Day 1: Today, in your first cooking class, the chef will include one of her favorite recipes using fish from neaby Lake Trasimeno, perhaps … the European roach fish, which is considered such a delicacy that since the Middle Ages it has been sent to Rome every Easter Day for the Pope’s dinner.
In the afternoon you will visit the nearby Città della Pieve to take in its sites, including the Duomo, the Palazzo della Corgina and its exhibition of the works of Perugino, as well as other lovely churches such as the Chiesa di San Pietro.
Day 2: Today, first thing you’ll be off to the local vegetable market with the chef. Her cooking reflects the pervading culinary philosophy in Italy: the ingredients used are prepared fresh daily and are only those in season.
Today you’ll be making palombacci allo spiedo (spit-roasted wild pigeon) and an assortment of delicious side dishes, perhaps cardi alla perugina if they are in season. Cardi are a type of cardoon. Cooked alla Perugina (taking the name from nearby Perugia), these cardi are first parboiled, dipped in batter and then deep fried to a golden brown.
Day 3: You’ll be off to an early start today to visit two of Italy’s renowned wine towns: Montepulciano and Montalcino. You’ll stop for lunch in Pienza at a charming restaurant. Be sure to taste some of the delicious local cheeses from Pienza’s specialty gourmet shops. Throughout the day you’ll visit a number of excellent small wine producers and have the chance to buy fine Brunel
lo wine at excellent prices.Following lunch and a rest or stroll around the estate, the chef will show you how to prepare baskets of dried flower arrangements and wreaths using local dried flowers and herbs.
Day 4: A local Saffron expert will be on hand at today’s cooking class to show how this spice is used in Italian cuisine, most notably risotto alla Milanese. For centuries Umbria has been a major grower of this spice. The extraordinarily vibrant golden yellows you see in Umbrian paintings from the Middle Ages to the recent past used saffron to obtain their color.
Learn how saffron is harvested and preserved and learn how to recognize true saffron and how to use it in cookery.
Day 5: Of all the foods that Umbria produces the most noteworthy is without a doubt the black truffle. It is so tasty that it has supplied a term to Italian cuisine, trifolati: in other words, dishes that are so rich as to suggest truffle (trifole in Umbrian dialect). Today you will prepare dishes using the Umbrian black truffle including tagliolini al tartufo nero. Following lunch you will visit one of Italy’s most beautiful towns: Orvieto. Visit the town’s many landmarks, its beautiful main square and the numerous ceramics shops for which the city is famous. Try some of Orvieto’s gourmet specialities including their delicious wild boar sausage.
Day 6: Today you will make some more Umbrian specialities such as faraona alla ghiotta (guinea fowl stuffed with a mixture of capers, lemon, prosciutto, fresh sage, anchovies and other flavorful ingredients, covered with a thin slice of prosciutto and baked until done in a sauce of wine, olive oil and spices). Perhaps you will prepare gnocchi al sugo d’oca (gnocchi prepared with a duck sauce) or frascarelli al peperone (a delicate home-made pasta prepared using flour and four whole eggs and served with a delicious sauce of red peppers gently sauteed in Umbrian olive oil with fresh tomatoes and mascarpone cheese (a rich, fresh, soft white cheese).
This afternoon you are on your own to do as you please but be sure to return by late afternoon for an olive oil tasting of some of the best local Umbrian olive oils. Learn to distinguish between different olive oils and to recognize what makes a good olive oil.
Day 7: This morning you will have a wonderful buffet brunch for your last meal prior to your early afternoon departure. During brunch you will receive your course certificate, commemorative ceramic platter and recipe booklet.
NOTE: This course is available as a 4- or 7-day package.
2017 dates are coming up. We also do custom dates — please ask!
PRICES START AT €3200 PER PERSON, PER WEEK.