April showers bring May flowers…as well as an abundance of vegetables! As much as we at The International Kitchen love flower gardens, we of course love culinary gardens and orchards even more, and we are happy to say that many of our cooking vacations have their own garden from which they harvest for the delicious meals they create. Our tip of the day: choose a cooking vacation with its own garden! You’ll love exploring the fresh produce during your cooking classes.
Here is just a small sampling of some of our favorite vacations that have their own gardens, and keep in mind that many of our one-day cooking classes also have their own gardens from which you can select produce.
Italy: Mediterranean Cooking Experience
In the heart of southern Italy lies one of our favorite places, home of our Mediterranean Cooking Experience. The owner, Salvatore, is an engineer and former race car driver, but his real passion is gardening. When not cooking in the kitchen, the chef is in the property’s beautiful and extensive vegetable gardens and orchards. He draws inspiration from the garden and choose only the best and freshest ingredients to use in the restaurant and during the cooking classes. You can enjoy it yourself and select fresh items straight from the garden during a cooking vacation.
Antica Corte Pallavicina located in Emilia Romagna is known for its 700 year old cellar that houses its famous culatelli and parmigiano-reggiano, but it also grows a beautiful vegetable and flower garden with an animal farm not too far away. The Spigaroli family is delighted to share with its guests the history of the property and provide personal tours of their fully organic and traditionally maintained farm and gardens. Chef Massimo, who runs the nearby 2011 Michelin-rated restaurant, proudly uses only the vegetables, poultry, and meat grown and raised by the Spigaroli family. Experience the biodynamic farming and cooking practices firsthand during this Emilia Romagna cooking vacation in Italy.
Tucked away in the Andalusian olive country of Spain, Clive and Maki’s finca (farmhouse) provides breathtaking views of hillsides covered in olive trees as well as their own garden from which they draw their inspiration from as well as choose produce. Clive and Maki warmly welcome guest to their finca and passionately share Andalusian and Moorish cuisine and flavors. Cooking in Andalusian Olive Country offers culinary delights as well as the opportunity to learn about the Moorish, Jewish, and Christian influences that have uniquely shaped the region.
From these cooking vacations or any of our other trips and classes, enjoy the opportunity to learn how to turn your own vegetables or those bought at your local farmers market into delicious meals shared with family and friends.
By Peg Kern
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