THE ART OF COOKING
Taking a cooking class while on vacation in Italy is very popular among travelers, who often choose to take part in one and couple it – say – with a nice wine tasting or a fine (hopefully!) dinner, that they themselves will have prepared following their chef’s instructions. What’s not to like? Besides being a fun way to improve your culinary skills and take them home, I find that cooking together brings people closer, and since you’ll be learning in a stress-free and pressure-free environment with no need to impress anybody (yet), pizza baking or a pasta making class is very entertaining.
Cooking and good food are two things that Italians take very seriously, but also it all starts in the family. That’s where you get your first live tutorials and are entrusted with recipes passed down from one generation to the next. You cook, and while you cook, you eat a little, with the excuse of checking if it needs more of this or more of that, and while you eat a little, you chat away till the pasta cooks al dente, the ragout simmers down, the osso buco becomes tender. Nothing goes to waste.
Then you move it all – cooking results and conversation – to the table. You’ll find this atmosphere in a cooking class, as you’ll see the love of the culinary arts and travel combined into an extraordinary cultural experience. Teaching can take place in traditional farmhouse at the gates of Florence or in a Roman rooftop attic with terrace: we – at Cultural Italy – offer cooking classes in every major location. You’ll have the unique opportunity to explore one of the most beautiful countries in the world while learning about regional and national cuisine through a customized class run by local chefs, who – mind you – can well be the signora who never really went to a culinary school, but can really teach many chefs out there. Regardless, the classes always take place in professionally equipped kitchen areas and they’re always an extremely welcoming and of course clean environment.
Some classes are coupled with a visit to the local market, where you’ll be guided through the ample choice of products offered on the many stands, and you’ll learn how to recognize quality and freshness at first glance and touch. An Italian open-air market is always colorful and vivacious and so are its vendors. It is an entire experience not to be missed. Learn to cook authentic Italian food, and savor culture and traditions. You’ll mingle with other people, share some dough, and laugh.
Nicoletta Lucia Paganucci