Speaking Tuscan in the Kitchen

Speaking Tuscan in the Kitchen

with Nancy Harmon Jenkins

 at Villa Campestri Olive Oil Resort    May 20 - 26, 2012   

Join us for 6 days at 4-star Villa Campestri, high on a wooded hillside overlooking one of Tuscany's most beautiful valleys, 30 minutes north of Florence. In five hands-on classes cook your savory way through the best loved dishes of Tuscan traditions. Visit local cheese makers and a winery, forage for wild edibles for risottos, bake breads in wood-fired oven and learn the art of olive oil gelato.  Limited to 12 guests. 2500 euros plus $500 deposit per person.

Day 1, Sunday, May 20.

Welcome to the beautifully restored Renaissance Villa Campestri. Check into your tastefully appointed guest room and begin to discover the gardens, the terrace, the peaceful surroundings.

Before dinner, meet your fellow guests and hosts at a Welcome Reception on the terrace and talk about plans for the exciting week ahead. Then dine in the villa's award-winning restaurant L’Olivaia and taste the traditions of Tuscan cooking with olive oil.

Day 2, Monday, May 21.

After breakfast begin with the ingredients of the Tuscan pantry-- tasting and comparing everything from olive oil to wild fennel pollen.

Morning.  1st Cooking class: Traditional Tuscan Dishes with Nancy and Campestri's Chef Roberto (Jerry) Zanieri. Experiment with classic dishes using fresh produce from May gardens and some pantry items we’ve tasted. Dishes may include gnudi (potato & spinach gnocchi), pollo al mattone (spring chicken roasted under a brick), fresh fava beans and sweet young peas and the deliciously simple panna cotta, served with wild berries.

Lunch at the Villa.

Afternoon.  Olive Oil tasting. We’ll follow a structured olive oil tasting under the expert guidance of Dr. Gemma Pasquali. As we taste six different oils we begin to understand the nuances and flavors. We taste the differences between premium extra virgin oils and the supermarket oils, learning how the these differences can add distinction to every dish.  Nancy will describe the making of olive oil from branch to bottle, and introduce us to the award-winning  technique invented by the Villa’s founder, Paolo Pasquali, that preserves the oil's freshness after pressing. 

Dinner tonight at a popular ristorante in the nearby village.

Day 3, Tuesday, May 22.

After breakfast stroll through the Villa’s olive groves with Gemma, looking at the early flowering of olives and begin to understand the care and maintenance of the hardy olive tree.

Morning. Visit Scarperia, one of Tuscany's hidden villages and watch old world craftsmen hand-produce fine cutlery from butter knives to butcher's cleavers.

Lunch at a local trattoria.

Late Afternoon. 2nd cooking class: Baking in the wood-fired oven. Using the Villa’s wood-fired oven, we’ll bake a variety of traditional Tuscan breads and foccaccie including a festive bread, whole-wheat loaves, the historic salt-free bread and other dishes that are brought to life in the live-fire masonry oven.

 Dinner in Restaurant L’Olivaia at Villa Campestri.

 Day 4. Wednesday, May 23.

Morning. 3rd Class: Foraging & Risottos. With famed chef Salvatore Denaro, we’ll scour the grounds and wooded hills of Villa Campestri searching for wild greens, mushrooms, pencil-thin wild asparagus and other surprises to turn into delicious risottos which we will prepare for lunch.

After lunch free time to enjoy the Villa

Afternoon. 4th Cooking Class: The Simple Art of Handmade Pastas and Sauces.

With the Villa’s chef, Jerry Zanieri, we’ll discover how to make fresh, egg-based pasta and turn it into a variety of dishes using a range of sauces, from the simple aglio-olio-peperoncino (garlic, oil, chili peppers) to the complexities of an old-fashioned ragu.

Pasta dinner at Villa Campestri's ristorante Olivaia.

Day 5, Thursday, May 24.

Morning. Visit to nearby producers of fine cheeses and salumi (prosciutto, salame, pancetta, etc.) to sample some of the best.

A visit, in-depth tasting and delightful lunch with the wine-maker at a noted Chianti Rufina (DOCG) winery.

Relax the rest of the afternoon at Villa Campestri. Perhaps try an olive oil massage or a bike ride through the countryside.

Dinner ‘at home’ tonight at the Villa.

 Day 6, Friday, May 25th

Morning. 5th Cooking Class:  Olive Oil in the Tuscan Kitchen. Olive oil is an integral part of the Tuscan kitchen, most chefs and cooks wouldn’t dream of using anything else. Today we’ll learn fearless methods of frying, sautéing, braising and poaching as well as how to use olive oil as a garnish. We’ll top it off with making extra-virgin gelato.

Lunch on olive oil dishes made in class

Free afternoon to enjoy the Villa. Pack, relax or take a walk through the woods to the stream and a panoramic view of the valley.

Before Dinner.  A formal Wine Tasting with wine authority Ian d’Agata,joining us from Rome. We'll taste our way through the wines of Tuscany’s best known and most highly praised wineries, discovering what is new in the ever-evolving world of Tuscan viticulture.

Gala farewell dinner at Villa Campestri.

Day 7, Saturday, May 26.

Final breakfast together then assistance with departures throughout the morning. 

Itinerary subject to changes and improvement

Price for Speaking Tuscan in the Kitchen is 2500 euros plus a $500 deposit, per person, double occupancy.

Price Includes: 6 nights at the Villa Campestri, all meals with wines during the week at the Villa and at carefully selected restaurants nearby, wine tasting with noted wine-maker and lunch at Chianti winery, 5 cooking classes with Nancy Harmon Jenkins and Chef Zanieri, structured olive oil tasting, a formal wine tasting with Ian d’Agata, foraging with master forager and chef Salvatore Denaro, all transportation during the week and all events listed.

Not Included: Transportation to and from Florence (30 minutes south of the Villa) and massages.

To Reserve Your Place. A $500 per person deposit is required. Click the Register button and follow the prompts. Your deposit is refundable less $100 until final payment date which is March 15, 2012.

All final payments are made in euros directly to Villa Campestri, who will send you an invoice with details and information upon registration.

After final payment, March 15, 2012, there are no refunds. Travel insurance information will also be sent with registration confirmation.

If you have any questions or would like to speak to someone about Speaking Tuscan in the Kitchen, you can phone InsightOut Journeys at +1 503 646 1197 or info@G0ioj.com







Contact Information

Event Managers:  InsightOut Journeys, LLC 

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