Cucina della Terra
Cucina della Terra
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Cooking Classes • Educational sites
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We offer single cooking classes or full week itineraries focused on food, wine, daily trips to surrounding towns and cooking in an modern fully equipped kitchen. You won't be disappointed!
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laranr
New York City, NY1 contribution
Sep 2017
It can feel a bit daunting when it comes time to plan and book a trip. Where do I want to go? What do I want to do when I get there? Can a trip really encapsulate all the things that I enjoy? So when it came time to plan my big vacation this year, I knew some of the answers to those questions, but wasn’t sure how it was all going to come together. And then I was pointed in the direction of Cucina della Terra. On paper it all seemed to resonate – there was cooking, there was wine tasting (I did the wine tour in September), there was the chance to see the most beautiful parts of the Italian countryside. But I was still not sure if I was willing to take a chance until I spoke to 2 of the most delightful, genuine and funny people, Gerri and Jack, the chefs that run the program. They hooked me from that first conversation and I started to pack my bags (though it was only February and I still had about another 7 months before the trip technically started). But during those 7 months I had a new question, could this trip live up to the hype I built up in my mind. And yeah, it did. Gerri and Jack brought an approachability to the world of Italian cooking, while also highlighting the art of it. They entertained, they educated and they created a lovely sense of community amongst a group of strangers. Their love and respect for the food, people and culture of Italy was contagious and made the experience all the more meaningful. So much so, that for someone who never writes any reviews about anything, I wanted to make sure I did write one for this.
Written October 19, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

David C
7 contributions
Sep 2017 • Couples
My wife and I just returned from a fabulous week with our favorite Italian cooking instructors Gerri and Jack.

Gerri and Jack have created a personal travel and food experience like no other. They are the consummate hosts, teachers and friends.

Be prepared to be taken care of in all respects: Food and wine, beautiful towns and villages of Tosca and Umbria, meeting and making new friends....and along the way you learn about the history of Tosca and Umbria, its people, wines and foods.

From the moment we arrived at the Terme in Chiusi Chiancianno until we were returned 7 days later everything was planned, orchestrated and curated for our group of 12 strangers who quickly became friends.

We sampled the many and excellent wines of the region and had lunch and a couple of dinners at local trattorias, osterias and cantinas.

BUT - most of all we cooked superb meals almost every night being taught by Jack and Gerri in their cooking school and home.

Learn the secrets of making your own great pasta and gnocchi along with the perfect gravy/sauce that compliments your efforts.

Grill night was my favorite - two wood fired grills were used to cook up a bounty of meats from quail to sausage, ribs cooked in 15 minutes and the most fantastic tuscan steaks.

Rissotto night was my wife's favorite - seafood risotto cooked to perfection by all of the students guided by Gerri and Jack and their assistants - Alina and Sylvana.

Greg was our wine shepherd - guiding us on tasting techniques, the history of the wine maker and the many distinct qualities of the wines.

If you enjoy cooking, drinking, eating and just enjoying the good life - this is the trip for you.
Written October 7, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lisa L
New York City, NY2 contributions
Oct 2013 • Friends
I wasn't sure what to expect on my trip to Cucina Della Terra, other then I knew I would have a great time. I didn't realize I would have an experience that will touch me for the rest of my life.

The country breath-taking, the food scrumptious, and the adventures were off the beaten path. But that's only part of what made this trip so memorable, it was the people.

The people in our group were warm, unforgettable and just became family. And it goes without saying that Jack and Gerri were at the top of this list. And with the right combination of everything, it became a very special place and time, that I will hold close to my heart.

Go. And go before it sells out that its impossible to go.
Written November 19, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

ShaeKing
Los Angeles, CA34 contributions
Oct 2013 • Solo
So I decided to take a vacation...by myself...to Italy! My friends said I was crazy but that this was a trip that they dreamed of doing someday. Shortly after deciding to do this I found Cucina Della Terra through ICE and booked it without really giving to much thought. All I have to say to you if you are reading this review is TAKE THIS TRIP...BOOK IT... DO IT ALONE OR WITH SOMEONE YOU LOVE! It changed my life in many, many ways. Master chefs Gerri and Jack took us under their wings (with patience, laughter and love) and taught us everything about cooking, team work and living life in Umbria. They are both extremely passionate, knowledgable and very funny individuals. This cooking school they have created is exceptional from the variety of food and techniques we tried to master, the workspace and tools we were able to experiment with and that there is a whole lot of love in every inch of that kitchen.

Each day we ventured to a new city which consumed cameras with the most breath taking photos. Our bellies were beyond full each day and we drank some of the most incredible red and white wines of the area. This one week away felt like two as you were able to really shut off work/life back home and jump into this culinary retreat.

The other individuals who signed up for this adventure I consider now friends and we really enjoyed each others company throughout the week. We laughed so much!

BOOK THIS TRIP! VACATION OF A LIFETIME!
Written October 6, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Daniel McGlew
Murrells Inlet, SC30 contributions
Oct 2012 • Couples
My wife and I went to the cooking class / vacation this past October. I had never taken a vacation outside the U.S. before (and honestly never had a desire to!). I am now hooked on Italy - I would go back in a heartbeat!! Chef Gerri (and Jack) put an enormous amount of time energy into the planning and execution of every aspect of the tours and cooking classes. With only thirteen people in our group, we were never lost in a crowd, everything seemed to revolve around each of us as individuals (I really don't know how Gerri can put so much energy into each day's activities, and still be able to get up and do it again the next day!) This was such a tremendously wonderful (and even life changing!) trip. Before this trip, my cooking abilities were basically a terrible tuna/mushroom/pea casserole and chocolate-chip cookies (seemed ok when I was single!) Now I make fresh, hand-made pasta almost every weekend, can make a decent poached egg, etc (my wife LOVES the fact that I now cook edible food!!!) The day tours were also great. We went to some wonderful towns (Orvieto, Perugia, etc) where we saw a glimpse of old-world Italy. Be warned though.....bring comfortable shoes...you will need them! The days are full (no, I mean FULL) of sightseeing, cooking classes, eating, and good times. Probably the best part of the trip: the hosts. Gerri and Jack are absolutely the best - they care about what they are doing - they care about cooking, they care about the Italian experience, and most important: they care about their guests!! I could go on, but, you get the idea. Thank You Gerri and Jack!!!
Written April 7, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

kimber k
Asheville, NC322 contributions
Sep 2018 • Couples
We are also repeat "cooks in training" at Cucina della Terra and the second time was as incredible as the first. The location in Umbria (bordering Tuscany) was a picture perfect postcard at every turn. The villages we visited were rich in history with quaint streets, little alleys, lovely shops, and smiling pedestrians.

The Inn where we stayed was near to the Cooking School and it included a lovely breakfast selection each morning. Our room with private bath was comfortable and had a nice view toward Lake Trasimeno. The Inn also had a built in pool.

Each morning our capable drivers arrived ready to transport us for our days adventures. Having Gerri or Jack along each day serving as tour guides always proved helpful. They are full of tips about the best shops, deals, views etc. We walked at our own pace through the streets of places like Montepulciano, Orivieto, Pienza, Cortona, Castiglione del Lago, Siena... Each stop included an opportunity to explore, shop, photograph, enjoy an espresso and/or a gelato. Our visits to the Villa St'Anna Winery as well as the Pecorino Cheesemaking were highlights. These were intimate, behind the scenes tours hosted by people who have a love and passion for what they do, and it showed!

Each afternoon was a chance for a brief siesta back at the Inn (nap, pool, exercise or...). Then in the late afternoon our drivers returned to bring us to the school for our next cooking adventure. Cucina della Terra has a large and nicely appointed commercial kitchen, including multiple stoves, ovens, an outdoor grill, along with several work stations. There was an ample supply of pots, pans, utensils and all things needed to make a kitchen work efficiently. The hardworking behind the scenes staff were always available to take care of table setting, clearing, replenishing of supplies, dishwashing, wiping of counters etc.

Chef Gerri and Chef Jack demonstrated all things Umbrian cooking with energy and enthusiasm. This was by far the BEST cooking instruction we've ever had the pleasure to receive. They are truly talented as both chefs and instructors and their kitchen was always FUN! As participants we worked side by side and prepared amazing recipes with the freshest of ingredients. It was with great reward when we sat down afterward to enjoy a family style meal paired with lovely wines, new friends, and great conversation. Everything was delicious and we never left hungry.

Our group came from NY, MA, GA, NC, and MO. We ranged in age from 28-80. We were couples, family, friends, and strangers. We left knowing we’d stay in contact. We were fortunate to share another amazing week at Cucina della Terra. I hope you are too!
Written September 21, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

meretoronto2018
Milton, Canada11 contributions
May 2018 • Friends
Spent a morning cooking with Gerri & Jack of Cucina Della Terra and was rewarded with one of the best meals we had while in Italy. This experience was a highlight for our family vacation. The pasta making skills we learned will be returned to time and time again, but this particular day of cooking with loved ones in beautiful Umbria, guided by two approachable and professional chefs will forever be cherished. If you love Italian food, you must experience making your own pasta and from-scratch sauces from Cucina Della Terra.
I hope to return to this lovely Cucina again, and would recommend this experience to anyone visiting Umbria or Tuscany.
Written May 14, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

VNowicki
White Plains, NY9 contributions
Sep 2017 • Couples
This was among our top vacation experiences. Highly recommended if one is interested in superior regional Italian wines and food, interacting with total strangers that turn into a cohesive cooking power and a good company by the week is over. Gerri and Jack put together a delightful program of cooking, visits, tastings and provide a relaxing, informal atmosphere that promotes a joyful way to spend a week away from everything - a recipe for a perfect vacation.
Written October 6, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kristin J
Brooklyn, NY8 contributions
Jun 2015 • Couples
Full disclosure: my husband and I are not tour group people who like to spend our vacation time engaging in small talk, and we typically don't stay put in one place too long while traveling. We are both avid cooks and spend a lot of time in the kitchen. He is very good with pasta, and I have been through lengthy training for pastry and baking. My time as a pastry student of Gerri's is how I knew about Cucina della Terra. This is all to say, on the surface this could have been the worst kind of vacation for us! Ten strangers, one part of Italy for seven days straight and cooking lessons for two people who already know their way around a kitchen.

So if we left feeling like it was the best week of our lives and are already planning a return visit, I'm pretty sure this is right up everyone's alley unless you absolutely loathe learning new things and enjoying great food and terrific company.

Starting off with the cooking...I knew the lessons would be fantastic because Gerri is an amazing educator. She has a natural way with breaking down steps, can think on the fly, and is so fun in the kitchen. Her partner Jack is equally amazing! He's one of the best knife skills instructors I've seen, and I was so happy for this refresher course and attention. He's great at encouraging people and getting them to relax. Getting to know him was such a treat. We found many things every night to challenge us, so I left knowing how to break down whole quail, fillet a fish, and many techniques I hadn't learned as a pastry student. It was great to watch our classmates become more comfortable every night. Gerri and Jack are a great team, play off one another well, and along with their assistants Roxy and Alex it all makes for incredible nights in the kitchen. We had the best food of the trip at Cucina della Terra!

Each morning you spend a few hours walking around a different town, and Gerri and Jack trade off days acting as tour guide. You can stick together or wander off on your own, and they are very good at directing you to their favorite places. We got the most beautiful copper pots sent to us from Montepulcianio, which we'll treasure forever. Not to mention some fabulous leather goods. From magnificent duomos to charming cafes and shops, our desire to pack a lot of experiences into each day was satisfied by these mornings. It's hard to pick a favorite among these towns, so I've given up trying. They are each special in their own way, and chosen for that reason. Just be prepared to have your breath taken away every time you approach a vista. This region is gorgeous. Afterwards there's lunch, the most special of the two being at a local vineyard with their delightful American sommelier (of course we had wine sent back!) and one with a very charming cheesemaker. We had two dinners out, both memorable in their own ways.

There's downtime in the afternoon for naps or socializing. The accommodations they selected for us had a pool and lots of areas for walking. It was nice to grab a swim in the afternoon and get to know our classmates better. In fact for two people who were nervous about all these strangers, we left feeling like bonding with new people over this experience was part of the magic, and we look forward to seeing many of them again in the upcoming months!

I could seriously go on for many more paragraphs. As we moved on and people asked us about this week one question came up, which is why did we take Italian cooking lessons from Americans. An obvious answer would be because I already knew and loved Gerri and don't doubt her skills in this area, but in hindsight I realized Gerri and Jack could really appreciate that once we left Italy we'd want to recreate all this magnificent food back home. They helped us know how to buy the best flours, olive oils, vinegars, and which ingredients could be swapped out seasonally, or if something just wasn't up to par. They get that we don't have these fantastic markets. Also, it was very special to see their passion and appreciation for their second home. Their gratefulness for the journey they are on, their love of their neighbors and towns, and commitment to representing someplace so amazing to other people is a sight to behold.

Counting down the days until we are there again!
Written July 7, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jsanty
2 contributions
Oct 2014
Cucina delle Terra exceeded every expectation. Chefs Geri and Jack put together an itinerary that was chock full of cultural experiences, interesting, in-depth opportunities to understand how the infamous pecorino cheese is made, what is required to operate and create great wine with a visit to Sant Anna winery, a truffle hunt and luncheon featuring everything with truffles, and the fun of harvesting olives and a trip to the olive press to watch them being turned into the "green gold" of Umbria. Tours and opportunities to visit a local market, the World Tour Chocolate Festival in Perugia, Orvieto, Pienza, and Montepulciano. And, yes, we fit in Italian cooking and sharing meals together. Creating pappardelle, gnocchi, wild boar ragu, lentil soup, wild berry tart and so much more. Chefs Geri and Jack managed to bring together and unite a group of 13 remarkable people from across the United States with various backgrounds and cooking expertise. This was a trip of a lifetime and I can't wait to plan my next adventure with Chefs Geri and Jack.
Written November 17, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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