The International Kitchen’s culinary vacation Cook in The Heart of Chianti is a perfect title for a culinary experience that will literally steal your heart. Recently I did a mini portion of the 4 and 6 night program that we offer. The drive to the property in Tavarnelle Val di Pesa is exquisite. The rolling hills, the vineyards, and the shades of green were like scenery out of a movie. And the flowers hadn’t even sprung at that point!
The accommodations for the program, Borgo di Cortefreda, could not be more charming. The hotel rooms are beautifully, but comfortably appointed, and the color schemes are wonderful. It’s evident that the rooms were carefully designed to fit the scenery that surrounds the hotel, which is miles upon miles of greens that you have never seen before in your life.
During our stay, we were lucky enough to take one of Chef Luca’s cooking classes. Chef Luca is very knowledgeable about his trade and the cuisines of the region as he is originally from Tuscany. He also has a very calm demeanor that made all of us feel comfortable. During our class with Chef Luca, we made pappa al pomodoro, ravioli with a butter sage sauce, and the most delicious tiramisu that I have ever tasted.
Another great experience that I had while there was visiting a local winery in Greve. There, I learned all about the strict regulations that require a wine to be considered a Chianti and how a wine gets the status of being Super Tuscan. It was a great learning experience for me. I feel much more confident now when ordering wine from an Italian restaurant!
The 6-night program includes 4 hands-on classes; excursions to Certaldo, San Gimignano, Volterra, and Siena; as well as a wine tasting. I hope that you will take a look at this trip, Cook in the Heart of Chianti, as I know that it will speak to your heart as it did to mine!
By Kerry Herbst
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