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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 10 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

5 star ratingExperience of a Lifetime My wife and I attended the Organic Tuscany one week cooking class in May 2019. From the very first contact I had with Shilpa and Ricardo I knew we were going to love this cooking class. It's not easy making a monetary commitment like this from half way around the world but their patience and warmth were evident right from the start and made the decision easier. What made this our most memorable experience of our whole trip to Italy?

1....
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RnDJohnson Avatar
RnDJohnson
8/07/2019

5 star ratingTime of my life I didn't really know what to expect when my sister and I signed up for this week-long cooking adventure. Little did I know that not only would I leave with new found knowledge of cooking, recipes and techniques, but that I would gain a whole new family of friends.

We were treated like royalty from the moment we arrived and left feeling like we were leaving our new family. Shilpa and Riccardo are marvelous hosts and constantly ensure that...
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Adventure745485 Avatar
Adventure745485
7/22/2019

5 star ratingI highly recommend this cooking tour My friend and I wanted to do a cooking class for 10 years. We were so lucky to find Organic Tuscany with Shilpa and Riccardo. Everything about the week was spectacular. The accommodations were top notch , the cooking classes were kept to small groups with lots of hands-on instruction. In between the cooking classes they set up wonderful tours visiting neighboring towns like Florence and Sienna. I highly recommend this cooking tour to anyone who wants fantastic value for money.

lindaaZ6673QV Avatar
lindaaZ6673QV
7/20/2019

Organic Tuscany is the perfect Tuscan experience! Not only do you get to eat and make some amazing food, but you also get to truly experience Tuscany. Visit local towns, learn about the amazing history of the area, and meet some truly remarkable and fascinating people along the way! This is absolutely the "organic" way to explore Tuscany.

Jessica Avatar
Jessica
7/01/2019
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