Explore Cooking Classes in Northern Italy
The Tuscany region of Italy, northern Italy, is one of the most popular culinary sources of inspiration among chefs—the cuisine is dynamic, but traditional and sometimes rustic. Cooking schools in Tuscany are dissimilar to most modern American colleges. You’ll find private, vacation cooking schools that cater to food enthusiasts and professional chefs. Classes are small, intimate affairs that illustrate traditional practices and provide tasting tours of the region’s best food.
If your career aspirations include specializing in Italian cuisine, consider studying abroad – at the heart of the Italian tradition. Schools offer courses and workshops that last from 1 day, to a few months. A long weekend instructional workshop in preparing gelato, or a cultural foray into an Italian farmers market impart volumes of culinary knowledge that far exceed a cursory chapter in an American chef program.
Mario Batali is a Food Network pioneer whose long-running series, Molto Mario, brought regional Italian cooking into the matrices of countless epicurean TV viewers. Italian regional distinctions are characterized by nuances in flavor, which Batali presented in unintimidating TV lessons.
Simplicity is a defining feature of Italian food that adheres to a less-is-more culinary philosophy. Batali cemented the notion by outlining typical progressions of daily food preparation in Italy. In Batali’s estimation, the meal starts with a trip to the market to see what is available on any given day. An Italian menu emerges through a practical assessment of what’s freshest and most abundant.
For culinary students, and modern chefs, the industry sea change is in that direction. Daily specials and seasonal cooking are the order of the day for advanced foodies, who have turned their eyes toward sustainability and responsible food production practices. Simplicity and straightforward meals are advanced by the same philosophy present in the Italian tradition.
Simple food staples, with Tuscan origins, that are found in any Italian chef’s pantry and fridge:
- Olive Oil
- Dried Beans
- Red Meat
- Pasta – Both Dried and Fresh
- Fresh Herbs
- Garden Vegetables
- Rustic Bread
Major cities in Tuscany include Florence, Siena, Lucca and Pisa. As a culinary student, sample regional fare with an eye toward subtle differences in approach, and ingredients that define Italian cooking.
Popular Tuscan Cooking Schools
Cooking in Tuscany -- Indulge your culinary passion in 1, 3 or 7-day intensive culinary courses - in a real Tuscan kitchen. Over the course of even a single day, guests take their culinary education to a new place, one that eclipses that of American cooking specialty programs.
Gain a renewed love for Italian food, by sampling red wine pulled right from the cellar, olive oil fresh from the presses and rustic artisinal bread. Daylong workshops immerse you in specific Tuscan dishes made with natural, regional ingredients. One day you might learn to make a new type of pasta, and the next; a variety of sauces, each appropriate for embellishing it. Bake salt-less artisan bread loaves in traditional stone ovens, before creating herb infused oils in which to dip them. Chef/instructors, for the weeklong intensive program, guide you through historic Tuscan meals with a curricular emphasis on how regional cooks prepare meals that are based on the seasonal bounty. You’ll learn to develop and prepare a distinctive Italian menu each day – each with 5-courses of Italian gastronomic wonder.
Tuscany Cooking School at the Hotel Della Velia -- This historic hotel features its own cooking school where serious culinary vacationers mix with professional chefs from all over the world. Cooking classes compliment visits to local sites relevant to regional Tuscan cuisine. Guests learn a variety of Tuscan specialties and traditional cooking methods, easily taken away and reproduced in home or professional kitchen.
Tuscookany – Serious gourmands appreciate the Tuscan tradition conveyed by this stay-and-learn school. Hands-on instruction in Italian and Mediterranean cuisine is conveyed by expert chefs of the region. One-week or three-day options focus on various elements of traditional production and ingredients. To instill a better understanding of how culture and gastronomy walk hand-in-hand, guests are treated to off-premise excursions that are immersive in regional epicureanism.