Starting from October 21st to October 27th, 2013 - Your focus is olive oil, and you'll be glad: through tastings, cooking classes, and traditional dinners, you'll explore one of the most widely used and most misunderstood ingredients in the modern (and ancient) kitchen. Writer, historian, and food authority Nancy Harmon Jenkins leads, this time with Chef Deborah Madison - you cook, and eat, and learn.
Day 1: Olive Oil Tasting, Reception, and Dinner
Jump right into Tuscan culture. Learn the process of olive oil production from Nancy Harmon Jenkins, taste the results with agronomist Gemma Pasquali, and, with an aperitivo in hand, mosey on to dinner at the Villa's award-winning restaurant, l’Olivaia.
Day 2: Market, Molino, Trattoria Lunch, Cooking Class, and Wine. Tasting
Today, you're Tuscan. Start the day off right with a trip to the farmers' market, molino (grist mill), and a traditional lunch, and then, the cooking begins. Prepare classic Tuscan dishes, like risotto or torta di ricotta, and before dinner, join renowned wine authority Burton Anderson for a structured wine tasting of Tuscany's finest.
Day 3: Grove Tour, Tasting, and Two Cooking Classes
. Stroll the oliveto (olive groves) with Gemma, peek inside the olive mill, and head to the Oleoteca for another tasting, this time focusing on the typical defects of mass-produced oil. Spend the rest of the day cooking -- first with the olive oil you've just learned about, and then with Italian breads and pizza from the wood-fired oven.
Day 4: Selvapiana Winery, Mongili Family Cheese Farm
, visit the hillside vineyards and estate cellars that produce Tuscany's famed Chianti Rufina. After you taste straight from the barrel, eat a homemade lunch, and make a stop to see how sheep's milk cheese is made. (Don't worry, you'll get to taste-test this too).
Day 5: Pasta Demo and Class, Mountain-Top Lunch, Final Olive Oil Tasting, Dinner
Rise and shine -- pasta-making class starts the day, and then you're mountain-bound. Lunch is beef cooked over an open fire, eaten high in the mountains between Tuscany and Emilia Romagna. After you take it all in, attend another olive oil tasting, make a trip to nearby Scarperia, Italy's knife-making capital, and close the night with a Tuscan feast.
Day 6: Cooking Class with Guest Chef, Free Afternoon, and Gala Dinner.
What better way to recap everything you've learned than through a cooking class? Eat lunch, and then it's up to you: stroll the olive groves one last time, relax, and rest up for the final gala dinner at Campestri.
Day 7: Departure Day
. Stroll the groves on last time, pack, and don't forget to take home a sample of Villa Campestri's own olive oil to remember the trip by.
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