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Rome Services: Cooking Schools
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While vacationing in Italy, many of us are not satisfied with merely tasting the cuisine, we want to be able to cook it for ourselves. Italian cooking lessons are one of the country's hottest tourist attractions. Make it a day's entertainment during your stay in Rome, or visit one of the many country houses where you can combine your stay with a cooking course. These are some of our favorites. No time for cooking school? Find recipes, food ideas and more at the blog www.2friends4cooking.com


Pepe Verde Accademia di Alta Cucina, Roma

In a 12th century building near the Pantheon, the school, which has been in business for twenty years, offers both basic and more advanced courses of five to twelve lessons, as well as specialized single seminars on topics such as pasta frolla, zuppa di pesce and fritto vegetariano. Courses, conducted in English, French and Italian, are taught by a staff of expert chefs, many with international teaching and professional backgrounds. Students sit on university style benches to watch the master chef's demonstrations, with a live video feed for close-up viewing.
Via Santa Caterina da Siena 46, Rome tel 06 679 0528
Pepe Verde-Accademia del Gusto
www.pepeverde.it email: info@pepeverde.it

A Tavola Con Lo Chef, Roma
Located in a fashionable Roman neighbourhood, A Tavola con lo Chef has an impressive reputation among local Italians. The school offers courses in Italian cooking in three languages: English, French and Danish. Recognized by the Unione Regionale Cuochi Lazio and the Federazione Italiana Cuochi, with courses for professionals and amateurs who simply enjoy the art of cooking.They will also organize special classes for groups of tourists. Courses range from basic cooking to vegetarian cuisine to fancy pastries. In 2005, the center opened a second location in Rome's Monte Mario district.
Via Dei Gracchi, 60 (Prati)
Via della Pineta Sacchetti, 263 (Monte Mario)
tel 06 322 2096
www.atavolaconlochef.it





Maureen B. Fant
, Roma
Food writer and historian Maureen B. Fant (author of the Williams-Sonoma Rome cookbook) offers a morning cooking class that begins with a visit to the Testaccio market, followed by an informal lesson at her apartment near the Coliseum and a discussion over lunch. Open to groups of one to six people.
www.maureenbfant.com

 





Cooking at Antonelli San Marco, an Umbrian Winery
The hills surrounding the ancient town of Montefalco produce some of the finest wines in Italy, most notably the Umbrian Sangrantino, Montefalco Rosso and Grechetto. The Strada del Sangrantino threads through the vineyards, where wineries open their cantinas to tourists for tasting and stocking up on bottles that may be hard to find elsewhere. One of the largest and most important of these, the Villa Antonelli, also offers a cooking school, with lessons taught in English by Australian Wendy Auselbrook along with expert Italian home cooks Teresa and Leonella, who pass down local recipes that have been in their families for generations. .The winery boasts a state-of-the-art kitchen in a villa overlooking acres of vines.
One-day cooking lessons can be booked, either or a full morning or an evening session followed by a leisurely meal, savouring the dishes you've just prepared. The cost includes a guided tour of the winery and set of printed recipes. €120 per persons, must be reserved two days in advance.
Two-day cooking course, the "Cucina in Cantina" packages includes two nights' accomodation at the adjoining B&B San Marco with breakfast, tour of the wine cellar, two wine tastings, lunch and dinner. €260 per person in a double room. Single room surcharge is €30 per night. Bookings are essential with a minimum of one week in advance.
Contact Wendy Aulsebrook tel 0742 379158 or 338 7207870.
wendy@antonellisanmarco.it      www.antonellisanmarco.it


Where:
Loc. San Marco 60, Montefalco (Pg) – Italy In the rolling Umbrian hills near the historic town of Montefalco, in a recently restored traditional stone farmhouse with views over the countryside, wifi and all the conveniences. The area is home to some of the best olive groves and wineries in Italy, and dotted with medieval villages. Nearby historic cities include Foligno, Bevagna, Spoleto, Assisi, Todi, Orvieto, Gubbio, Spello and Deruta.
By train:
The nearest station is at Foligno, 15 km away. Trains leave frequently from Rome's Stazione Termini.
By car:
Take the A1 highway towards Firenze, exit at Orte. When you come through the toll booth, follow the signs towards Terni, for 21 kilometers (highway E45); stay on the E45. Take exit Massa Martana toward Bastardo 180 m 25. Merge onto SS316 Go through 2 roundabouts 6.2 km 26. Turn right to stay on SS316 8.6 km 27. Keep right at the fork Continue to follow SS316 4.9 km 28. Turn right onto Via Roma in Bastardo/SS316. Follow the signs to Montefalco.




Slow Cooking in Umbria
Jenny Nichols, an English freelance chef, was trained at the Cordon Bleu Cooking Institute in London longer ago than she cares to remember (at a time when the expression "wonderful English cook" was still considered an oxymoron). For the last 35 years, she has been cooking for private clients all over the world. Her specialties are Mediterranean cuisine, cakes and desserts. A committed supporter of the Slow Food Movement and committed to ecological concerns, her vegetable garden is as important to her as her stove. An important principle of her approach to cooking is that nothing at all goes to waste. (One of her courses is "Cooking with leftovers".)
www.slowcooking.homestead.com
email: jenny@slowcookingumbria.com
tel 348 323 6704 or 075 941 0799 fax: 06 3600 4028
Where:
Ca' Di Gosto is a large farmhouse situated in the very rural Niccone valley between Cortona in Tuscany and Umbertide just inside the border with Umbria. The house is home to Jenny and David Nichols, their daughter Daisy and several dogs, cats, chickens and ducks. They offer bed and breakfast, dinners and cooking classes.
The Niccone valley is separated from Cortona and its famous Valdichianna valley by a range of hills which keeps life here tranquil and slow. The valley is given over almost entirely to agriculture, with vineyards, fields of maize and sunflowers, as well as the remnants of an earlier tradition of tobacco cultivation.

Cortona, the closest major tourist center is a 20-minute drive from Ca' Di Gosto, which is set in a triangle enclosed by three central Italian cities rich in history and art: Arezzo, Siena and Perugia. Gubbio, Città di Castello, San Seprolco and Lago di Trasaminaquel, Orvieto, Assisi and Florence are within a 2 hour drive from Cortona.
Getting there:
By Train:
Rail Line Roma-Firenze - Stazione Termini, Roma
From Rome rail service is a bit over an hour to the local station of Terontola in Umbria.
By car:
Exit Autostrada A1 Roma-Firenze direction Orte. Exit Orte and take 3bis to Umbertide continue on 3bis to Mercantale (20 kilometers).
Alternatively, take the E45 highway (raccordo Siena-Perugia) towards Perugia. After passing through the toll booth, take the second exit for Cortona (Cortona-San Lorenza) and follow signs for Mercatale, (approximately four kilometres) to the Slow Cooking Homestead location at Ca' di Gosto.


Savouring the Sannio: Villa Terre di Conca
A beautiful but lesser known region of Italy, the Sannio in Campania between Rome and Naples, is home to a wide spectrum of culinary delights — think genuine bufalo mozzarella, wild asparagus, virno mushrooms, apples, chestnuts, olive oil and Falenghina wine. American-born Barbara Goldfield and her Italian husband Francesco, through their Savour the Sannio program, offer a four-day cooking retreat with local master chef and culinary archaeologist Berardino Lombardo. It's a chance to study regional Italian cuisine with a native. Lombardo's philosophy is based on three basic principles: respect the land, follow the seasons and always keep in mind the history behind each recipe. He has created an organic farm to supply all the ingredients — fruit, vegetables, meat, and poultry — used in his cooking classes. Participants make seasonal dishes, bake bread, pies and cakes in an outdoor wood-bruning oven, see how mozzarella is made, visit local wine cellars, tour the archeological museum at nearby Teano, taste local olive oils at a medieval castle, and wind up with a gala dinner and Neapolitan music. All inclusive including lodging and meals: €1250 per person for a group of four; €1120 for a group of six; €1050 per person for a group of eight. Courses can be customized
tel 08 23 953 663
www.savourthesannio.com

Where:
In an 18th century villa surrounded by woods and streams with 40 acres of fields and orchards, free-ranging cows, pigs, chickens, capons, and geese. All the rooms in the villa offer en suite bathrooms, embroidered sheets and lace curtains. There's an expansive living room with a huge fireplace and a swimming pool.
Getting there:
By train
Take the Rome-Naples line from Termini station to Caserta, where you will be met and driven to the villa.
By car
Take the A1 highway towards Naples. Exit at Caianiello and follow the highway SS6/SP 86 for eight kilometers, turn left towards Conca della Campania and go on as far as the village of Piantoli.

Cooking School in Tuscany: Badia A Coltibuono
For more than 1000 years, Badia di Coltibuono has maintained the rich farming tradition begun by the Vallombrosian monks. The organic system they developed was abandoned in later centuries but has been re-established by the present owners. The estate covers over 900 hectares yielding production in wine, olive oil and other foods. Coltibuono offers a restaurant and courses in Italian cuisine.
Where:
Badia Coltibuono is located in Upper Chianti, the Tuscany's prized wine region. The locale is surrounded by acres of fir and conifer trees that spread along the ridge looking out across the Arno Valley on one side and the Chianti hills on the other. Recent archaeological finds in the woodland area of Cetamura include Etruscan settlements, Roman baths and Medieval ruins.

Badis di Coltibuono
Loc. Tornano - S.p. 408
Km. 22,200
53013 Gaiole in Chianti (Sienna)
Cooking School Guido Stucchi Prinetti
www.coltibuono.com
badia@coltibuono.com
tel 0577 74481
fax 744839
Getting there:
Take the A1 highway (Roma-Firenze) towards Firenze, exit at Montevarchi SS408. Continue on SS408 to Gaiole in Chianti (approximately 15 km).


In a Tuscan Farmhouse: Food Artisans at Poggio Etrusco
American Pamela Sheldon Johns, the author of fifteen cookbooks, runs a cooking school at the Tuscan farmhouse she shares with her husband Johnny and daughter Alia. The programs include visits to the local towns and markets, cooking in the farmhouse kitchen, and sharing a meal at the long wooden table. Johns offers a variety of interesting options, including focus on pasta, cheese, the artisanal pantry or the classic Tuscan stew ribollita. One-day cooking classes are held in English for a minimum of two participants at €175. Multi-day workshops are also available, with residence at the John's farmhouse, Poggio Etrusco, which offers three apartments and one double bedroom. The farm has 15 acres of olive groves, a swimming pool, a kitchen garden, and beautiful views of the Tuscan countryside. The classes were rated among Italy's top cooking schools by Food and Wine magazine.
Via del Pelago 11, Loc. Fontecornino
53045 Montepulciano
tel-fax 0578 798 370
www.poggio-etrusco.com


Getting there:
Take the A1 highway (Roma-Firenze) twoards Firenze; exit at Chiusi; go left toward Chianciano Terme and Montepulciano. This is SS 146. Poggio Etrusco is off SS 146.