Bring on the pizza, pasta, parmigiana, grissini, gelato and the LAMBRUSCO!
After a fun filled day in Amsterdam with bicycles, boat houses, canals and the traditional pairing of Dutch cheese and mustard sandwiches, my sister and I arrived at Villa Pandolfini in Florence, Tuscany.
The region of Tuscany embodies a flair of old world charm, surrounded by rolling vineyards and olive gardens, peaceful villages perched on top of symmetrical hills, narrow winding streets and pastel villas with terracotta tiled roofs.
With the perfect setting we were ready to cook, eat, drink and eat!
Day 1 started with an espresso (of course) and was followed by 4 hours of hands-on cooking that introduced us to the food that has made Tuscany one of the most popular destinations in Italy.
We uncorked the wine and indulged in juicy chopped tomatoes with local olive oil and oregano, parmesan cheese that melted with each bite, toasted garlic bruschetta, zucchini and saffron risotto, freshly made pasta, Tuscan-style chicken with olives and capers and finished off with vanilla panna cotta with berries and grappa.
Day 2 (after recovering from the red, white and then red wine again) was filled with more eating of the mouth-watering dishes that we prepared… and just when we thought we could never eat as much as the day before, we ate MORE!
Deep fried zucchini flowers, panzanella salad, pasta with chickpeas, sea bass with potatoes, tomatoes and olives and chestnut cake with chocolate sauce. Yummy!
Day 3 started off at a local market where we shopped for the ingredients for the last day of cooking, as the locals do. Our farewell meal could only be described as heaven on a table with fresh out-of-the- oven focaccia bread, spinach and ricotta ravioli, red wine beef stew, tiramisu and lemon sorbet.
As an Italian, with a passion for cooking and eating, I was able to share this unforgettable experience with family in Italy… It has honestly been a dream come true!
Arrivederci (Farewell) Italia and Grazie (Thank you) Sanlam Investments: Food Wine Design fair!