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Torre Del Tartufo | "Best birthday present ever - do not miss this if you like food/Italy"

Posted on august 19, 2009 by
Excellent

“Best birthday present ever - do not miss this if you like food/Italy”


5 of 5 starsReviewed August 19, 2009

This was my 50th birthday present and perfect in almost every way. After a difficult drive up a steep gravel road you arrive at the gates of a typical Tuscan villa; on a hill, cypress-lined drive, lavender bushes, virgina creeper on the walls, a pool shimmering below...Barbara (the manager) is waiting for you and shows you to your room, large double bed, marble bathroom with slightly antiquated plumbing. She gives you the tour of the place, showing you the semi-pro kitchen where you have the classes and where you can help yourself to a glass of wine/soft drinks whenever you feel like it.
Our first meal, aperitif + four courses with excellent wine, gave us an idea of what was to come. Franco, the chef/teacher, explained the food and the evening was spent getting to know fellow guests and starting to put on the kilos. Given the weather in August, we ate outside at the large communal table by the kitchen. Liqueurs of all sorts were available until late into the evening.
Classes are fun but hard work. Every student receives an apron and book with the recipes and Franco splits up the group into 4 teams, each one making one course for the following day's dinner plus all contributing to lunch. You learn to make pasta the hard way, from scratch and with a rolling-pin, make your own pizza dough and topping, and prepare Tuscan specialities like wild boar stew and duck pappardelle. Franco soon acquires god-like status as he manages to answer questions and salvage some almost ruined food. There was a great spirit of all joining in and helping each other out, and the results were amazing.
Downside? Well yes, wasps (yellowjackets to Americans) were a permanent nuisance, both outside and sometimes in the kitchen. There is also a music system which is often on a high volume even down by the pool, although different parts of the system can be turned on and off.
But if you like preparing and eating food, a relaxed atmosphere, good company, lovely rooms and great views, then this is definitely something I would recommend.
Philip Evans

Photos of Torre del Tartufo Cooking Vacations Tuscany, Chiaveretto
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This photo of Torre del Tartufo Cooking Vacations Tuscany is courtesy of TripAdvisor Photos of Torre del Tartufo Cooking Vacations Tuscany, Chiaveretto
This photo of Torre del Tartufo Cooking Vacations Tuscany is courtesy of TripAdvisor