Cooking Classes. iCook

Discover yourself. In front of a stove!

If you think that cooking is a way to discover and reveal your personality, we agree with you. Our exclusive Tuscan cuisine classes tackle various issues so that you can learn to create with precision the dishes that attract you most. During these classes you will feel free to use your creative touch as well as to communicate your vision of cooking.

Unlike many Chefs that never reveal their secrets, our Chef Cristian Borchi, is an exception to the rule.  He is willing to share the secrets of his creative touch in first-rate cuisine. He is also happy to nourish your culinary talents with a brief and intense 2 hour course in Villa Campestri’s spacious kitchen. You may choose between two options: one lesson on one topic, or five lessons on five different mornings.

Thanks to these Tuscan cooking lessons, and the advice of our chef, you will learn to create traditional dishes of this rich and extraordinary land. Examine the specifics of these cooking classes and choose the ones that interest you most. Enjoy!

Course 1. Simply Olive Oil. And no cooking.

You will learn how easy it is to prepare a complete menu with Olive Oil and fresh, high quality, local ingredients without even having to cook them! The menu could include the preparation of: a fresh porcini mushroom salad (if in season), fresh seasonal vegetables with rucola and slivers of aged cheese, caprese salad with our “ox heart” tomatoes and mozzarella from the historic Palagiaccio farm, panzanella (Tuscan bread salad with tossed vegetables), thinly sliced raw beef with morsels of  fresh cheese and julienne bell peppers, and a desert of strawberries or other seasonal fruit with “zabaione” made with Olive Oil.  An extra virgin olive oil with a specific sensory profile will be chosen for each recipe.

Course 2. Homemade pasta.

Homemade pasta is a widespread culinary tradition in Tuscany. Our Chef Cristian Borchi will reveal secrets for preparing excellent quality pasta. You will make and roll out basic egg pasta dough in many shapes and colors. You will also learn to prepare potato gnocchi (nicknamed “little mice” in Mugello), ricotta and spinach ravioli, and the potato tortello, a specialty of “Mugellana” cuisine.

Course 3. Sauces of Tuscan cuisine.

Learn to prepare meat sauce, fresh tomato sauce, basil pesto, mushroom sauce, and walnut sauce to flavor your pasta. Discover the secrets of a perfect fresh porcini mushroom sauce, if in season, or a dried mushroom and sausage sauce. You will also learn to prepare the sauces for canapés, such as a chicken liver paté with capers and anchovies.

Per insaporire la pasta, e non solo, imparerai a preparare: il ragù di carne, la pomarola di pomodoro fresco, il pesto di basilico, il ragù di funghi e la salsa di noci, la salsa per il “crostino nero” e il paté di fegatini di pollo insaporiti con capperi e acciuga. Infine, imparerai i segreti per un perfetto condimento ai funghi porcini freschi (se in stagione) o, in alternativa, il sugo di salsiccia e funghi secchi.

Course 4. Bread, pizza, and focaccia.

Tuscans take bread seriously. Tradition requires that not even a crumb of bread should be wasted. It is for this reason that bread is a fundamental ingredient of traditional dishes such as panzanella (a bread salad with tossed vegetables), pappa col pomodoro (a thick bread and tomato soup), and many others. During the course you will learn to make bread, “bread fantasia”, Olive Oil buns, focaccia, and the pizza “Margherita”.

Course 5. Desserts.

Conclude your meal with a dessert. You will learn to make the most famous desserts of Tuscan tradition: “Cantucci di Prato” (almond cookies – even the dark chocolate version) served with Vin Santo. “Torta di ricotta del pastore”, shepherd’s ricotta cheese pie. “Torta della Nonna”, Grandmother’s pie with a sweet pastry made with Campestri honey served with fresh seasonal fruit such as strawberries in the spring, peaches and apricots in the summer, figs towards the end of summer, and chestnuts towards the end of autumn. “Zuppa Inglese”, English trifle, the historic recipe of Pellegrino Artusi, the great grandfather of modern Italian cuisine.

Participants can try all the steps of the preparation of these dishes during the lessons. Minimum 2 participants.

A lesson on one topic costs € 100.00 per person; two lessons on two topics cost € 200.00 per person. The cost of a cycle of 3, 4, or 5 lessons is € 80.00 per person for each lesson. Costs include the recipes of the lessons and the tasting of the dishes prepared during the course.

Please contact us for further information. Come and discover the secrets of Tuscan cooking at our prestigious Renaissance villa.

Don’t’ forget that you can also participate in our Oil Tasting Seminars within the charming Oleoteca of Villa Campestri.

Durante le lezioni i partecipanti hanno la possibilità di esercitarsi in tutti gli aspetti della preparazione. Minimo 2 partecipanti.

Una lezione su un solo argomento è di € 100,00 a persona; due lezioni su due argomenti è di € 200,00 a persona. Nel caso di cicli di tre, quattro o cinque lezioni il costo per ogni lezione è di € 80,00 a persona. Il costo include il Ricettario della lezione svolta e la degustazione dei piatti eseguiti durante il corso.

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