For a short luxury stay in Tuscany, nothing beats the wonders of our Luxury and Gastronomy at L’Andana cooking vacation. The accommodations are a beautiful manor hotel on a large estate, and the classes are at the Michelin-star restaurant La Trattoria Enrico Bartolini with Chef Marco Ortolani, whose passion is to make gourmet Tuscan cuisine approachable and fun. The restaurant’s philosophy, following that of master chef Bartolini, is “contemporary classic”—or combining the traditions of authenticity, simplicity and seasonality in contemporary Tuscan dishes.
For the latest in The International Kitchen’s series of chef interviews we asked Chef Mario to talk about his favorite things about teaching our travelers all about Italian cuisine!
What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Marco Ortolani and I’m from Varese, a small town near Milan
What is your first memory of cooking?
My first memory of cooking is my grandfather cooking risotto with porcini mushrooms.
Where or from whom did you learn about cooking?
I have many Chefs from whom I’ve learnt to cooking, the most significant experience was in London, where I‘ve spent 4 years, having great experiences with Alberico Penati and Alain Ducasse.
What is your favorite ingredient or food to cook with?
I don’t really have a favorite ingredient; I like using the best and freshest products respecting the seasons and the territory.
What’s your favorite dish?
One of my favorite dish is the pigs trotter with sweet bread, truffle and morels.
Have any funny or embarrassing stories you’d like to share?
When I was Chef de partie in Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant I was starting a busy service and I spilt over my self 5 liters of bbq sauce… the chef was benevolent and he lent me his Chef’s jacket.
Why do you like teaching cooking classes?
I do really like to share my passion about food, because I think I’m doing the best job of the world!!
What’s unique about the food from your region?
My region is Lombardy, region very famous for the Risotti!!
Anything else you’d like to share with clients of The International Kitchen?
Hope to see you soon in Andana!!!
Want more details on this amazing trip? See the complete itinerary or give us a call!
By Peg Kern
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