Tuscan Culinary Vacation: Interview with Chef Paola Part 2

November 19, 2020  |  By Liz SanFilippo Hall
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Dining table under the vinesWe’re following up with Chef Paola of our Tuscan Culinary Vacation at Casa Ombuto with part 2 of our chef interview. (You can read part one here.)

What is the best piece of advice you would give someone just starting to cook?
First of all I would say, open your senses and your heart to all food. Don’t be closed. Respect and love the ingredients. Admire their beauty and their perfect imperfections, the different colors, shapes, sizes. For example… smell the tomatoes, touch the chicory, smell the apples, touch the peppers, take care of the herb’s king, basil, he is so delicate….all this is important in everyday cooking.
Cook with your heart and really let your passion and imagination flow. Open your fantasy! Isn’t about quantity but about quality!!

Fresh strawberries in TuscanyHave any funny or embarrassing stories you’d like to share?
There are so many funny and possible embarrassing moments that happen all the time, I couldn’t begin to tell you any. You have to come to my class to experience Paola!

Why do you like teaching cooking classes?
At the same time of enjoying teaching people to make fabulous food, It gives me a lot of happiness and fun sharing my knowledge and showing the passion for the Tuscan cuisine that I have. I always hope, and I said that as well, that they will change their mind, their thinking, their lifestyle about food and cooking.

Cooking class in TuscanyWhat’s unique about the food from your region?
Of course extra virgin olive oil and the humor of Tuscan people, we like to tease, it is just our way. Alongside the wonderful produce, it is the traditional, simple but fabulous ingredients, the recipes and the preparation.

Anything else you’d like to share with clients of The International Kitchen?
We are the center of Italy. I love the simplicity, old style, good healthy food, the enthusiasm, lifestyle and traditions. I love to hear and tell the old memories from families sitting around the table. Anyway I love to make people happy with happy food!

Gathering ingredients from the garden for your cooking classCome visit Chef Paola during our Tuscookany culinary vacation, which includes seven nights of accommodations, four cooking classes, Tuscan wines, and so much more.

By Liz Hall

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