I love to cook.
I loved to cook before I went to Gina's class in Siena.
I love to cook now more than ever before.
Gina is a really really good cook. She completely understands locally sourced, fresh ingredients. She understands the traditions and culture behind "Italian" food - and in particular, Tuscan food. She is incredibly articulate in explaining these things to her "class". But more importantly, Gina is easy to be with - not at all up tight about every little thing being perfect in her kitchen. The big "take-away" I got from her class was that cooking should be a pleasure. And it is. Cooking with Gina is a genuine pleasure.
We arrived to a beautiful, historical 900 YEAR OLD MILL to cook. The place was gorgeous. Gina offered a coffee and some chat to get relaxed and ready to start. She had shopped for our class with an eye to what the freshest and best ingredients were and not so much with a rigid menu in mind. She took the time to arrange the produce on a nice platter. It was pleasing to look at and made the "chore" of prepping veggies relaxing and fun. I developed a renewed sense of appreciation and respect for excellent fresh ingredients.
We had the awesome fun of making fresh pasta. I have never tried this before because I was so worried that it had to be perfect... NOT AT ALL! In fact, messy is sometimes a good thing. It was perfectly delicious even if it wasn't perfectly symmetrical.
All of our hard work in the kitchen was rewarded by a delicious meal in the courtyard next to the mill. What a perfect day! I would say that even if you are a novice cook, Gina makes food approachable and cooking fun. This class is not to be missed!
BONUS: you get Gina's cookbook as part of the package. I have already recreated our roasted chicken dish for my husband and he LOVED it!
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