From Monday 28th October to November 3rd 2013 - The Art of Eating Well: a Tuscan getaway with Emiko Davies discovering traditional recipes through the great-grandfather of Italian cuisine, Pellegrino Artusi - and the Art of making excellent extra-virgin Olive Oil.
Join food writer, blogger and photographer Emiko Davies, “the Renaissance woman for the Internet era” as Amanda Hesser calls her as one of her 100 favourite Food Voices, for a 6-Day All-Inclusive Tuscan getaway at a four-star Resort Villa Campestri near Florence, a Renaissance manor house transformed into the first Olive Oil Resort in the world. Villa Campestri is the winner of the 2013 Traveler's Choice Award for the Top 25 Small Hotels in Italy!
Monday - Arrival at Villa Campestri Olive Oil Resort. Welcome introduction by Emiko Davies about the philosophy of the tour, first olive oil tasting with agronomist Gemma Pasquali and welcoming aperitivo in the Oleoteca, the old cellar of the Villa. Welcome dinner at the Villa's restaurant.
Tuesday - Bizzarri apothecary shop and Mercato Centrale market in Florence + optional tour with English mother-tongue guide: the taxi driver will drop us right in the center of florence, we will go to Bizzarri, a nineteenth century apothecary shop to buy spices and handmade candied fruit for the “panforte” recipe and then we will walk to Mercato Centrale passing by some historic "buchette del vino" or wine doors. We will buy ingredients for the cookery courses we will do on Wed. Lunch “da Nerbone”. 2 or more optional hours spent with an English mother-tongue guide or hanging around the center. Late afternoon transfer back to Villa Campestri. Dinner at the Restaurant of the Resort.
Wed - First cookery course with Emiko Davies "The Art of Eating Well" - a morning devoted to recreating the recipes of Pellegrino Artusi with the ingredients we bought at the market the day before. Program of the cooking class: pappardelle all'aretina (a typical dish from Arezzo of handmade pappardelle pasta with an unforgettable sauce made by braising a whole duck), braciuole nella scamerita (a classic Florentine recipe of pork shoulder chops with red wine braised Tuscan kale), torta di zucca gialla (Artusi's pumpkin pie - a delicate crustless and gluten-free cake), panforte (a spiced Christmas cake from Siena).
Lunch at Villa Campestri eating what we prepared. In the afternoon second olive tasting with Gemma.
Thursday - This morning will be devoted to the art of making good wine and we will head to a famous winery in the heart of the area of Chianti Rufina. Visit of the vineyards and cellar of the estate. Lunch in the Fattoria. In the afternoon we will visit a pecorino cheese producer and making cheese - raveggiolo pecorino and ricotta. Dinner at Villa Campestri.
Friday - Stroll in the oliveto, visit to our mill, third olive oil tasting with Gemma. Back to the Kitchen for the second cookery courses. Program of the class: Salsa verde (a classic Italian sauce for a variety dishes), funghi fritti (fried mushrooms), zuppa di fagioli (bean soup) e la passata di ceci (creamy chickpea soup). The idea here is not only to use the oil for cooking but to show how a good oil makes a necessary and wonderful condiment to these kind of soups. We will continue with quattro quarti all'italiana all’olio (Italian pound cake with olive oil). Lunch at Villa Campestri. In the afternoon we will head to a fabulous romantic old flour mill and we will see how it works - we will buy farina di castagne (chestnut flour) and polenta for the last cookery course of the next day. Late afternoon we will have an interesting wine tasting and a light dinner at the Villa's restaurant.
Saturday - The art of making knives at Scarperia, we will see how a hand-made knife is produced in the old bottega del coltellinaio. We will continue on to a brilliant restaurant high up in the mountains between Tuscany and Emilia Romagna to savour the best beef cooked over an open fire.
Back at Villa Campestri we will meet in the Kitchen for the last cookery course using the flours we bought at the mill. Program of the class: Necci (Tuscan chestnut flour crepes with ricotta), polenta colle salsicce (baked polenta with sausage ragu), paste di farina gialla (polenta and elderflower cookies), castagnaccio (Tuscan chestnut cake).
Gala dinner at Villa Campestri.
Sunday - Departure.