ALL-INCLUSIVE MEDITERRANEAN COOKING GETAWAY WITH DEBORAH MADISON AND OLIVE OIL EXPERT NANCY HARMON JENKINS
October 21-27, 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 the Mediterranean Diet, 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 Mediterranean diet authority Nancy Harmon Jenkins leads, this time with her good friend, renowned chef and food writer Deborah Madison, author most recently of Vegetable Literacy -- 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, Molino, Trattoria Lunch, Cooking Class, and Wine Tasting
Today, you're Tuscan. Start the day off right with a trip to the farmers' market, molino (grist mill), and a traditional lunch, and then, the cooking begins. Taste traditional ingredients, then prepare classic Tuscan dishes along with Nancy and Villa chef Luigi Incrocci, dishes like risotto or torta di ricotta; 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 Tuscan bread, pizza, and home-made pasta al forno, baked in the wood-fired oven.
Day 4: Selvapiana Winery, Mungilli Family Cheese Farm
Visit the hillside vineyards and estate cellars that produce Tuscany'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: Cooking Class with Deborah Madison, Free Afternoon
What better way to recap everything you've learned than through a cooking class with renowned food writer Deborah Madison, doing her magic with Tuscan vegetables and Tuscan olive oil? Eat lunch, and then it's up to you: stroll through the olives, have an olive oil massage, relax, or make a short trip to Scarperia, not far away, to see the historic Old World knife-making skills of local craftsmen.
Day 6: Olive Harvest, Making Oil and a Mountain-Top Lunch, Final Olive Oil Tasting, Dinner
Rise and shine – weather permitting, we’ll be out in the fields harvesting olives, then transport them to the frantoio to see how oil is made and taste its incredible freshness. Then you're mountain-bound for a gala lunch with traditional steaks cooked over an open fire, high up in the hills between Tuscany and Emilia Romagna. On our return, we’ll have a last olive oil tasting, then close the night with a light Tuscan feast
celebrating the olive harvest.
Day 7: Departure Day
Stroll the groves one last time, pack, and don't forget to take home a sample of Villa Campestri's own olive oil to remember the trip by.
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.
Pack your bags and buon viaggio!
- Refund Policy: This trip is refundable, less a $250 fee per person, up until August 21st, 2013 (60 days prior to arrival). Following August 21st, 2013, 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