Anna Tasca Lanza - Cooking School in the Heart of Sicily
Kyle was born in Seattle and after six years leading the Rome Sustainable Food Project at the American Academy in Rome he joined Anna Tasca Lanza as chef. His experience working in a community-focused kitchen created by Alice Waters and led by the principles of Slow Food furthered his studies in the style of cooking and sourcing ingredients used at Anna Tasca Lanza.
At Case Vecchie, Kyle creates seasonal, fresh and delicious menus for the guests at their Sicilian cooking classes.
One of the first things Kyle did at Anna Tasca Lanza was to take part in the tomato paste workshop that happens each year carrying on this age old Sicilian tradition. Over the course of a week they cooked down nearly 400 pounds of tomatoes to make both paste and sauce, and dried even more to have as part of their pantry for the year.
Anna Tasca Lanza's daughter tells their story on the website:
"My mother started this adventure in 1987 when nobody in Italy was talking nor caring about food as much as they do now. Using the little bit of land given to her by my grandfather from the family estate (which has belonged to my family since the early 1800s) she opened her doors to visitors from America and at her Sicilian cooking classes taught them about food from the heart of Sicily. Around her, the wheat and wine produced by her father and his father before him continued growing and growing. My mother belonged to an aristocratic family and had been trained to have good manners: to speak proper English and French, and cook gracefully. Which she did until I was grown up and left home. Then, she decided she wanted to make something different with her life and opened up the school and started traveling across the United States; adventurous, pioneering, smiling, and curious. No one could understand why she would forge such a path, but she went forward with tremendous success, being recognized by the most prominent figures and institutions of cuisine in America for her work. This is her legacy, which has been given to me to nourish.
For the past fifteen years, I have run the school and the Sicilian cooking classes. We have continued to expand my mother’s mission of connecting and sharing with guests from around the world. But like all good gardens, we have grown and evolved. Anna Tasca Lanza has expanded as a non-profit bound to researching the roots and the reasons of Sicilian culinary history, and also to Cook the Farm, an immersive and experiential food education method that brings together participants from around the world to cook, eat and think about food landscapes at our Sicilian cooking classes.
No good food without good agriculture, is my motto.
My mother was a visionary, and her work has revealed to me two things that I believe are the foundation of Anna Tasca Lanza. First, that I discovered, luckily young enough, that love piles up. The fact that this place has been cherished and loved generation after generation shows deeply. It is the soul of Case Vecchie. And secondly, that my mothers’ vision was free, like any good vision should be. Free from the ties of the market and bound to her intentions. I think this should be the lead for everyone—it is definitely for me. You are truly privileged, not when you have money or power, but when you can listen to what your internal voice has to say. This I saw in my mother and is my commitment today."
Anna Tasca Lanza was the first of four children (born Tasca, married to a Lanza) and had always lived in Palermo. At 15 she was sent to L’Ecole Ménagère de Lausanne Briamond, where she learned some notions of French cuisine and, basically, how to be a good wife. After marrying and raising Fabrizia, Anna took up the project of breathing new life into Case Vecchie. Within a few years, Anna knew and worked with stars of international cuisines such as Julia Child, James Beard, Alice Waters, Carol Field, Robert Mondavi, and the Coppolas. Anna went on to publish two books in America, The Heart of Sicily and Flavors of Sicily.
The Food of Sicily by Fabrizia Lanza
In this all-new 2023 cookbook by Fabrizia Lanza, one of the world’s greatest food cultures is distilled in 75 recipes for the home cook, plus a loving tribute to its ingredients, passions, influences, and history.
Fabrizia Lanza is the owner and Executive Director of Anna Tasca Lanza, a cooking school established by her mother Anna in 1987 on her family’s 200-year-old agricultural estate in the heart of Sicily. For 25 years as an art curator, ultimately directing two museums in the north of Italy before returning to her native Sicily where, over the last decade, she has transformed her mother’s cooking school into a hub of Sicilian food knowledge and culture. She is the author of Olive: A Global History, Coming Home to Sicily, Tenerumi, and L’ultimo dei Monsù. In 2012 she produced a short documentary Amuri: The Sacred Flavors of Sicily and debuted Amaro, a short film about the bitter flavor in Sicilian food and culture in 2020.
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