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“Cooking school in Taormina, Sicily”

Cooking Vacations Italy
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: National Geographic hails Cooking Vacations, the leaders in culinary tours, hands-on cooking classes, food market visits & cultural adventures in Italy. At Cooking Vacations we bring you the best hands-on cooking classes & cultural tours in Italy’s 20 Regions. You will learn to cook traditional Italian recipes with excellent Chefs, local expert cooks, Nonnas, pastry artisans and bread & pizza makers. Our Italian culinary holidays are original, authentic, and include market visits, vineyard tours & cultural landmarks. We are Italian and share our love for cooking in our culinary vacations with you. Through Tuscany’s vineyards to truffle hunting in Bologna, making pesto in Cinque Terre to pizza-making in Sorrento, peeling lemons for limoncello making in Positano to rolling cannoli in the shadow of Mount Etna, Sicily, we welcome you to our Italy. We welcome you to our Kitchen in sunny Italy.
Los Angeles, California, United States
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Cooking school in Taormina, Sicily”
Reviewed July 29, 2013

My fiance and I booked a one day cooking school in Sicily through Lauren at Cooking Vacations. We had a wonderful time with Chef Massimo. He took us to the Farmers Market and then back to his lovely restaurant to cook. The best part was getting to eat the homemade pasta, sauce, caponata and fish dishes that we prepared. A truly memorable experience and a must for your trip to Sicily. Taormina is a lovely town with a beautiful beach and great food!

Visited July 2013
2 Thank Mary C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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279 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Cupertino, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Lauren was extremely helpful”
Reviewed July 27, 2013

Planning the cooking vacation with Lauren was a pleasure. She was extremely helpful and knowledgeable. We had 2 nights to stay in Positano as part of a two week tour in Italy. The fact that Lauren knows Positano so well made a huge difference in our arrival and departure plans, as we arrived from a remote Island called Procida. Lauren customizes our itinerary to meet our exact needs. I gather this is how she works and it was wonderful. Lauren clearly is very detailed and every logistic of the trip was excellent. The hotel she selected was Allbergo California and it could not have been better. We loved the location, the hotel and staff. Our cooking class was in the afternoon. It turned out that my husband and I were the only ones in the kitchen with the chef. We had a lot of fun cooking and then eating what we made. Overall it was a wonderful experience and we'd highly recommend it.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank PhyllisB27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Cooking Vacations 1 day cooking class on the Amalfi Coast”
Reviewed July 27, 2013

The reservation and booking of the class went well and I was called on the phone by the staff and this made a personal touch that I really appreciated. I signed up for the lunch time one day class. I arrived about 10 minutes early and they seated me at a table and gave me a bottle fo water to drink while I waited. I met a family of 4 who was there for the same class. I enjoyed their company. Class started a few minutes late but the chef was very nice and well prepared for us. We started by preparing a blend of ricotta, mozzarella and basil which we were going to use to stuff zucchini flowers. The chef showed us how to clean the zucchini flowers, fill a pastry bag with the cheese mixture and fill the zucchini flowers. We then used an egg wash and finished them with bread crumbs. Next we learned a recipe to make a scialatielli pasta with eggs. The chef gave us all the chance to do most every step. Learning how to make pasta was one of the things I really wanted to learn. We then began preparing 2 different tomato sauces. One was a traditional sauce and the other was a local favorite using cherry tomato's. The traditional sauce was the other recipe I really wanted to learn. Once these sauces were cooking we prepared a spinach cavatelli pasta. The final recipe we learned was a traditional chocolate cake with almonds and rum. After the cake was in the oven, we went back to finish the tomato sauces and put together the recipe where we used the cavatelli with eggplant and traditional tomato sauce and put them into serving dishes that were placed in the oven to finish. The class lasted just under 2 and a half hours. The chef was great giving hints and specific details as we made the recipes. Once the class was over we were seated in the dining area and given more water and the family of four and I shared a bottle of really nice white wine to go along with the soon to come four course meal. The stuffed zucchini flowers were delightful! We then had the cavatelli with eggplant and traditional tomato sauce. This was my favorite dish. We then had the scialatielli pasta with the cherry tomato sauce which was very good as well. We finished with the chocolate cake. It was a wonderful meal! I was so impressed with the chef and restaurant I returned later that evening with my wife and daughter and had another memorable meal! If you like to cook and want to learn some traditional Italian recipes while in Italy... I definitely recommend this one day coking class. Grazie Cooking Vacations, the chef and restaurant!

Visited July 2013
4 Thank Timothy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Simply amazing”
Reviewed July 26, 2013

I booked this course as a birthday present for my wife... and it was just amazing! We came in just for the lunch course and departed thereafter, but my advice would be to stay the night at least, because after a sumptuous meal and incredible wine the last thing you want to do is get into a car and drive.

The chefs and all the staff were extremely friendly helpful and knowledgeable. We cooked a 3 course meal with a couple of extra variations and I have to say this is one of the best experiences I have had on a vacation...highly recommended!!!

Visited July 2013
Thank AyuliLat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Tuscany Villa”
Reviewed July 25, 2013

I booked this vacation with Cooking-Vacations.com. This company picked me up in Florence, and delivered me back to Florence after the vacation for the departure back home. Everything was taken care of. The villa and winery were fantastic! I had my own private brick patio with a marble table and two chairs - plus two sun chairs and a moveable umbrella. The apartment had its own kitchen.
The estate has a large pool, plus horseback riding. Then there is the winery. The wines here are extremely high quality - have won awards - and not exported to many places, so I had some shipped backed to the US. They use this very high quality wine - and none other - in the cooking. After the cooking lessons, they served the wine complimentary with the meal. The wine was also included with dinner when there wasn't a cooking lesson. The breakfasts had more than I usually eat - but I did! A wide assortment of meats and cheese (pecorino parmesan, and mozzarella!), eggs, breads, and many fruits and coffees. The villa supplied numerous large bottles of either sparkling (frizzante) or plain (naturale) water to drink in the lobby or to take back to your apartment. This was included!
I thoroughly enjoyed the tour of the winery by the owner, Fabrizio. There was a tasting, plus a tour of the family vineyards and olive groves with much history, and a tour of Montelupo, the nearby village. Eating at the villa was al fresco with stunning views of Tuscany.
I learned so much from the cooking lessons. I had done some cooking lessons on the Southern coast. They were very much focused on tomatoes, lemon, basil, oregano, and mozzarella cheese - all very good. The contrast was interesting - and equally good. In Tuscany, they seem to emphasize tomatoes (of course!) rosemary, sage, and pecorino cheese, although both places use some of both. The tomatoes in Italy are like none other.
The villa also was home to several cats, who were so friendly and lived for the attention they received from the guests. I met so many interesting people from other countries - Norway, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark UK, Ireland... to name a few. We had some great conversations over breakfast and dinner. The vacation also included a trip to a market near San Gimignano. The market had marvelous produce, cooking utensils, seafood, leather, clothing, linens, and more. (I bought a metal olive oil pitcher and some very high quality Italian themed linen tablecloths. Then the driver took us to an old town with a castle dating at least back to the 11th century. In addition to the historic attractions, the town had some shops with terrific ceramics, plus a studio where a fairly well known artist displays her paintings. I bought some ceramics as well as a watercolor painting that she did of the Tuscany landscape. I even received a certificate of authenticity! I am having it framed right now.
This was the third cooking vacation I have done with this company - Cooking-Vacations.com. All were superb. I found it, as I subscribe to National Geographic Traveler magazine, and it was featured on the cover several years ago. Lauren, the owner, is great! Very detailed oriented and attentive to all of your needs. If you need something, she is just a phone call or email away, and always responds quickly. The whole arrangement is amazing. As with all of the other locations, this place was hard to leave!

Visited July 2013
3 Thank MSW_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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