ALL-INCLUSIVE TUSCAN COOKING GETAWAY WITH CHEF MICHELE FORGIONE AND OLIVE OIL EXPERT NANCY HARMON JENKINS
March 25 - 31, 2013
Redefine the meaning of getaway: from a Renaissance estate overlooking one of Tuscany's most scenic valleys, experience a one-of-a-kind cultural immersion. Your focus is olive oil, and you'll be glad: through tastings, cooking classes, and traditional dinners, you'll explore one of the most widely used and most misunderstood ingredients in the modern (and ancient) kitchen. Writer, historian, and food authority Nancy Harmon Jenkins leads, this time with Chef Michele Forgione of Montreal’s heralded Osteria Venti (top critic Lesley Chesterman says his lasagna is “pure love”) -- you cook, and eat, and learn.
Day 1: Olive Oil Tasting, Reception, and Dinner
Jump right into Tuscan culture: learn the process of olive oil production from Nancy Harmon Jenkins, taste the results with agronomist Gemma Pasquali, and, with an aperitivo in hand, mosey on to dinner at the Villa's award-winning restaurant, l’Olivaia.
Day 2: Market, Trattoria Lunch, Cooking Class, and Wine Tasting
Today, you're Tuscan. Start the day off right with a trip to the farmers' market, a traditional lunch, and then, the cooking begins. Prepare classic Tuscan dishes, like risotto or torta di ricotta, and before dinner, join renowned wine authority Burton Anderson for a structured wine tasting of Tuscany's finest.
Day 3: Grove Tour, Tasting, and Two Cooking Classes
Stroll the oliveto (olive groves) with Gemma, peek inside the olive mill, and head to the Oleoteca for another tasting, this time focusing on the typical defects of mass-produced oil. Spend the rest of the day cooking -- first with the olive oil you've just learned about, and then with Italian breads and pizza from the wood-fired oven.
Day 4: Selvapiana Winery, Mongili Family Cheese Farm
Visit the hillside vineyards and estate cellars that produce Italy's famed Chianti Rufina. After you taste straight from the barrel, eat a homemade lunch, and make a stop to see how sheep's milk cheese is made. (Don't worry, you'll get to taste-test this too.)
Day 5: Pasta Demo and Class, Mountain-Top Lunch, Final Olive Oil Tasting, Dinner
Rise and shine -- pasta-making class starts the day, and then you're mountain-bound. Lunch is beef cooked over an open fire, eaten high in the mountains between Tuscany and Emilia Romagna. And then off to Saladini, home of Italy's greatest artisan knife-makers for a knife-making demonstration. After you take it all in, attend another olive oil tasting, and close the night with a Lenten fasting feast.
Day 6: Cooking Class with Guest Chef, Free Afternoon, Gala Dinner, and Scoppia del Carro Festivities
What better way to recap everything you've learned than through a cooking class with guest chef Michele Forgione? Eat lunch, and then it's up to you: stroll the olive groves one last time, take a possible afternoon trip to Italy's knife capital, Scarperia, or rest up for the final gala dinner at Campestri. If you're a night owl, travel to Rufina for Scoppio del Carro, an Easter eve celebration.
Day 7: Departure Day, or Stay for Easter Sunday Celebration
Can't leave quite yet? Stay an optional extra day and celebrate Easter the way Italians do. Visit a XI century church for the blessing of Easter Eggs, savor a traditional Easter lunch at Campestri, enjoy a final dinner and soak in the Tuscan scenery for one extra day. Price of extension is EUR190 for single bookings and EUR145 for double and apartment bookings. Please see redemption instructions for payment details.
About Villa Campestri
During the Renaissance, Villa Campestri morphed from a 13th century fortress into its current incarnation, a gorgeous manor house whose architecture and grounds have been thoughtfully restored by the Pasquali Family. Surrounded by Moraiolo, Leccino, Frantoio, Pendolino and Correggiolo varieties of olive trees, Villa Campestri has become a center for olive oil education, and the world’s first olive oil resort.
About Nancy Harmon Jenkins
A sort of culinary Margaret Mead, Nancy seeks to understand culture from the vantage point of food and cooking. By visiting the world’s markets, restaurants and kitchens, she’s spun her natural curiosity into a career writing and reporting the ways in which we connect over meals. As she likes to say, “…it’s anthropology with the very important difference that you can taste the culture on your tongue and feel it between your hands…”
How to Redeem
- Purchase 1 voucher per person according to planned room occupancy (all-inclusive price is per person). Please inquire with Villa Campestri first about bringing small children.
- Email Villa Campestri at firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm reservation.
- In your email please include:
- The full name of each traveler
- The voucher code for each traveler.
- Your address, email and preferred contact number.
- If you'd like to extend your trip for the Easter Sunday celebrations, please indicate this in your email and Villa Campestri will be in touch regarding additional payment for the Easter activities and overnight stay. Cost is EUR190 for a single or EUR145 per person for double and apartment bookings.
Pack your bags and buon viaggio!
- Refund Policy: This trip is refundable, less a $250 fee per person, up until January 25th, 2012 (60 days prior to arrival). Following January 25th, 2012, this trip is non-refundable.
- Not Included: Transportation to and from Florence or Pisa Airports (30 minutes from Villa) and massages. But the wonderful people at Villa Campestri will help organize transportation to/from the airport. Contact Villa Campestri by email email@example.com or phone (+39.055 8490107) for assistance.
- All wines chosen by Villa Campestri’s Maitre d’ included. Afternoon apertifs and extra drinks can be purchased a la carte.
- Extra nights available at the Best Flexible Rate Bed & Breakfast via Villa Campestri's website.
- Service charge and 10% VAT included in the rate.
- Please contact Villa Campestri to inquire about bringing young children.
"We really enjoyed the olive oil education that Gemma and Nancy provided for us. This education really changed the way we look at, smell, taste, and use olive oil, in a very good way. We have a new found appreciation for olives, the process to make oil, and 'Fresh' olive oil. Everyone was extremely welcoming and we were really taken in as part of the extended family." -- Trevor Huffmaster, trip attendee, 2012