The Chianti Cooking School was born of David and Catherine Gardner's 25 years of experience as restaurateurs in Florence and Chianti. Today, we concentrate our endeavours in the Florentine Chianti, between the towns of Greve and Panzano, where we own the Villa Bordoni Hotel & Restaurant, the winebar and bistrot Enoteca Il Cardo, the historical trattoria Il Guerrino, and a small winery, Tenuta di Monte Ficali. Our cooking classes are run by a small, trusted team of high-powered restaurant chefs, who are looking forward to accompanying you on your gastronomic journey.
Today, we offer cooking classes in different forms, and with content spanning from traditional and rustic to contemporary and sophisticated, and our guests can enjoy a unique, hands-on experience led by one of our experienced English-speaking chefs.
A typical lesson will involve the preparation of a "fine dining" meal, covering the traditional four courses of an Italian tasting menu - antipasto, primo, secondo and desseret, with an extra eye to baking fresh focaccia bread. You can learn the art of making great antipasti, then get your hands in the dough when you are accompanied step-by-step through the art of fresh pasta making, in the tradition of Emilia Romagna. A slow-cooked, succulent stew might then follow, as well as something sweet to round it off.
Enoteca Il Cardo is our newest Chianti Cooking School, and it is located in the picturesque, hilltop wine village of Panzano, an epicentre of Tuscan enogastronomy. Our enoteca is also the official wine bar and shop of the Society of Vintners of Panzano, who collectively form the largest organic growing area in Europe, and one of the best quality red wine producing areas of Italy. Thus for all wine enthusiasts, and along with the expertise in food, we also offer the possibility of tasting and learning about numerous wines from local producers - more often than not, with a chance to get to know one or two of the local vintners.
At our Panzano location, it is possible to add on an introduction to Tuscan wines and an olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting with one of our wine experts, before your cooking lesson (on request).
Our in-house cooking class at Villa Bordoni is held in the hotel's open kitchen, centred around our beautiful, custom-built Molténi range. This class is open to both residents and non-residents. The setting is a historic villa dating back to the Renaissance, nestled among its own vineyards and olive groves in the high valley of the Greve river, close to the Medieval village of Montefioralle.
We took their cooking class which I highly recommend!! I have never actually been put into a food coma by a meal but thats exactly what happened. Best meal hands down on our whole two week trip through Italy.
/ hmloomis385 - Cincinnati, OH - USA /
Prepare a true Italian meal - with your own hands!
Our cooking experiences always culminate in a meal based entirely on what was prepared by the very participants during the lesson, in our Villa Bordoni Restaurant in Greve in Chianti, or in our Enoteca Il Cardo in Panzano. Fear not, however, for there is little space for error - and the meal which you will help to prepare will be just as delicious as that made by a professional chef!
You might be travelling with friends or family, in which case we can help you invent a ‘made to measure’ cooking event. Otherwise it will always be possible to participate together with other like-minded people in our regularly scheduled afternoon lessons. In the crucible of our kitchen many new friendships have been forged!
On each and every occasion we aim to share what we feel is the culture and essence of Italian cuisine and, perhaps above everything else, to ensure that our guests have a memorable experience, worth remembering whenever they enter a kitchen.