Chef Silvia Baracchi not only teaches and oversees the cooking lessons at our Cook Under the Tuscan Sun culinary vacation, she is also the owner. In the latest in our series of chef interviews in Italy, Silvia opens up about her love of cooking, Tuscan cuisine, and her passion for hospitality.
When did you first start cooking? What’s your first cooking memory?
I started to cook when I was a child with my mother and grandma, both had a great passion for cuisine, of course traditional Tuscan cuisine and I grew up in a family with a skill for good food and of course good atmosphere in the kitchen. I started cooking simple dessert like tiramisu or cantucci that are easy also for an 8 years old girl!
Where (and from whom) did you learn about cooking?
My mother and my grandmother at the beginning and later I started to experience by myself, also in my restaurant I share my knowhow and of course I learned a lot working with many chefs that in many years I have had the possibility to meet.
What’s your favorite ingredient or food to cook with? Favorite dish to make?
My favorite ingredient of course is Extra virgin olive oil, that is the basic of a very good Tuscan cuisine. I love to make pasta also because I love to eat it a lot.
What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to someone just starting to cook?
In the begin you must spend more time in the market than into the kitchen, because you must know the ingredients and the best season to use them! After, everything will be easy, you can create good dishes with half of your efforts and maybe double of satisfaction.
What do you hope people gain from your cooking programs/classes?
First of all I don’t expect to create a chef with one lesson, but the most important is to have an experience, touch with hands our Tuscan style that is a mix appeal of good food, wine, friendship, art and fun!
Anything else you’d like to share with clients of The International Kitchen? Are there any other questions you’d like to answer?
I love to share my passion for cooking and I think my students, sorry , my friends! (because after 10 minutes in the kitchen we are friends) can feel this. Il Falconiere is not just cooking lessons but a world of experiences , the spa with the winetherapy, our winery where it is possible to understand our philosophy through a visit and wine tasting and enter in contact directly with a Tuscan reality, a Michelin starred restaurant that is by itself a pure pleasure, our passion for falconry… I and my family are owners and present at the property, we follow directly the clients and their programs to be sure that every detail is perfect, and I love to dedicate most of the time to make happy everybody , this is a great value!
By Peg Kern
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