We had been referred to Fabrizio by friends and he didn't disappoint. We had decided on the meal prior to arriving in Tuscany. Fabrizio was very helpful and always answered my emails quickly. He arrived at our villa the day of our meal with his helper Jessica. They prepared our meal from scratch using beautiful fresh ingredients. The presentation was pleasing and the flavours incredible! Fabrizio explained the history of each of the courses which was very interesting. Overall a wonderful Tuscan experience. Would recommend Fabrizio to all!
a traveler United States
We hired Chef Fabrizio Merli to cook a 4 course dinner at our rental villa near Poggibonsi. We met new friends at the villa and invited them to join us. The chef was willing to accommodate. He had many menu selections to choose from, set our table outside, and explained each course that we were enjoying. Each course was really wonderful! He was prompt, and professional, even wore the chef hat and apron. This will be a great memory for years to come!
We rented a villa at Caiano near Londa and to celebrate my 50th birthday found Fabrizio to cook for us. We cook oursleves and know the wines so expectations were high for Fabrizio. And he delivered. The agreed menu was authentic Tuscan menu and ingredients Fabrizio brought with him were top quality and mostly organic from their own garden. He even had wild herbs with him. Apetizers were nice and his ravioli was a perfect dish. Chianini beef was prepair on rosesalt in a dry pan and was delicious. On the spot prepaired Tiramisu could not be better and fresh. We can truely recommed Fabrizio and his professional level cooking. And for a very reasonable price.
We didn't partake of the Cooking Lessons, but Fabrizio instead took my husband and I on a White Truffle Hunt mid-October that was an experience of a lifetime! Watching the handlers and the dog in search of the precious commodity was absolutely amazing! In addition to the hunt, hours before he gave us an educated and thoroughly enjoyable tour of historic Anghiari, and the night before that, we enjoyed a mouth-watering meal created especially by Fabrizio. He is an exceptional human being and you can count yourself extremely fortunate to spend time in his company.
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