Our group of 3 had a wonderful morning w/Chef Fausto and his staff and visitors followed by an enchanting dinner that evening. It was truly one of the high points of our trip to Italy. Things we loved? The setting up a long & winding road; beautiful gardens; warm & friendly atmosphere; a large tray of fresh pumpkin flowers waiting to be added to zucchini quiche which we helped make; Fausto, his assistants, his family; the food; the hats.
Jane S., NJ
My husband is quite shy and does not cook, so he was not looking forward to the class at all. It seemed very expensive for someone who had no intention of participating, but I didn't want him stay back at the hotel so he agreed to come. Chef Fausto had him at ease right away. We got there early and chatted over a cup of cappucino while we waited for the other two couples to arrive. When we moved into the kitchen Dave initially stayed back, but before long he was cutting gnocchi and oiling pans with the rest of us. Chef Fausto had us observe and/or prepare several breads, three quiches, two pesto sauces, a vegetable dish and a rabbit stew. He took us on a walking tour of his garden and shared some of the history of his family and property and his philosophy of cooking with whole foods, in-season. He also encouraged us to e-mail him if we have any questions when we get back home. By the time we stopped for lunch everyone was eagerly anticipating the foccacia breads and wine! The three hours went by so quickly. As we drove away, Dave agreed that it was money well spent -- even without the evening meal. We arrived back at the restaurant around 8 p.m. Chef Fausto greeted us as if he had known us for years. You would never have known that we had only met that morning. Throughout the evening he took time to stop by our table and talk with us for a moment or two. The food was delicious, even more so because we had a small part in its preparation. We left with our aprons, our autographed cookbooks, very full stomachs, and lots of great memories of a day well-spent.
Joan & Dave, Canada
Chef Fausto is as likeable as everyone describes. He is very laid-back, personable, and fun. His English is excellent. We had no difficulties understanding anything he said. The class was full of valuable knowledge that I could not have gotten elsewhere. Since his menu changes frequently and you will cook whatever is served for that day, I think all of the classes must cook different things. So, I cannot suggest what might be cooked at a given class. However, we cooked several different types of bread and learned how to make fresh pesto, walnut sauce (MMM!) and mushroom sauce. These are three sauces that are delicious, easy to prepare, and unique. We also cut fresh herbs to coat lamb with. I was very happy to see how they are made...and even more so, to taste them. Afterwards we had a terrific meal that lasted 3 hours! Most memorable will be eating in the restaurant. It is very 'comical'. Chef Fausto changed his hats every five minutes (really! I think he has a timer for them!) My daughter loved it! This class was educational and fun to take. It is also in the most beautiful part of Italy, if not the world. The location alone is worth the trip. This cooking class was icing on a very delicious cake.
Angela H., Germany
We had an absolutely fabulous experience. We spent the morning (8:30- 1pm) with Chef Fausto in his kitchen at U Giancu. We helped prepare breads, quiches, sauces, tortes, pesto and more. We felt welcome and comfortable to ask questions. The rest of his staff was great too. Then we came back in the evening for the best meal of our trip! The best part was Fausto himself who is warm, friendly, interesting and has tons of personality (and lots of hats!).
Todd & Adina S. , NY
This was a great experience and everyone of our group of 4 would recommend Fausto and this cooking experience if you're near Rapallo. Fausto met us at the market in town, we did some vegetable shopping then back to his restaurant for coffee, food, cooking fun and good wine. We returned that evening to eat our hard work from the morning. Fausto kept bringing us food and drink until we were stuffed. Great restaurant atmosphere & fully enjoyable day!
Sandra C., WA
Our day with Fausto at his restaurant, U Giancu, was amazing. His restaurant is located in the hills outside Rapallo. Fausto himself was a large part of what made our trip so special - he made us feel right at home in his apartment kitchen. He provided enough guidance on techniques that we knew what to do, but then he let us get our hands dirty by actually doing work. We created a number of tasty dishes - from foccacia to sorbet. And after a tan at his home garden that supplies most of the herbs used in the restaurant, we sat in his kitchen drinking wine and nibbling on some of our creations. We returned that evening for a dinner we will never forget. Fausto, in one of his hundreds of comical hats, returned to our table time & time again to provide us with nearly every dish served in the restaurant. Aside from amazing food, it was a thrill to sit in the restaurant - watching other patrons enjoy the food we had helped prepare. We would do it again in a heartbeat!
Laura & Andy H, VA
It was a great day. My friend and I cooked with Fausto in the morning and then came back in the evenning for dinner and a Blue Grass Concert. It was fun watching people eat what we had prepared in the morning. The experience was very upbeat and very nice addition to our trip to Italy. I plan to take another of your classes, possibly a package next time.
Marty A., CA
Spent 16-days in Europe and our favorite day was cooking with Chef Fausto! Chef Fausto and his staff were fabulous! They made us feel welcome and part of the cooking staff at U Giancu. Despite what the description of the class said, we did not go to the local market. Chef Fausto had a white board full of items that had to be made for the restaurant's menu that evening so we jumped right in. We've attended several cooking classes back home in Wisconsin and this was by far the best class we have ever taken. Well worth the cost. The most rewarding part of the day was when Chef Fausto actually served what we made that morning in the restaurant. We could over hear what other table were saying about dishes we actually made in the kitchen that morning. It was incredible. Makes us want to open our own restaurant back in the US
Justin Z, WI
The class was absolutely wonderful - not simply because of what we were cooking, but because Chef Fausto was such a lovely person - fun, charming, thoughtful, and hysterical. Just brought a wonderful sense of humor to the kitchen, everyone pitching in and doing whatever we could/would, no stress. It really brought perspective on how "local" the cuisine was. The farmer from down the hill delivered his enormous container of milk, freshly milked from his cows. The 90 year old farmer from across the valley WALKED over to deliver his fresh picked beans. Both were greeted with hugs and conversation, a few Euros passed hands, and then the items were used in the kitchen that day. Much of the vegetables served were either from the restaurant's garden, or their neighbor's gardens. Just wonderful.
Ann & Barbara J., CA
The best, most fun, and best food on the whole trip. Besides being the most delightful restaurant we have ever been to--especially if I was a kid. We liked the format--working in a professional kitchen in the morning, then going back in the evening to eat the things we had participated in making. Chef Fausto was very engaged, warm, wanted to make sure we were learning, gently corrected us about our technique. The kitchen staff was friendly and were extremely happy when we visited them in the kitchen in the evening after our magnificent dinner. We were able to joke with his son about the son's Brazilian girlfriend--"why haven't you told your son, 'what are you waiting for?'" He responded he could never do that. So I asked would he mind if I said it to his son, since the girlfriend had been our waitress. He said "go ahead, so I did--much laughter in the kitchen. The food at the restaurant and the way we were treated as VIP guests was wonderful.
Robert & Theresa B., AZ