A Chianti Experience: Our Cooking Class with Stefania and Giulietta

We’re looking forward to our return to Tuscany this year with two Chianti Experience groups. I’m already anticipating the fun our travelers will have on Sunday evening: our cooking class with Stefania and Giulietta. And of course, I’m relishing the thought of the great meal we’ll enjoy at the end of the class, everything prepared by the group.

CharleyMy husband and co-leader Charley always loves this evening. He was so inspired by our two teachers and their classes that he set part of his second book, A Villa in Tuscany, in a cooking school in Panzano.

The setting for our class is a special part of the experience: Giulietta’s 800-year old home, now a comfortable B&B. The old farmhouse is at the very bottom of the “Conca D’Oro,” the beautiful and fertile valley below the village of Panzano. We bump down the narrow gravel road in our two vans, passing vineyards and olive trees, and finally arrive at Fagiolari.

Chianti Experience

The old farmhouse at Fagiolari

Chianti Experience

View from the farmhouse

Stefania and Giulietta welcome us enthusiastically into the warm kitchen, where they’ve already organized everything we need for our cooking. Everyone dons an apron and most accept a glass of local wine… then they break into smaller groups in two adjoining rooms. One group is with Stefania and the other with Giuiletta.

Chianti Experience

Stefania explains the menu to her group

During the next three hours everyone works together to prepare our four-course meal. Dessert (dolce) is made first so it can chill while the other courses are prepared.

Chianti Experience

Making tiramisu (with Giulietta’s secret ingredient)

The meat (secondo) is next, then the vegetables (contorno).

Chianti Experience

There’s a job for everyone

Chianti Experience

Cooking the pepperonata

And last, the grand finale, the primo: homemade pasta. Everyone is excited to help make the dough, pass it through the pasta machine, and form the pasta shapes.

Chianti Experience

Mixing the flour and egg

Chianti Experience

Using the pasta machine

Chianti Experience

Forming the spinach ravioli (photo by J. van der Touw)

Chianti Experience

A perfect tray of tortellini

Chianti Experience

Hanging noodles to dry (photo by L. Tognetti)

Usually we make stuffed ravioli or tortellini as well as some noodles. There are so many alternatives with fresh pasta! Stefania dresses the pasta simply with butter and sage.

Everyone is involved and having fun… whether cooking in the kitchen or relaxing in the garden or Giulietta’s comfortable living room.

Taking a break in the garden (photo by S. Shirlen)

Taking a break in the garden (photo by S. Shirlen)

Time passes quickly as we cook, learn, and laugh together. We want to learn more about Tuscan cooking from Stefania and Guilietta, and we we also enjoy hearing their stories of life in this beautiful area of Italy. All the recipes for the dishes we’ve made– plus many more– are included in Stefania’s cookbook which we’re given to take home.

Finally, we sit together to share the meal the group has prepared… and yes, it’s delicious!! Many of us have seconds, and we scrape the tiramisu bowl clean.

Chianti Experience

Finally it’s time to enjoy our meal!

It’s the first full day of our week together and one of my favorite days of all our Experience trips. I love our friendly Italian hosts and this fun cooking class, sharing a delicious and leisurely meal in a beautiful setting. Friends gathering over food and wine… a perfect Chianti experience!

Interested in experiencing Chianti with us? We still have a few spots open in our 2014 Chianti Experience weeks: May 31-June 7 and June 7-14. Contact us for more information!

Kathy and Charley woodKathy Wood and her husband Charley lead European Experiences, week-long “slow tours” in some of the most beautiful areas of Europe, including The Luberon Experience in Provence, France. National Geographic Traveler magazine named The Luberon Experience one of their "Tours of a Lifetime" for 2012, the top 50 tours in the world.

Kathy and Charley offer Experience weeks in the Luberon, the Chianti region of Tuscany, Alsace, the Dordogne, and the Cotswolds. In 2017 they're offering a new European Christmas Experience trip, and in 2018 they're launching The Cornwall Experience in southwest England. See their 2017 and 2018 schedule here.

Kathy and Charley have been traveling in Europe for over 25 years and love sharing their special places in Europe with other travelers. They've hosted 85+ Experience groups since they launched in 2006. They now live part-time in their beloved village of Bonnieux in the Luberon. Read more about Kathy and Charley here.

Slow Travel Tours is an affiliation of small-group tour operators who offer personalized trips in Italy, France and other European countries.
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2 Responses to A Chianti Experience: Our Cooking Class with Stefania and Giulietta

  1. Hi Kathy & Charley! Your email with the pictures of Chianti cooking classes brought back warm and wonderful memories of my trip to Tuscany with you and the group. Carlos and I are so looking forward to our Cotswold trip this summer. It will do him good, plus his daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren are living in London.

  2. Kathy Wood says:

    Sharon, I’m glad you enjoyed the post about our fun Chianti cooking classes. Looking forward to seeing you and Carlos in the Cotswolds this summer!

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