While trying to find things to do during our Italy Adventure "that is not going to be all about wine" Koala found many cooking lesson opportunities. However that being said most were very expensive or did not suit the needs of the group or the trip schedule.
The need / plan was for the ladies to enjoy their own cooking Adventure and then when the boys finished with their wine adventure, they would rejoin the girls to consume their cooking (brilliant plan). The discovery and eventual booking with Authentic Tuscany - Cooking Classes in the Chianti hills was as it turns out a stroke of great luck (Koala says genius). They were flexible with there arrangements and also sent the boy's on an Adventure to a revered Macelleria in San Donato in Poggio and then on to what was a wonderful tour and taste of wine and olive oil at the nearby Estate of Fattoria di Montecchio.
The directions provided by Silvio of Authentic Tuscany Cooking Classes made finding the place relatively easy. Come to find out Silvio conducts wine tours in the Tuscan area as well. After spending time with him over dinner and talking food and wine we think he would do a great tour (next time Silvio). The boys left the ladies in the capable hands of Silvio, Manuela and their daughter and took off on their own Adventure. So following is a diatribe, er, narrative as presented by the girls:
"We began our cooking experience with dessert (this dish needed the most time to prepare, cook and cool), a delicious apple cake with almond butter (frangipane). With the help of Manuela and Silvio, we quickly had the dough mixed and smoothed into the bottom of the pan, the apples peeled, sliced and arranged with the frangipane. Once our dessert was in the oven, we began working on our fresh tomato sauce. Together we cut onions, celery, carrots and tomatoes into large pieces and placed them in a pot with olive oil and garlic to begin cooking. Next up was our homemade fettuccine. We mixed and kneaded and kneaded some more (what an arm workout!).
While our pasta dough sat we began work on our stuffed turkey breast. Silvio peeled the grapes while we chopped fresh rosemary and sage. The turkey breast was stuffed, rolled, closed and then placed in a pan with hot oil to begin browning. We later added broth and wine and allowed the turkey to continue cooking while we continued work on our pasta and sauce. Manuela later guided us through the process of making a fantastic and easy to make Crostini Stracchino and sausage Antipasti. When the boys returned from their adventures, we sat down to a delicious meal paired with wine (provided by Silvio).
Hear hear. Kiwi and Koala were very satisfied.
The day was one we will always remember fondly and we all give Authentic Tuscany - Cooking Classes in the Chianti hills a hearty 'recommend'.
Happy Wine Adventures,
Kiwi & Koala