We were met by our masterchef Shirley in one of Cortona’s quant little coffee shops. Shirley immediately put us in charge by presenting us with our own little cookbook where after we were given the opportunity to make our choices of dishes that we wanted the cook. No sooner were we taken to some of the amazing fresh produce markets in town including the local butcher and the grocery store where all the ingredients were handpicked and purchased. I asked a few questions about some of the produce and how it would be cooked and no sooner did these items also find their way into the shopping basket.
After the shopping experience we wound our way up windy and spectacular little farm roads to Shirley’s farmhouse. Her house is situated high up in the mountains 400m above town. The views from up there over a huge lake and the Tuscan countryside were amazing.
The rest of the day was a learning and eating feast. The hostess was not only attentive to our individual needs and cooking experience levels but she was kind and made us feel part of the family. We learnt so much during the day. I lost count but I think we made in excess of around 20 dishes and used a whole bottle of olive oil and a block of Parmesan.
After a comprehensive lunch that we had prepared under the hostess’ guidance, it was off to cooking again. Later that evening we sat down for another feast to enjoy our work, not to mention the free flowing wine.
This has definitely been one of the highlights of our Italian adventure. We did not only learn so much about both the cooking and the preparation of Italian food but also the history of food in Italy and in general. I will recommend this experience to both the experienced chef and to anyone that just wants to have a fun-filled day. No prior cooking experience is needed.
Do not miss the experience and eating sensation of a lifetime. Great food, excellent hospitality and above all we arrived as guests and left as family.
Thanks Shirley and Chuck for being such kind and wonderful hosts.
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