fbpx

The cooking week

Our cooking classes are very hands-on. The classes are taught in English and our wonderful local chefs will guide you through the preparation of a variety of simple but delicious Italian recipes (from Tuscany and from other Italian regions) and reveal some of their culinary secrets.

The cooking classes

Groups are small (maximum 9 people), so that everyone gets a chance to try their hand at the techniques, from making fresh egg pasta dough to lovingly stirring an artichoke risotto to perfection. Rather than cooking a “usual” Italian meal of first course, second course and dessert,we teach you several dishes on each day, so that you go home with quite an extensive repertoire!

You are free to pick and choose whether you’d like to join in the cooking school activities on a particular day or not. If you fancy a day horse-riding, hot-air ballooning or just going to the beach, let us know in advance and we’ll help you do just that.

Getting around

You can get to Certaldo easily by train, but car rental during your week is essential. Ours is not a package tour, where we herd you around in a van. We give you a structured week’s activities but also the tools to explore on your own if you wish to. You drive to all excursions, either following us, or with our detailed directions. Distances driven are short and to keep carbon emissions down, we encourage car-sharing and car pooling whenever possible, putting you in touch with other participants who would like to share a vehicle.

Your week with us

Here is a typical week at Organic Tuscany. Please note that this is an example, albeit a pretty accurate reflection of what we do! The dishes cooked will vary following the seasons and any special requests you have, and the specific days for excursions may vary.

Saturday

You arrive

We help you get settled in. You can just rest after your journey, have a dip in the pool or explore beautiful Certaldo or the surrounding countryside.

 7.30 pm

Alfresco welcome dinner

We cook for you and your new classmates on this first evening, and keep things simple. Warm foccaccia straight out of the oven accompanies grilled organic vegetables, local biodynamic cheeses and crisp salads, all washed down with local biodynamic wine.

Alfresco lunch

Sunday

 11.00 am-1.00 pm

An exploratory walk to get your bearings

We take you on a gentle walk to explore the surroundings and learn about the history of the area where we are staying. We also drive five minutes to see a charmingly frescoed Romanic church nearby. Lunch is back at the villa.

 1.00 pm-2.30 pm

Lunch

 5.00 pm-7.30 pm

Cooking class 1

Handmade fresh pasta, 3 seasonal sauces (a meat sauce, an asparagus and ricotta sauce and an artichoke sauce), Sicilian fennel and orange salad, tiramisù.

 7.30 – pm-9.30 pm

Dinner

Monday

 Morning

Visit to San Gimignano

We suggest a visit to this medieval city just 20 minutes away. This is also a good morning to use if you want to explore on your own (the Chianti area, Volterra, etc).

 4.30 PM – 6.15 PM

Cooking class 2

Crostini with roast peppers and with “salsa verde“, “pappa al pomodoro” (Tuscan tomato and basil soup), potato and spinach gnocchi, slow cooked beef with vegetables and herbs, artichoke and parmesan salad, custard and fruit tart.

 6.15 PM – 7.30 PM

Olive oil tasting session

Our oil expert guides you through the world of extravirgin olive oils.

 7.30 – pm-9.30 pm

Dinner

Tuesday

 10.00 am-1.30 pm

Visit to an organic vineyard

with tasting and lunch. We visit a five hundred year old cellar and are shown around by the charismatic owner. Lunch is in the old oil pressing room.

 Afternoon and evening

Visit to Siena

A minibus takes you to the stunning town of Siena and brings you home to the villa. The visit includes a tour with an official guide. For dinner, explore Siena’s many great restaurants.

Wednesday

Visit Florence

You have a whole day to visit Florence. You meet an official guide for a three-hour walking tour in the morning, and have the afternoon free to do as you wish – see museums, churches, go shopping for shoes, people-watch on a sunny terrace, or just wander the magical streets.

Ponte vecchio, Florence, Tuscany

Thursday

 10.00 am-12.30 pm

Cooking class

Braised artichokes, risotti (e.g. artichoke, asparagus, porcini mushrooms), herby turkey cooked in milk, moist apple cake.

 12.30 pm-2.00 pm

Lunch

 5.30 pm-6.00 pm

Visit to a master potter’s ceramics studio

Our friend Terry Davies wll show you his beautiful studio.

 7.00 pm-9.30 pm

Wine tasting of local organic wines

led by our wine expert, followed by a light dinner (much of which you will have prepared earlier!) accompanied by the wines you have tasted.

Friday

 10.00 am-12.30 pm

Cooking class

Delectable antipasti (marinated sundried tomatoes, baby onions slow-cooked in balsamic vinegar), vegetable sformati, pollo alla cacciatora (chicken with herbs, wine and olives), almond biscotti.

 Afternoon

You are free to relax by the pool or do some shopping before you leave.

 7.30 pm

Farewell dinner

We have a relaxed dinner at the villa, cooked by the talented Serenella.

Saturday morning

Departure

The villa from the garden
The villa
Prices & calendar
Where we are
Our team

What our guests say

Reviews from TripAdvisor, Google, Yelp and Facebook

Organic Tuscany is EVERYTHING we wanted and MORE! My husband and I went to cooking school at Organic Tuscany last October (2017). I was so pleased... so terribly over-the-top pleased... that I've put off writing a review, fearing I wouldn't be able to do the experience (and the people) justice. Having looked at several cooking schools in Italy, I was having trouble finding THE one, and then I came across Organic Tuscany's website. Oh my gosh! It just had it all! Authentic Tuscan villa, warm, engaging, and amazing... read more

Carol Avatar Carol
2/18/2018

5 star ratingAn authentic Italian experience! My husband and I were there September 23-30, 2017. Friends had recommended this cooking school to us. Cooking amazing italian food with the backdrop of the hills of Tuscany, with amazing chefs, what could be better! Met a great group of people from Australia, New Zealand, Sweden and the US. You get a copy of all the recipes and the apron you wore to cook to boot! My husband and I have recreated the recipes at home, delicious. Hosts Riccardo... read more

janehowardh Avatar janehowardh
2/04/2018

5 star ratingJust the Best ! My week at Organic Tuscany was the highlight at the end of 6 weeks in Italy and Greece. Initially we were given specific and detailed instructions for travel to the house which was extremely helpful. The classes are very carefully planned and well organised to run smoothly with charming and very competent tutors. The house and setting is lovely and our rooms were spacious and very comfortable. A warm feeling of friendship developed from the outset between the guests and... read more

757Alessandra Avatar 757Alessandra
1/22/2018

5 star ratingNothing could have been better for these Canadian ladies! Myself and four other ladies had the pleasure of taking part in the cooking school and staying at Organic Tuscany. It was by far the highlight of our three week trip. Riccardo and Shilpa are the ultimate hosts and have put together a week that was fun, exciting and educational. The chefs, cooks and tour guides were unbelievable. I was a bit concerned about driving but it turned out to be no problem with Shilpa’s careful directions and my insistence... read more

Eleanore Avatar Eleanore
1/18/2018
More reviews by our guests

Contact us

If you’d like more information about our cooking courses or you’d like to book one, you can contact us by email, by telephone or send us a message using the form below.

Tuscany

Call us

If you’d like to speak to us, you can call our UK or US numbers (we answer them from here in Italy!)
from the UK:  0208 144 9164
from the US:  347 410 9690