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Lets start cutting and mixing to create your own meal with Tuscany Cook. Each class will be an amazingly exciting experience that begins on the ground floor of your 18th century villa in a fully equipped kitchen. You will be guided by professional chefs and get a certificate in culinary art. Learn how to use olive oil in its natural state or in cooking, how to enhance your cooking with wine, and how to use fresh or wild aromatic herbs such as sage, rosemary, the wild nepitella, laurel, and much more. Explore a complete menu each day.
The 19th century Villa Baco originally was a monastery. For five generations it has belonged to the Cascino family who restored it and started to host events like weddings, painting, theatre, tango courses, and cooking classes. The luxuriant garden surrounding the Villa has secular plants that give you the opportunity to eat al fresco and a small delightful consecrated chapel to provide a quiet corner for private meditation. From the big garden, you have a stunning views of the gentle rolling hills that lead to the ancient towers of S.Gimignano. The garden gives access to the swimming pool.
The wide swimming pool (16 x 6.50 meters) overlooking the vineyards will invite you to a fresh and relaxing swim. There is plenty of opportunity for creating ones own secluded corner so you can spend your holidays in complete relaxation. The nearby fields will invite you to have a walk or follow the trekking paths nearby.
Inside the Villa is very spacious and all for your personal use. On the first floor, there is a large dining room and a huge living room with sofas and a stone fireplace. The kitchen with a traditional Tuscan fireplace and the old marble table used to prepared bread and pasta fresca, evokes the past. On the ground floor of the villa, there is a large, well-equipped kitchen only for your cooking lessons.
The Villa has nine spacious antique furnished double bedrooms. Named after the flowers of the garden, each room has its own character that combine to create a cozy atmosphere to make you feel completely at home. Some rooms have enclosed bathrooms and some beds can be made up as twins. From every window, you can admire the natural beauty of the Chianti valley.
Each day, you will explore a complete menu from appetizers to desserts. You will receive recipes of the dishes you learned to cook during the cooking classes. Cooking classes include a 3-course traditional meal, using fresh in-season ingredients. The sources are produce / ingredients from local farmers with local recipes which include Roman and Tuscan cuisine. All courses include local wood-fire oven bread, local extra virgin olive oil, and abundant local wines and water to accompany all meals.
Handmade pasta, made the traditional way, using a rolling pin (not a pasta machine)
Local ragu sauce (or vegetarian alternative) to accompany the pasta dish
Saltimbocca alla romana - a classic roman dish using veal, procuitto, and fresh sage (or a vegetarian alternative) with a family recipe sauce served with side salad or vegetable dish
Torta di ricotta alla Romana (traditional roman cake using homemade pastry, that includes a fresh locally sourced ricotta)
Lisa turned her passion for cooking into a real profession. The art of cooking is a talent that Lisa has refined through training experiences, the most prestigious certainly being the Scuola Etoile of Chioggia, where she mastered a global vision of both cooking and food presentation. Lisa loves to gather people around a table. When shopping, she chooses fresh, first quality products at farmer markets; then, through chopping, browning, and seasoning, her dishes gradually take shape, revealing her secret ingredients: passion and enthusiasm for her work and the utmost respect for her guests.
Elaine was a former art historian, she then moved to Italy to learn about olive oil and Sicilian and Tuscan culinary traditions from her relatives, farmers, producers, home cooks, and chefs. Elaine lets the choice of fresh, local ingredients define a recipe and shape a meal because she believes thats the best way to achieve complex, complimentary flavors. Elaine designs culinary travel programs that allow culinary tradition to reveal the culture of the place, she is a writer, has an MA in art history, and is certified as an olive oil taster by the Regione Toscana.
Patrizia is the matriarch, the master of presentation of Baco. She is the impetus to all that is initiated there and her joy of entertaining is a way of life lived in nonchalance; it is her very essence. Her exquisite taste and her meticulous attention to detail permeates all she applies it to: interior designing, remodeling, and cooking. She is capable of organizing all social functions from weddings, hotel openings, private parties, and weekly workshops. Speaking 3 languages fluently, 30 years of running the residential vacations at Baco, her clientele have become dear friends from all over
Lorenzo is the wine and oil producer. His passion for wines started in his childhood years during the summer holidays at the familiy estate Fattoria Baco. He loved watching the farmers in their noisy tractors and longed to drive tractors one day in the vineyards. After studying agriculture, he started working at Fattoria Baco continuing the family tradition. He started using modern agronomic techniques which increased the already high quality of wines. He produces several varieties of oils which have been prized both Nationally and Internationally. Hes involved in a new production of organical
Elisa is the tour guide in Tuscany Cook. She obtained her master degree in renaissance art history at the University of Florence and her Ph.D. in history of art from the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa. She is the author of numerous journal publications. In 2004, Elisa became a tour guide of Florence and its province, and later to Siena and Province. Since then, she has been enthusiastically accompanying foreign guests in their discovery of her native region, sharing the secrets of the most enchanting sites of Tuscany.
It is surrounded by many historical cities such as Certaldo, Boccaccios birth place - the author of Decamerone, S.Gimignano; famous for its 15 medieval towers, Montelupo Fiorentino; famous for its ceramics production dating back to the Middle Ages, Colle Val dElsa; the italian capital of glassware. Vinci, Leonardo da Vincis birth place and its interesting museum.
Remain at the estate to enjoy the grounds and the lovely pool, and take magnificent walks in the fields. Naturally, you are welcome to participate to all our extra cooking activities including all excursions and of course to share the amazing dishes your partners have prepared for you!
On request, we can help you to organize extra programs as: hot-air ballooning to float over Chianti vineyards, horseback riding, and bike or Vespa tour, rent-a-car to explore the countryside. We can provide also excursions to Lucca, Pisa and Cinque Terre.
Guests should take the direct train from Firenze Santa Maria Novella train station (the main station) to Certaldo train station. Tuscany Cook will pick you up at Certaldo train station.
For this organizer you can guarantee your booking through BookCulinaryVacations.com. All major credit cards supported.