A traveler USA
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 USA
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 USA
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?
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