(This traveler left a starred review with no comments.)
(This traveler left a starred review with no comments.)
Barbara was fantastic, she took great time, detail and pride to explain all the aspects of Tuscan cooking and ingredients. We weren't supposed to make pasta from scratch but I wanted to so badly. She accommodated and now I can make it in less than 30 minutes!!
Anthony H., IL
Chef Barbara was wonderful and accomodated our food requests on the fly. Going to the market was so much fun, I could not imagine a cooking class that did not begin with a trip to the market. We made a fabulous meal which included home made pasta in a lemon cream sauce, veal with zucchini and eggplant and a meringue with fruit and whipped cream for dessert. Even though our class was a 15 minute drive outside of Florence we walked back after since we ate so much. Barbara was informative about Italian culture, food, regional specialities and answered all of our food questions. I would highly recommend Barbara to any of our friends going to Florence, and when we return we hope to take another course with her.
Erica B., NY
Chef Barbara was amazing! Her recipes were easy to remember, yet so tasty. We loved her beautiful home, which she opened up to us so graciously. We really enjoyed meeting her in the market to pick produce, and thought her home was breathtaking. The whole experience went beyond all possible expectations, and will be remembered forever.
[The International Kitchen staff] was polite, helpful and courteous. We could not have asked for any better service!
Thank you all for the wonderful experience. We plan to tell everyone we know to try it!
Kyle & Rosemari, GA
We really enjoyed the whole experience. Chef Barbara was wonderful. She created an excellent menu and made us feel like we were chefs. We enjoyed shopping in the market and seeing all the different vegetables and fruits. The meat and cheese market was amazing. Learning how to make raviolli was my favorite part and my husbands was rolling out the dough. Every time someone asks about our trip, I usually start with our cooking class. We agree that from now on when we travel abroad we will schedule a class if it is available. We like finding different things to do and this was the exactly what we were looking for. The International Kitchen made everything very easy. All the information was very informative and easy to follow.
Ansley B., FL
We loved the market shopping with Chef Barbara and she was such a delight to be with. We did three days of market and cooking with Chef Barbara at her home. Myself and my wife did not participate in the actual cooking, as this was a high school graduation gift for our Grandson Bo. Bo's wish was to visit Italy with the top priroty being hands-on cooking lessons. He was not disappoited, learned so much from Chef Barbara. On one day another family joined us and that added to our expereince in meeting other visitors. We can not speak highly enough of The International Kitchen and our travel agent being able to take care of our arrangements and making this very special time with Chef Barbara a life time of memories.
Our class with Barbara was fantastic. There were 3 of us, who elected to take the class at Barbara's home in the Tuscan hills. Barbara met us at San Ambrogio Market, where we purchased the ingredients for our meal. Barbara explained the differences in cheeses, rice, onions. She is the most cordial person, who made us feel like old friends before we had hardly started. She drove us to her home, where we started out right away with hands-on cooking, which we were all anxious to do. We made fresh pasta, learning to do that the correct way. She was very good at explaining every step. Finally, when our work was done, we went onto her outdoor eating area, where she served the meal we had just prepared, along with a glass of wine. What a marvelous setting, overlooking the hillside. The food was delicious, which, of course, was our goal and we had achieved that. I wish I had the vocabulary to tell you in detail how pleased we were with our experience. Barbara, beside being a great chef, is a marvelous woman, with great people skills. She knows how to teach, and never criticize, only improve the learning experience. This experience will be a highlight of all my vacation memories for all time.
Dolly G., CA
Barbara was a very friendly and knowledgeable chef who we really enjoyed spending time with. She took the time to answer all of our many questions with a very genuinely kind attitude and didn't rush us to finish even though she had other obligations that evening. She was very helpful when we asked her about different recipes and cookbooks... We really enjoyed that she brought us around the marketplace first. That was one of the highlights of the class!
Heidi F., USA
Barbara was just so nice and informative. The trip to the market was great, as we were able to ask question after question about the different items we saw. Also, Barbara was very forthcoming in talking about all things Italian. Great Day!!!!!!!
Amy Jo B., PA
It was a great experience, especially being able to participate, though in a limited way, in making some of the dishes. Nothing like hands-on experience to reinforce what you've learned. The class experience was very fulfilling and certainly exceeded expectations. I have been to several such classes and find each to be quite different. This one was especially pleasing because the instructor/chef was so warm and welcoming. I felt almost as if I was in her kitchen watching and helping her prepare a meal.
The cooking class with Chef Barbara was a highlight of our visit to Florence. The visit to the market was fun and also educational as Chef Barbara was great to answer our questions. We chose to take the class in her country home and it was very nice. Our 15 year old niece was with us and she enjoyed it just as much as we did. We all took part in preparing the meal. We were in Italy for eight days and visited Rome, Assissi, Venice and Florence. This was our favorite meal!!!! We have returned to Alabama and purchased a pasta maker, potato ricer and lots of fennel! This was new for us - never had eaten fennel or even seen it in the stores. We have since prepared it many times and on the last visit to the produce stand I ended up telling everyone in line about it and how to fix it. I guess there will now be a shortage in Alabama! :) We highly recommend taking a class with Chef Barbara.
Ken M., AL
We loved our cooking calss even my 17 year old son was engaged. Barbara had a lovely warm engaging personality while keeping everything on track. The food was fab. and the recipes easy enough that I have been able to replicat the tortellini with my 5th grade class. I'm only sorry it was a Sunday and we missed the market experience.
Ruth A., NY
I really enjoyed going to the market with chef Barbara. She let us sample different items. Chef Barbara was bery friendly and open. She was supportive and encouraging. She gave many pointers and the food was fabulous. It was loads of fun and one of the highlights of my trip that my family and friends benefit from.
Melissa G., VA
We all had a wonderful time. Chef Barbara was a delight and made out visit very relaxing and comfortable. Relaxing in the country side of Tuscany, the food and wine were the best.
Mary R., USA
Going to Chef Barbara's house was amazing. Her class was very educational and very fun. We truly enjoyed dining outside afterwards as it was a perfectly gorgeous day! What a fantastic memory to have for the years to come.
Ric P., USA
The visit to the market was quite interesting. With Barbara driving us from the market to her home and with her liitle boy playing in the yard under her mother's supervision, it felt like a visit with a friend. Barbara was very easy going and very forthcoming with recipes, tips, advice. The instruction was excellent and the food outstanding.
Pamela U., USA
Our cooking class was great. Barbara was interesting and it was fun for my children as well. We have made the items since our return.
Maura T., IL
Chef Barbara's class was terrific. It benefited from the company we were with - another young couple on holiday. I realize one can't pick and choose your co-students but the company really made the afternoon enjoyable. The market was fantastic and we definitely wished we had known about it sooner so we could have visited for lunch during our stay. Going back to Chef Barbara's house was also a treat - we were both very envious of her beautiful kitchen, patio, and views. The menu was terrific and while we have some practicing to do before we roll raviolis quite as good as she did, we've enjoyed our mistakes throughly since we've been home. I've made the chocolate cakes twice and my dinner guests licked their plates clean.
Kristen B., LA
We really enjoyed the fact we met with Barbara beforehand at the market where she introduced us to local Tuscan food, diets and produce. Barbara's English was excellent and she explained everything from the produce and cooking utensils we were using to the history of Tuscan cuisine compared to other areas of Italy. We found the whole experience fascinating and a lot of fun...
Elisabeth T., UK
Barb was so awesome. with just the three of us it was perfect. no one else was in our class that day. we got to ask her all the questions we wanted. i think she was a very intelligent and fun person and we were happy to have met her. she did a wonderful job and made our experience in flornece that much better. we asked her a lot about florentines and their culture which also was very helpful and an extra perk of our time spent with her.
Randi N., IL
Cooking with Barbara in Florence. Barbara was wonderful. She was exceptionally friendly, knowledgable and happy to involve everyone, including my kids (who, along with my wife and I, truly found this experience memorable). The food we created was very tasty and unusual, and we plan to have a party with friends this month to cook the recipeis she gave us. I don't recall her assistant's name, but she was also very nice. The class was one of ther major higlights of our trip (maybe the highest). Barbara was the type of person we hope will come to the USA, so we can return the favor, and left us with such a warm and happy feeling about Florence. She's a gem.
Willliam B., VA
Chef Barbara in Florence was wonderful in every aspect. Her communication skills were excellent, and her knowledge went full circle. We would enjoy taking another class with her anytime that we will be able in the future. Going through the market was especially helpful, as she discussed the various foods, freshness tips etc.
Evan G., NY
The class with Barbara was the highlight of our 10 day trip to Rome and Florence. My parents and I did the class, and it was just a wonderful experience. Barbara is warm and engaging, and she was a joy to work with. She took time to explain so much to us, from the variety of products in the market, to cooking techniques and ways of cooking Tuscan style. ...
[The International Kitchen] staff was very helpful and the information was good. Thanks for setting up the class with Barbara. It was a once in a lifetime experience!
Chef Barbara was great. She was a pleasure. It was just two of us so it was great hands-on instruction. Her facility was wonderful, clean and easy to work in. The meeting point was easy to reach and the walk and discussion through the market was interesting. The recipes was wonderful and easy to follow when I got home.
Linda G., PA
Classes with Barbara Desideri were excellent ... She is a gem, so sweet and very competent. We especially enjoyed the trip to the market at St. Ambrogio where she showed us what to look for when shopping. She knew all the merchants personally and I think got the best ingredients. Her menu was interesting and it was very hands on for us with her standing by to make sure we got things right. Her country home was charming and the weather (in Early October) was so nice we got to sit outside for our lunch. She made some excellent wine choices that pared very well with the food. She is very professional.
We were part of a party of eight [...] and I think we would do it all again and will certainly recommend this to our friends.
We met Barbara in the market which was fun and informative as well. Then we went to her mothers home to cook as we were her first clients after maternity leave and that became the highlight of the event. Her home overlooked Florence and we dined al fresco on her patio with the city below. Barbara did an excellent job of instructing as well as sharing food history relevant to Tuscany. The meal we made was the best we had in our entire 3 weeks in Europe.
Lesle H., WA
Our experience could not have been better. We met the teacher in an italian open air market. We were able to experience the culture, learn about their agriculture and return to a very quaint studio. The class was very small and very hands on.
We definately would recommend The International Kitchen and will look forward to booking with them again soon!
Dana H., CO
This class was the highlight of our vacation. Chef Barbara is extremely knowledgeable about food, food pairing and the history of Italian cuisine. The menu we prepared was authentic, the meeting place interesting and available ingredients were very fresh. I would recommend The International Kitchen and Chef Barbara to anyone. I have already shared much of this adventure with many friends and family.
Thank you so much.
Lara & Andrew M., WA
My mom and I had a fantastic day with Chef Barbara! The one day class was an island of calm in an ocean of museums, palazzo's, restaurants, and sight seeing. Meeting at the Sant' Ambrogio market was a great idea. It's clear that all the local farmers, butchers and cheese makers love Chef Barbara. She really knows her way around and taught us a lot about produce and great ingredients. We were really impressed with Chef Barbara's atelier (studio) in Florence, too. It was just a 5 minute drive from the market and the perfect space for our class of 6 students. She had everything prepped and ready to go when we arrived, so there was no time wasted. We also enjoyed meeting the four other students (all Americans on holiday).
Matthew W., CA
I was among a group of 6 friends who took 3 one-day lessons with Chef Barbara in Florence. We loved Barbara! Her personality was sparkling, warm, friendly, and very accommodating. Her recipes are easy, simple, fresh, and delicious. Daily shopping at the outdoor market was a great experience with the gorgeous fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and meats. We spent 6 days in Florence crammed with museums, eating, shopping, and cooking. Being with Barbara was certainly one of our top highlights. We all give Barbara our recommendations and would sign up for her cooking classes again while in Florence.
Lana W., MA
This was a family tour & my daughter, son in-law & I decided to take a cooking class for one day. My husband & son chose not to do the cooking. My husband & I have been to Italy on tours, but this time we drove. Three nights were spent in San Gimingnano, 3 in Florence & 4 in Rome. For me, the highlight of the trip was meeting & cooking with Barbara. She certainly enjoys her job & you can tell that by her enthusiasm. I enjoyed her menu & cetainly enjoyed participating in the preparation of the ravioli, chicken, potatoes & the delicious tiramasu. This was the first time that I ever made homemade pasta. My daughter, son in-law & I have decided to do some shopping next week to purchase equipment that we do not have. My husband I usually make 3 to 4 trips a year to Europe or elsewhere. Italy is our favorite country. The Tuscany area is just wonderful. Since we both love cities, we enjoy Rome & Florence.If I have a chance to return to Florence, I would take another class with Barbara. Thanks for providing this wonderful service.
Marie T., MD
[W]e had an absolute wonderful experienced with Barbara in Florence and loved every minute of our time with her from the market to the final sip of wine. She is a delight and will recommend her to friends. Barbara never seemed to be in a hurry and always answered our many questions with a smile and always added a few interesting extra facts along the way. I have been cooking for 50 years and still learned little tips I can use. They food was delicious and we had a ball. My husband is NOT a cook and he loved the whole experience also. Many happy memories of a fun day.
Carol G., IL
We took our class at Barbara Desderi's family villa overlooking Florence. Barbara picked us up in town, took us shopping at a colorful local outdoor market and then drove us to the villa. We enjoyed breathtaking views of Florence and an abundance of Italian charm. The class was for my mother, my daughter and I. My mother is quite knowledgable about cooking so I feared she might be difficult to please. Barbara proved to be well trained, an excellent teacher, personable and went out of her way to make our experience truly memorable.
Kim T., CA
Fasinating class and Barbara Desderi is an extremely knowledgeable chef. It was a delightful day and I cannot begin to express our gratitude. Barbara met us at the market and I took furious notes while she showed everything from vegtables, to meats, to cheeses, pointd out different items, what to look for, how to use certain ingredients, and was a wealth of information.
Barbara made several recipes, answered questions related and unrelated to what she was making and made two extra items because the other couple wanted ot know how to make gnocchi and I mentioned pesto and she said, "Let's make it."
The childhood home where Barbara taught the class is out of a storybook. It was a perfect day... this is truly a wonderful chef.
Margaret O., IL
Barbara was a wonderful teacher and the opportunity to take three private lessons with her much surpassed my expectations. She is an excellent communicator and I enjoyed the hands on learning. I had an opportunity to ask many questions.
She is a lovely person and when you have a one to one class, it is nice to be with someone who you like. I found I really liked her and enjoyed seeing some of the political and social issues through her eyes ( we talked about food, wine, politics, families, children and books - all the usual subjects when you have women in the kitchen!).
I would highly recommend this class to anyone!
Ruth M., MN
It was a great experience we would definitely do it again, we loved going to the central market and buying the food to cook and then going to Barbaras' parents house [for the country experience] to cook. Although the meal was very simple it was great and we both learned some things from Barbara. By the way, Barbara is sweet and we loved her as a host.
Terry B., CA
Loved meeting up with her at the local produce market and [May was] such a great time of year to see all the fresh Italian produce. Barbara pointed out alot of the local produce that we can't get at home and how she would/could use in the kitchen. We're very glad we took the country experience of going out to the villa. Eating our homemade italian lunch out on the terrace while absorbing the beautiful Firenze vista was truly worthwhile. Barbara was an expert in the kitchen, we picked up new styles and approaches to cooking that we can't wait to try out at home -- thoroughly enjoyed it!
Susan B., MA
Barbara's class is both fun and informative. Her instructions are clear and easy to follow because she both shows and tells how to prepare each dish. What's more, she's an easy going person with whom I felt instantly comfortable. No need to stand on formality or try to impress, just roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. In short, it was a great experience and I would do it again if I had the chance.
Malin J., Washington D.C.
Our cooking class with Barbara was one of the highlights of my trip to Florence. Even though she wasn't feeling well, she was upbeat, gracious, and so kind. We took our class at her magnificient home, overlooking Florence. She treated us as if we were a special member of her family. I can't wait to cook our menu with my family. Thank you Barbara for making this such a memorable trip. I hope to see you when you come to the states.
Cea E., OH
We had a very special meeting with Barbara -- met at the market in the snow! so we chose several items for the menu she had planned. She drove us back to her kitchen. It was a wonderful day. She is very warm and the food was delicious.
Linda & Michael P., NJ
Just wanted to thank you for a truly memorable vacation experience. Barbara Desderi's cooking class today was SO much fun. Not only is she very knowledgeable but she is personable and charming also. My class consisted of myself and a married couple from Minnesota. We all got a chance to be hands-on and to ask questions about cooking styles in Italy and life in Italy in general. Barbara's enthusiasm for her homeland and her love of cooking fine food was inspiring. Thank you for helping to arrange a wonderful time.
Toni M., CA
Barbara met us at the market in Florence to purchase the food we were going to prepare and took us through the entire market. We couldn't believe the cheese and meat counters. Some of the vegetables are different from what we have in the States, and she explained and answered my many questions. One vegetable I'll never forget was the long purple onion rather than the round one I buy here. She drove us to her country home. Her home was located about 10 minutes outside Florence from the market on a hilltop with a wonderful picture post card view of Florence as we looked down upon it. The setting was as exciting as the cooking. It was a windy and chilly day the day we were there so we ate the lunch we had prepared in her dining room. She made us feel very much at home in her home. She gave us copies of all the recipes (which require no adaptation for me to prepare at home) and also gave us an apron from her school as part of our experience which will make it just that much more fun to prepare the recipes here at home. I took notes as we prepared the food to help me remember the little "tricks" she suggested. It was a very relaxing, wonderful day and a highlight of our trip. She packed so much into the one lesson we feel we were truly able to experience not only Tuscan cooking but a little bit of life in Tuscany.
Charlene & Lee S., FL
All the members of my party were very impressed with the class taught by Barbara. The location was splendid (the view was incredible!) and she was a delight. You could see she was quite the professional and yet very easy to talk to. I very much enjoyed the trip to the market with her to chose the foods for the class as I have never seen such a place before. As well, we had a dish I had never encountered -stuffed zucchini flowers and it was by far the favorite of my group. The entire experience was the highlight of our time in Florence. As well, two members of our party had a similar class with Susan in Venice and raved about what fun they had with her there. In fact they seemed so happy and I had enjoyed Barbara to such a degree in Florence I regretted that I had not enrolled for the class with Susan as well. I think we will not soon forget the experience and most definitely will refer your service to others in the future.
Jason J, Ok
We loved the class with Barbara. We did the market and then her home in the country. She was very gracious and most informative about the local foods and customs in the area. She was very accomplished and professional. I would recommend this organization to any of my friends.
We had a terrific time with Chef Barbara, who was gracious and informative and informal and truly a pleasure to be around. She began discussing her cooking practices at the market where we met her, as she pointed out what she looks for in ingredients. Watching her interact with the vendors was a fun cultural moment in and of itself. Her kitchen is terrific and efficient and comfortable. She explained what she was going to prepare and readily involved us in all aspects of her efforts. She encouraged our questions, including those that went beyond cooking to life in Florence and Italian culture. She was also quick to offer ideas for things to do and places to eat. The recipes were classic and delicious. My wife and I felt like we really did learn some core techniques of Italian cooking from our time with Barbara. We would HIGHLY recommend her to others interested in such an experience.
Ann M., USA
Barbara is amazing!! The trip to market was an additional world of knowledge I hadn't expected. I have taken back all sorts of information on ingredients, recipes, tools, etc. and really feel that this is an experience that will last a lifetime. Can't wait to try out all the techniques I learned on my friends and family and know they are looking forward to it also. Barbara, you are a great representative of not only the International Kitchen but also your country. You are cheerful, helpful, knowledgeable and a pleasure to spend time with. Good luck with you new baby!
Renee G., CA
Chef Barbara was wonderful. She explained everything in detail and put everything in terms we could understand. She also was very understanding and accommodating with my dietary needs as I am pregnant.
We loved the class with Barbara. We did the market and then her home in the country. She was very gracious and most informative about the local foods and customs in the area. She was very accomplished and professional. I would recommend this organization to any of my friends.
Florence is a beautiful city with so much history. We enjoyed visiting the many historical sites, including the Pitti Palace and Uffuzi. Just sitting at a sidewalk cafe watching the people was a highlight. Everyone seemed relaxed which you don't see in the US where everone is hurrying for some reason. Visiting the Boboli Gardens was amazing, especially since we also went to Paris and saw the Luxembourg Gardens which were modeled after Boboli. The Interntional Kitchen experience was more than I expected. Informative and fun. I highly recommend Chef Barbara. The recipes were well thought out and everyone enjoyed the food we prepared. Thanks for the experience.
Lynn D., TX
We had a wonderful experience in the 4 hour cooking class, a mother and two daughters. We are average American cooks with some prior experience with ravioli and pasta making. We learned to make better ravioli and used fresh ingredients, including fennel and local beef from the market. We liked the fact that the class was offered in Florence so we were able to see a museum in the afternoon after the class. We would definitely do this again and highly recommend the class to others.
Barbara was a truly wonderful and inspiring teacher....we made the delicious lunches since our return for our family and been confident that everything would work out....our family loved what we made for them. We had a lovely time at Barbara's country home. It was a joy to get out of the city as we had been on tour for 10 days going from city to city. We appreciated her warmth and friendliness.
Chef Barbara Desderi is a fantastic teacher, a brilliant chef and a very very nice person. Her English is perfect. We had two lessons, one at her beautiful home in the Tuscan hills and one at her school in Firenze. Both sites are superb, well equipped, spotless, perfect, safe environments. Barbara is a consummate professional with a welcoming manner and a good sense of humor. She has the unique ability to describe and show the essential aspects of techniques that other teachers make confusing. I learned many "secrets." She is a very good listner and tailored our lessons to our specific questions and goals. In short, she was fabulous. I recommend her highly to any person who is seriously interested in Tuscan cuisine. She would be great for beginners and for accomplished chefs. I plan to return to Firenze for more of her instruction.
David K., VA
We absolutely loved our experience with Barbara! Our time at the market, learning the history of salt and the variety of tomatoes - that was just the beginning. We learned so much about Italy as well as about how to cook some great Italian food. We really couldn't have asked for more, and we can't say enough great things about Barbara. We were more than satisfied with the experience and everyone we dealt with. Thank you so much!
Lisa M., MN
Our lesson was one of the highlights of our trip. We learned so much - and not just about Italian cooking, just overall kitchen/culinary skills. I was glad the class was so small so we could be hands on, and Barbara is delightful to spend time with. Knowledgeable but also friendly and down to earth.
I also appreciated the quick responses and the extra research Richard did to answer some questions I had specific to our timing and trip.
Caroline J., CO
We took a day class with Chef Barbara in her country home outside of Florence. The menu she selected was excellent, and we thoroughly enjoyed the market visit and food preparation. She provided great explanations that will help us when we return home, and allowed us to be very hands on in all phases of preparing our meal. She made us feel quite comfortable, and we enjoyed a delicious lunch on her patio. I think she was worried we may never leave! This is my fourth time booking through The International Kitchen and as usual, everything is top notch. I continue to recommend The International Kitchen to my friends and family, and look forward to my next opportunity for a class.
Mary Y., CA
Florence is a beautiful place by itself but experiencing this cooking class made the trip even more magical than I could have imagined. It has been one of my life dreams to have a real cooking class in Italy and Chef Barbara helped my dream come true. Chef Barbara was an incredible host for the cooking class. She was very warm and welcoming and really wanted us to get the full cooking experience. It was a personal experience and I truly took something away from the class that I will be cooking at home!
Shannon W., DC
I can truly say that the cooking experience with Chef Barbara at her country home in Tuscany was the highlight of my month long holiday in Italy. She was absolutely fabulous, extremely welcoming and very knowledgeable and able to provide fabulous advice and tips on cooking. I had requested that we were taught to cook pasta and this is what we got, along with pastry dessert and main course. All very informative and now I feel a real expert, thanks to her teaching skills. She gave us recipes, tips and hands on experience and lucky for us we (two of us) were the only ones in the class so we both felt extremely lucky and very privileged that this lovely woman opened up her home and her skills to us.
Robyne M. and Libby D., Australia
Barbara was fantastic! She welcomed us into her home and we could not have had more fun!
Kenly and Susan D., CT
We enjoyed our day with Chef Barbara. Met her and the other class participants at the Florence outdoor market and then drove to her hilltop home outside the city. It is in a granary built in the 1700's. She is a former chef at one of the most prestigious restaurants in Florence and very good in working with class attendees. She is extremely knowledgeable about food ingredients...not just how they interact, but also the chemistry and physics of combing ingredients. We enjoyed our time in her roomy, modern kitchen and also the excellent meal and local wine at her dining table. All in all, a very pleasant few hours in Italy.
Lynda and Tom C., WI
The complete experience was great. Starting with meeting Chef Barbara at the local market to select ingredients for the meal to be prepared. Her guidance in prepping and cooking the meal was excellent. She answered all of our questions and was excellent at informing you why you should do your preparation in a particular way or manner. She provided an outline for the day as well as recipes with US measurements for all to take with. We were very happy with Chef Barbara and will look into taking another class with her or other The International Kitchen chefs in Italy.
Wayne H., AZ
Chef Barbara was excellent, not only her skill and knowledge of cooking but her customer service. She picked us up in Florence, toured us around the local market while explaining the different types of food. Who would have thought there were so many types of tomatoes! We then made our way to her home outside of Florence and were introduced to her kitchen. We spent 4 delightful hours cooking, eating, laughing and drinking wine. It was helpful that Chef Barb spoke English because our Italian is pretty limited. I would definitely recommend this cooking school.
Debra S., ON
Chef Barbara was wonderful. Friendly, informative and flexible with the menu. The food was excellent.
Barbara A. and Gabriella O., FL
Chef Barbara was wonderful! Loved the tour of the markets and the drive to her lovely home in the hills above Florence. I learned so much that I had never heard before. (And I cook a lot.) Cannot wait to replicate those dishes/recipies here in California. The small class size was a bonus because we had a real "hands-on" experience. The length of time was just right for us to cook and then eat. Well worth the money!!!
Nancy S., CA
We were delighted with Chef Barbara and the foods we prepared. She was a very personable and gracious lady, and it was a treat to be in someone's home to get a feel for down-to-earth living...not just a touristy experience. We will be happy to recommend this experience to others!
David and Susan E., SC
Loved Chef Barbara! She was so informative and entertaining. Just a delightful person!
Everything was perfect! Wish she would write a cookbook!
Helen & Don S., NC
We spent a wonderful morning and afternoon with Barbara and another young couple from Milwaukee. We met at the Sant Ambrogio Market in Florence at 10:30AM, perused many stalls in the marketplace and shopped for the ingredients of our luncheon meal. We had a great time seeing all the beautiful fruits and vegetables; locally produced honey; salciccia, proscuitto and pork other products; breads, pastries and the market wares outdoors; and then we headed indoors to purchase and view the cheeses, meats, fish and other local products. After the shopping trip, we piled into Barbara's car and rode to her home in the Chianti countryside--about a 20 minute ride. Barbara's kitchen is spacious, modern and well-equipped. Barbara shared her recipes with us and we each had various tasks to complete as we prepared a divine lunch from scratch of bruschetta, ravioli with sheep's milk ricotta & fresh herb filling with a butter sauce, scrumptious red peppers accompanying a pork tenderloin with citrus zest and au jus, and the most delicious fresh peach tart topped with sweetened, whipped mascarpone I have ever tasted!! Although we read about cuisine and cooking and are knowledgeable about cooking, we learned many tips from Barbara about all the items we prepared! She was funny, gracious, patient and generous with her time. Each course was served with an accompanying wine and we savored our festive luncheon with joy!!
Bruce & Shelley R., IL
We had a fantastic day with Chef Barbara in Florence and highly recommend her class. The menu Barbara planned was really lovely. Her guidance made it easy to prepare, even the home made ravioli, and it tasted delicious. She was very welcoming, explaining about the local produce at the markets, and giving us lots of advice generally about cooking Italian food. We went to her house just outside Florence for the class and it was well worth the extra time, as Barbara has a lovely kitchen to cook in and countryside is beautiful.
Karen & Jessica M., Australia
Firenze: Chef Barbara. Our last cooking class took place in the countryside outside Florence. Chef Barbara met us in Florence, we walked to a magnificent fresh open air market nearby, and drove us to her country home with a large professional kitchen. Everything was beautiful, directions were clear, hands on, and we have made 3 of her recipes, one 3 times. We met her sweet daughter after the class was over, while we were eating our meal outside in an enclosed, private patio. Delicious meal with excellent Tuscan wine.
Robert & Theresa B., AZ
My husband and I enjoyed a private session. We weren't sure it was going to be private as there was no guarantee. Chef Barbara was able to tailor-fit the menu based on our preferences. I'm glad she was flexible. The market visit was quite educational. She shared so many helpful tips about shopping for ingredients and what to look for. She also didn't hesitate to answer all our questions about Italian food in general. We are very interested in food and ingredients, and she had knowledge to share. The country home was an excellent setting for the class. We liked being in her home and having a relaxed, open-space to cook. The meal was exquisite! Will try to replicate the dishes when we get home. Tuscan cooking is so simple and fresh.
Liza & Alex R., Canada
We had a wonderful experience. First of all, Barbara was great. She was very knowledgeable about the market we visited and about all kinds of food including items not on our menu. She was very flexible and understanding as we ran late for our appointment and also got lost getting to the market. She personally came to find us wandering around Florence. She was very good at getting everyone involved in making the food which included a molten chocolate cake, chicken rolls (which doesn't describe how delicious they were as well as easy to make) and a homemade tomato and mozzarella pasta. She also prepared a green salad which was served with the sliced chicken rolls cut crosswise and served on the same platter with the salad. I felt the trip to the market was a very important part of our experience. I would definitely recommend Barbara and The International Kitchen as a great addition to anyone's trip to Florence.
[Regarding The International Kitchen staff:] Very helpful, especially helpful in responding quickly to any emails. Because the class was entirely prepaid and had been confirmed and reconfirmed by email multiple times, I do not think it necessary to have to telephone 48 hours prior to the class as we were in flight. The email confirmation close to the time of the class should have been sufficient.
Katie H., MN
We loved our cooking class with Barbara. She was delightful to be with, and shared her cooking expertise and information about herself and life in Italy. We were a family of three, including a teenage son, and we all decided the meal we cooked was the best we had in Italy.
[Regarding The International Kitchen staff:] The staff at International Kitchen were great. Logistics for all of our activities were perfect. We also arranged for tours through the International Kitchen. The guides and drivers were fabulous; timely, professional,friendly and the guides were experts in the areas we toured.
Stacey, Douglas, and David M., IL
Barbara was an amazing teacher/host. We all had a wonderful day picking ingredients at the market and cooking everything into one of the most delicious meals we had during our stay in Italy. We cannot recommend International Kitchen more! Our class in 1999 still stands out as one of the most memorable parts of our trip too!
[Regarding The International Kitchen staff:] They were wonderful in helping us chose a teacher, etc.
Andrew O., NY
We had a tremendous experience and it exceeded our expectations. Barbara was great and our group of 8 all shared in the cooking duties. She has a fun personality and taught us so much (not just about what we were preparing that day). I highly recommend Barbara and her cooking class. The villa outside of Florence was beautiful and I also recommend you take the class there.
Guy W., TX
We loved being in Chef Barbara's kitchen - we have friends who met in a larger group for another cooking class in another locale -- and I'm sure we had a *much* more hands-on experience. I think they cooked more dishes, but we got more hands-on experience. Chef Barbara made enough of the dishes that we cooked - to host our entire group later on. Eating at her home was good fun for all of us. Barbara's command of English - was amazing, truly. Was great to chat with her about local/regional cooking and food customs; that was more than half of my fun there. We had a one-day class so not so involved as some, I imagine. Barbara was well prepared for us and had planned our timing perfectly. We were done in good time to welcome the rest of our group for dinner.
Danda B. and Sharon M.
It was very special to be in Chef Barbara's kitchen. She was very patient and answered all of our questions! We loved the small group experience. Chef Barbara is an excellent teacher! This is a high point of our travels in Italy!!