A traveler United States
A truly Epicurean experience and our best meal while in Italy. A great option if you have a day and want to do something different away from the crowds and tourist shopping.
We spent the day with Chef Franco, a 15 year veteran chef of the Gritti Palace. We started our day at 9:15 am with a nice walk through Venice to the Rialto Market. The market was busy with locals and restaurants buying their fresh seafood and product for the day.
Chef Franco scanned the market for the best seafood and produce to create a menu for our wonderful lunch. Chef Franco lives in Venice so he knows a lot of people just wondering the market. For lunch, he chooses some fresh Seabass, Soft shell crabs (still alive), fresh herbs and vegetables.
For a little break, Franco showed us a couple Barcato's in the area. The tradition in Venice is to order a glass of wine and an appetizer in these small shops. It was only 10:30 am, so prosecco was the choice.
We headed back to the wonderfully renovated Gritti Palace. My wife and I had a coffee in the Riva Lounge overlooking the canal. Chef Franco and his team were off preparing for the cooking experience.
The cooking school is amazing as seen on the website, a new state of the art kitchen and large table. It is very well decorated. You are not really doing much cooking in this experience. It is more like assisting a great chef over a glass of wine. There are also lots of people cleaning up, setting table, etc.
However, we learned some great techniques. We assisted Chef Franco in preparing Fried Crabs and artichoke salad for our appetizer. We had a white asparagus risotto with fennel prawns for our first course and then Sea Bass poached in fresh herbs and vegetables for our main course. A chocolate dessert finished the meal. A Michelin quality meal with the freshest ingredients and quality preparation.
We have been to a number of cooking schools in wine country, French culinary institute, La Cuisine de Paris, and CIA. They all are different. This is really a luxury experience like being a guest of the Barefoot Contessa as she prepares a wonderful meal on her show.
Chef Franco and the entire Gritti team created a memorable experience for us.
a traveler United States
I spent two days with Chef Franco Sanna and could not have been happier. Our trip to the Rialto market to buy fresh ingredients was only the start. Chef Franco was very informative and helpful. The food that we prepared was fresh, light and flavorful. The wine and food pairings for our lunches were molto bene. If you want to get the most out of your experience, brush up on your Italian.
Karen K United States
This was our first experience with a cooking school and we loved every minute! Chef Franco is very personable. He is exacting in his discipline and also very easy going, fun and just delightful in every way. We loved the soft shell crab and enjoyed helping with the preparation, but each course stood on it's own! We were so fortunate to have wonderful "classmates" joining us that day. Great conversation, fun, excellent wine, outstanding food... what more is there?
Service was top notch. Rooms were top notch. Even though I had to pay for breakfast at 53 Euros I thought it was worth it (twice) because just being on the Grand Canal was amazing. Very special experience and the best use of hotel points I can imagine
Karim N United States
Chef Daniele Turco and the cooking school at the Gritti far exceeded our expectations. This is not a cooking school this is a cooking experience. Not only do you get hands-on experience cooking with the executive chef, but he guides you through a culinary tour of his beloved Italy. As we navigated each ingredient he talked passionately about the quality and each purveyors' attention to detail. Turns out, not all arborio rice is the same. Clearly, neither are cooking schools.
David Y. United States
Definitely a highlight of our trip - spending an intimate morning with Chef Franco Sanna working on risotto, a "particular" salad, sole rolls, bass and souffl is definitely worth the cost and time. The kitchen is spotless, well stocked and clean but not so hard to recreate at home. The ingredients are high quality and the chef walked us through preparing each one and how to clean and prepare the pieces.
Hard to pick only one favorite - the risotto was particularly good - flavor that you won't get In the United States (Ifalian olive oil is just different). We also really liked Franco's personal sole rolls, beautiful and not impossibly hard to prepare. They also provide ample wine, water and other drinks. Highly recommended - a great time!
Teb B. United States
We loved this experience. What a kitchen! We started in Rialto Market. Chef Franco Sanna took the time to explain what he was looking for both in type and quality of materials. The glass of prosecco and stop for cicchetti on the return trip was a good way to prepare for the afternoon's lesson. On return to the Gritti Palace, we were met by Angelo who greeted us like family. The Gritti Epicurean School kitchen is a marvel and is likely to send you home looking for a designer and supplier of cooking toys. Chef Franco made souffl seem easy; we'll see when we get home. We picked up a gigantic sea bass in the market and watched while Chef Franco entombed it in an artful sarcophagus of merengue and salt. Amazing. Angelo continued to ply us with wine and Chef Franco kept up a steady and informative dialogue. Thus far, the highlight of our trip.
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