Cook in the Heart of Chianti
Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, Tuscany
About the location: Tavarnelle is Italian for tavern, and in this quaint town of Tavarnelle Val di Pesa among the Tuscan hills, you’ll be greeted with open arms. Tucked away in the Pesa Valley in the heart of the Chianti countryside, Tavarnelle Val di Pesa offers a peaceful getaway that is perfectly situated between the major cities of Florence and Siena, which once placed it on the royal road that connected Florence to Rome. Today, the town continues to be known for its monasteries and churches — particularly the Badia di Passignano from the Middle Ages — but it offers something more than that too. The medieval town’s economy continues to thrive based on shoe and paper making as well as the production of wheat, grapes, and olives that supply many in Tuscany and beyond.
About the accommodations: Just a short walk from Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, Borgo di Cortefreda offers a relaxing getaway where you will be treated like family. The classic double rooms are spacious, which is not often the case in Italy, and are decorated in a rustic but modern style; the rooms include a bath, telephone, hair dryer, satellite TV, fridge, air conditioning, and a balcony or terrace. The hotel also features a beautiful pool on the terrace, with its stunning views of the valley and surrounding countryside.
About your cooking classes: Chef Alessandro leads the cooking classes at the hotel, and has worked for years in restaurants in Tuscany. He believes that the best and freshest seasonal products are necessary, and the herb and vegetable garden at the hotel helps with supplying many fresh items. He's joined in the kitchen by Chef Veronica, who has worked at the Borgo di Cortefreda's restaurant since 2014 and has been assisting him with the cooking classes since 2016. Prior to becoming a cooking class instructor, she was trained as a chef at the Accademia Italiana Chef, and has worked in various restaurants throughout Tuscany.
You will learn traditional recipes such as Pappa Pomodoro, ravioli with sage and butter sauce, tiramisu, cantucci, etc. And everything is delicious!