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“This was real Tuscan, real food!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Spice Lab

The Spice Lab
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“This was real Tuscan, real food!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 1, 2013 via mobile

My fiancé and I would give this experience 6 stars if possible! Melanie and Paolo know their stuff. From our buying trip in the central market to the rustic but beautiful olive grove, the day was perfect. They both are knowledgeable and professional not to mention gracious. My guests at my next dinner party will be impressed with our new skills.

Visited October 2013
Thank Cheryl R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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83 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
North Caldwell, New Jersey
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“awesome experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 23, 2013

We just returned from our two week trip to italy. My wifes only request was to do a cooking class. I poured over the internet to find a class that would not be your typical class. the spice lab did not disappoint. It was one of the best days of our trip. We met Paolo at the market and began to shop for food. Needless to say this was an experience as we learned that they sell all the parts of the cow including certain anatomical parts both male and female there.Kinda gross. We really wanted to make artichoke ravioli but since artichokes were out of season we decided to make spinach stuffed ravioli with the most amazing mushroom sauce with a special ingredient that grew on the grove. It was a blast making the ravioli from scratch. paolo was very patient and explained everything and it was so much fun. I even got him to let me make a bean dish with canned beans which he said was the first time anyone ever asked to make that and in the end he agreed it was delicious. We also made tiramisu, stuffed zucchini flowers which were better that the ones from our favorite restaurant back home,and steak taglaitta. We used eggs that the chickens laid at the grove. The olive grove is set up on a hill not too far out and is very scenic. We loved spending the day with Paolo. Overall a great experience and we can't wait to make all the dishes we cooked at home.

Visited July 2013
Thank Ebdmd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
29 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Mmm Mmm Good”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 30, 2012

Melanie and Paolo are wonderful people who provided a unique experience off the tourist track to visit a market and proceed to their family olive grove to do a cooking class. Whe the food was ready, we enjoyed the delicious meal while overlooking the hills of Tuscany.

Melanie provided a menu that was do-able back home while inserting some unique features from the local market.

It was one of the highlights of our trip.

Visited October 2012
Thank Stang32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Georgia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“More than a cooking class!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 22, 2012

I and three other women experienced an exceptional day at the central market with Paolo (he was prompt and we had no trouble finding him). Our shopping trip was a true learning experience as he explained the various items to four very curious folks. He was very patient while we photographed and oohed and aaaahed over the selections. Cooking in the olive grove was one of the draws to this particular venue and we knew ahead it would be rustic and basic. Proof that you don't need a gourmet kitchen to prepare and cook an exquisite and authentic Tuscan meal! Not only was the food delicious but I thoroughly enjoined the conversations at the table and learned a lot about the efforts the Italians make in keeping their food source pure and wholesome. I would highly recommend this class for a unique cooking experience off the beaten path.

Visited September 2012
Thank Armynurse7393
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
18 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Highlight of our trip to Italy!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 30, 2012

Taking a cooking class in Italy has always been on my bucket list and I couldn't have had a better day! Paolo gave us a tour of the market and we purchased our food for the day. Then off to the olive grove for our culinary adventure! Melanie and Paolo taught us to make pasta, risotto, tiramisu and much more. I am so glad we decided to have our class in the olive grove. While it was very hot that day the rustic setting really enhanced our experience and Paolo and Melanie clearly are passionate about Tuscany and their food. We would highly recommend this class!

Visited July 2012
Thank cdreysse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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