Toscana Mia Cooking Experience

Trip Start May 06, 2010
Trip End Jun 05, 2010

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Flag of Italy  , Tuscany,
Sunday, May 23, 2010

The day we had long awaited for!  Our cooking school experience!  We had to drive about 40 minutes from Greve but it was the most beautiful and day what other views would you want on the way but the Tuscan countryside. 

We were met at Toscana Mia by Paola, one of the sisters who run the business.  We soon met Simonetta who runs the administrative side of the business.  Before long we also met Paola's husband, the mushroom hunters (who I think just came out of the forest!) and The General, their father, and Paolas two children who were home from school it being a Sunday. The  cooking school is run from their family home just outside of Radda in Chianti which they have lived in for about 20 years.

We met the two other couples, American, who also were doing the class with us on that day.  Our menu for the day as to be:

Sformatini Ai Funghi (mushroom souffle)
Pici Salsa al Aglione (homemade pasta with tomato and garlic)
Bocconcini All' Arrabbiatta Con Carciofi (bitesized veal cooked with artichokes)
Tiramisu Podere Le Rose (tiramsu cooked with with berries)

We all gathered in the large kitchen of the house with Paola running the class.  She is such a character and made everyone feel at home all the time.  We were put at work preparing the ingredients though all at a very slow pace with Paola explaining everything along the way and just generally telling us about all the family, the area and being very knowledgeable about the tuscan countryside.  They only use local produce as much as possible as they want to represent local family style country food to enjoy with family and friends. 

The day was such fun we couldn't possible write it all down here so as friends you will all have to wait until we catch up next. 

At the end of our day we were ushered outside whilst the family finished preparing the meal and we cam back inside to a long table set for us and the family and we all sat down with more wine and enjoyed the fruits of of efforts.  OMG, if we do say ourselves for such simple foods it was so flavoursome.  To share with the family was an extra dimension to the experience.  Apparently they are listed under Fodders top 50 experiences to do before you die - well we ticked that one off - next need to check out the rest!! (sorry Mick!!!!)

It was with sadness that our day ended mid afternoon and we had to make our way home - ok, not a bad home to go to...  We had a quick look around Radda and a bit more of drive around the countryside.  Not that we were hungry but we decided to find a restaurant, just for drink, which was close to Greve, ok about 7kms again up a goat track to a place called Lamole, and when we got there we decided we just had to hang around for dinner.  And we are so glad we did!

The waiting staff were so attentive and friendly and looked after to us from the minute we arrived event though we were early.  We had to wait for the restaurant to open but they didnt mind us sitting there having a drink.  And once we got into the restaurant and ordered it was great!  The food was absolutely fantastic, fresh asparagus with poached egg with parmasen for entree and I had braised Tuscan beef for main with Mick 9 hour oven roasted proscuitto.  All was fantastic.  Ok, excess baggage going home may not all be in the suitcase!!!!!!!!

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