Q&A with Francesca of our cooking vacation Authentic Experience in Piedmont
While discovering the culture of a place often includes stopping at all the local sites, from wineries to cathedrals, what makes a trip the most memorable are the experiences you'll create. In large part, those experiences are about the people you'll meet. That's one reason we're so thrilled to offer our new cooking vacation "Authentic Experience in Piedmont."
You'll not only be staying with locals in a charming B&B during this new 3-night trip, but you'll also have the chance to discover a piece of Italy unlike any other. Francesca is your guide in this journey into Piedmont, and she's thrilled to not only take you around this beautiful hilly land but to teach you how to make traditional, seasonal Piedmontese cuisine, much of which she makes by hand. Get to know Francesca through this Q&A and then get to know her even better by joining her and her family in their charming country house ViaVai.
When did you first start cooking? What's your first cooking memory?
I cooked since I was so little, since ever I think. My first complete menu was for my mum's birthday (40! as me this year), I was 10 years old.
Where (and from whom) did you learn about cooking?
I learned from my grandma and my mother, and then I attended several courses. My favorite teacher is Erika Maggiora, Cordon Bleu of the school "la Maggiorana".
What's your favorite ingredient or food to cook with? Favorite dish to make?
I have great respect for eggs! Perfect food I think. I like to prepare pasta and everything with flour.
What's the best piece of advice you'd give to someone just starting to cook?
Dare, smell, touch.
What do you hope people gain from your cooking programs/classes?
A passion for fresh food and the belief that everything can be learned.
Anything else you'd like to share with clients of The International Kitchen?
I just want to say that we are not masters; we are people who desire to convey something strong and beautiful as the food is. For me, cooking is love, is to gift a feeling. And share my house, my table, my passion.
* * *
This Piedmont cooking vacation includes 3 nights accommodations in a double room, transfers to/from Turin airport, all breakfasts, two cooking classes followed by a meal with local wine, and excursions to local artisans and the city of Turin.
By Liz Hall
Other Chef Interviews
"Seaside Cooking in Portugal": Chef Fernando
"Taste of Bordeaux": Chef Barbara
"Colors of Burgundy": Chef Katherine
"Cook Under the Tuscan Sun": Chef Silvia
"A Cooking Passport to Provence": Chef Berard
"A Culinary Adventure in Umbria": Chef Flavio
"Mediterranean Cooking Experience": Chef Carmen
"A Classic Tuscan Table": Chef Claudio
"A Culinary Adventure at Le Calabash": Chefs Sidney and Alison