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“Tasty experience high in the Tuscan hills”

Tuscan Culinary One-Day Cooking Class
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Our One-Day Cooking Class is informal, fun and hands-on. The class taught in English and designed around a typical Tuscan meal with fresh local in season ingredients. You will start the full day course by meeting the instructor, Shirley Ofria at a café in the historic center of Cortona. Over a typical Tuscan breakfast of cappuccino and pastry, you will choose from our recipe booklet what you want to prepare. After breakfast and menu planning, you will go to the various markets to collect all the necessary ingredients.When you finish with the shopping, it’s off to our home in San Egidio, just ten minutes above the wall surrounding historic Cortona. When you arrive at the house, the aprons go on and the work begins. You will start by making appetizers that will later serve as a light lunch break. After lunch, it’s back to work to start on the first course, second course, side dishes and of course desert. When everything is ready you will sit down to enjoy and critique your creations. The meal can be served inside or out, weather permitting.The course includes; menu planning, shopping, breakfast, lunch, dinner (all food and wine) and the recipe booklet. Dietary restrictions are welcome and if there is something specific you want to do, please contact us several day in advance of your class day.
Reviewed October 22, 2012

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.

4  Thank Albertgerber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"met shirley"
in 24 reviews
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"lunch and dinner"
in 12 reviews
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"stuffed tomatoes"
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"at home"
in 29 reviews
"recipe book"
in 15 reviews
"cooking class"
in 96 reviews
"her husband"
in 16 reviews
"coffee and pastries"
in 7 reviews
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"take home"
in 14 reviews
"beautiful farmhouse"
in 4 reviews
"il rifugio"
in 4 reviews
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in 3 reviews
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196 - 200 of 250 reviews

Reviewed October 11, 2012

Our experience far exceeded expectations, which were high based on prior reviews. Also blessed with fun folks to participate with. Shirley was fun, flexible, and incredibly talented! We learned a lot, cooked a lot, ate a lot, and loved every minute! But for meeting extended family in Italy for the first time ever, this was the highlight of our three week Italy sojourn.

Thank Ron B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2012

This cooking class was one of the highlights of our 5 week trip through Europe. Shirley was a great teacher and really accommodated everyone's requests meaning we all got to learn many different dishes. She went out of her way to answer questions and identify things we'd eaten throughout Italy on our trip. Making pasta was heaps of fun and we felt that the recipes we made were things we could replicate when we got home. The only downside for us was that although we did meet in a Cafe for coffee to discuss the menu, there were no pastries so we were a bit hungry by the time we sat down for lunch - you do need a healthy appetite for the day so it wasn't too much of a problem. Also, we weren't really that involved with the shopping but it was still fun to go to the different stores and watch Shirley order what we needed for the day. Overall a really great, fun and informative day the we'd highly recommend. Thanks Shirley.

2  Thank Pidge255068
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2012

This was a great day that lasted 10 hours. We started out fairly simple but the menu grew as we shopped. Visiting the local shops and shopping was half of the fun. Shirley kept the class informal and lively. We had lunch outside but moved inside for dinner as the temperature had dropped. Luckily we were staying in an apartment as the left over’s feed us for the next 2 days. While both my husband and I cook the class has inspired us to try new things now that we are home. It is a day that we will long remember. I would definitely recommend this class.

Thank janakyPortsmouthVa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 24, 2012

We only booked this workshop 2 weeks prior to our visit in Tuscany and luckily Shirley still had space for my friend and I. We visited on the 5th Sept which was our first proper day in Tuscany.
We met in the centre of Cortona for Coffee and Pastries, where we met a lovely family from Canada who joined us for the workshop. There were 5 of us in total. We decided on our menus from her recipe book full of Tuscan Specialities.. but was flexible if we wanted to cook something specific. We then went shopping for all the fresh produce, and returned to her home in the hills for some serious cooking!
We learnt to make Stuffed Tomatoes, Foccacia with different toppings, Stuffed Zuchini Blossoms which were out of this world.. That was just for lunch... then we proeeded to make 4 types of pasta with 3 different sauces, then a meat dish 2 sides and a dessert. We all got involved, and learnt lots of new skills. Since returning I have already made the Olive Oil lemon cake and the 3 Cheese Ravioli.. which have been a real hit with my family. Thanks Shirey and Chuck for being so accommodating and teaching us what cooking in Tuscany is all about. I hope to return someday soon! This was a day I will never forgt, and was real value for money, we were will Shirley for the best of 11 hours and had a lot of fun..

Thank Cass616
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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