Schedule / Reserve
Culinary Vacations: Every vacation offers lots of hands-on cooking (two mulitcourse meals a day), and one big excursion day (where we eat one meal out and only come home to cook dinner together). You don’t need to be an excellent or experienced cook to enjoy these vacations — because classes are small, everyone can learn at their own pace. On the other hand, even experienced and knowledgeable cooks will learn new techniques and different ways of cooking. We live on an Italian schedule, eating dinner at 8:00 in the evening, and having long leisurely lunches in the middle of the day. We try to schedule two breaks a day for down time, reading, walking, exploring or conversation. Every day also includes a small excursion to or visits from a food producer or local artisan.

When you arrive, you will receive a cookbook made for that vacation, detailing our schedule, our menus, what each class is designed to teach, and every recipe for each dish we will cook together. Every vacation begins with an olive oil talk and tasting, grounding guests in the flavors of the region. We then proceed to the kitchen to begin our vacation together, cooking savory olive oil pastries to accompany our celebratory start of the session. Every meal is accompanied by local wine.

SICILY
Classical Sicily — classic food and classical sites
We will visit the Valley of the Temples and Piazza Armerina, home of the Villa Roman del Casale. We will travel to Caltagirone for ceramics, and have a meal at a rustic restaurant serving local food. We will also visit a wine maker and a cheesemaker, along with (on other days) small local stops at open air markets and fishmongers. Except for our big excursion day, we will be cooking two meals a day together, making dishes that reflect the sea, Arab influences, and the fruits of the soil.

Sicilian Easter Traditions and Holiday Foods
Holidays bring out the best and richest ingredients in the Sicilian larder, and we will be cooking many of these festival foods together. From a sweet Easter bread made with whole eggs baked into a wreath, to Pasqual Lamb, to Saffron-scented Ricotta pies. Our menus will be based on the foods of the season, the traditions of the people, and the joys of early spring. In addition, we will explore some local sights, both classical and modern, with a view to understanding and appreciating the ancient ways of welcoming the rebirth of the earth.

TUSCANY:

Celebrating the Tuscan harvest
October is the start of the olive harvest, and we will see and taste the first olives being pressed into oil. The last of the season’s tomatoes and zucchini are still available, along with new mushrooms, root vegetables, sturdy greens and chestnuts. This is the season of polenta, of sausages, of roasted chestnuts and new oil, and we will be cooking with all these ingredients and more, making everything from fresh pasta to polenta to gnocchi, to roast pork filled with fennel, and thin-crusted pizza and breads in the wood burning oven. We will also make desserts of the season, incorporating local ingredients and traditions in all our meals.

Olive Oil, Local Wine, and Local Cheeses: the building blocks of Tuscan cuisine
From new oil to extraordinary wines, our meals on this vacation will be drenched in the flavors of Tuscany, built literally from the ground we walk on, filled with the flavors of place. We will visit a pig farm and sample their products, taste wine at a great winery, watch goat cheese being made, and see olives being pressed. We will cook in an outdoor wood fired oven as well as indoors, all the while celebrating the great ingredients of the Tuscan countryside.
Tuscany - May 8 - 15 SOLD OUT and Sicily dates to be determined. Each year we sell out our Italy vacations very rapidly. For dates, availability and more information, please contact Deborah Krasner directly.