total immersion into knowledge of the raw material of excellence and the techniques
to use them in superlative recipes: this course provides for a trip from
Florence to the area of San Casciano, to the Podere a Compoli for a wine and
olive tasting together with some local salami and cheese. The Podere is reachable
through a white road that goes up hill, right behind the Pieve a Compoli, a country
church dominating the Val di Pesa, at the beginning of Chianti. The main
building of the property is an ancient sightseeing tower dated back the 1200,
where the two owners, husband and wife, named curiously Daniela and Daniele,
take personal care of wine making from the vineyard to the bottling.
is operated by a private van, with a group of 8 people. The day ends at
GiglioCooking where the chef will drive you into a hands on experience, cooking
delicious dishes with the products of the farm.
I’ve found her. She’s right around the corner from my new favorite wine shop. Marcella is my answer to the search for a maestra di cucina right in Florence. In an intimate setting. Away from the crowds. Marcella was born on the tiny Tuscan isle of Giglio, off the Silver Coast in the southernmost corner of Tuscany. She has all the right “degrees”, ran a renowned restaurant on her island for 12 years, and successfully taught cooking at the Hospitality Institute in Florence. A few years back she started her own venture, the culmination of 25 years of experience.
Her offerings are so vast it’s hard to summarize, so I’ll cherry pick. Think: a course called “Italian Cuisine in Time and Space”, in which students analyze and adapt ancient recipes to the current season and modern tastes. Dishes like fuchsia gnocchi and burrata salad and “Tuscany meets Maine” (Lobster with Blueberries). Marcella also offers theme-based seasonal courses.
She has an intense appreciation for raw ingredients, and a wonderful fantasy in the planning of her cooking courses. Marcella offers many different class formats, running from 3 hours to several days. Of particular interest is her culinary sojourn back to her island of Giglio, where you’ll meet many of her friends and truly see raw ingredients at their source.
QUIZ: What is the giglio? Giglio means “lily” in Italian and is the symbol of Florence. But it also derives from the Greek word aegilion, meaning “goat”. The name of Marcella’s native island derives from the herds of wild goats that once thrived there. She loves the link this symbol provides between her current and native homes.
Marcella and I had one of those “Six Degrees of Separation” moments right at the end of our meeting. Descending the stairs of her chic little loft/kitchen, I glanced at an article (one of many) on her wall. It talked about a woman in my hometown of Charlotte, N.C. who was a huge fan of Marcella’s and who had invited her several times into her own Charlotte kitchen to share her marvelous culinary knowledge with friends. The world is indeed piccolo.
In realtà non si devono cercare: gli asparagi vanno visti.
Non bisogna andare a smuovere i cespugli: basta girarci intorno.
Si cambia l'angolo di visuale ed ecco che l'asparago appare.
E' un po' come fare uno di quei giochi sui giornaletti di enigmistica: trovare una figura nascosta all'interno di un disegno. La figura è lì, davanti ai nostri occhi, eppure non la vediamo. Appena viene scoperta, ci chiediamo come fosse stato possibile non averla vista prima.
Per me la scampagnata sulle colline di Cortona ieri mattina è stata terapeutica: oltre all'esercizio fisico, c'è stato un esercizio mentale.
Io mi conosco per non vedere le cose di fronte a me, per non accorgermi dell'evidenza.
Certo con una sola lezione non ho imparato, ma ho cominciato a capire che forse talvolta non bisogna muoversi, ma solo far muovere il cervello.
Max lo sa bene. Infatti, se quello sotto è stato il mio raccolto...
.... quello di Max, che è abituatissimo e capacissimo di vedere le cose che sono evidenti, è stato questo:
Forse io ero troppo occupata a fotografare anemoni....
... e questi "pon pon violetti" che non avevo mai visto prima:
Però poi, a casa, la pasta con gli asparagi l'ho cucinata io.
The Monthly course Italian Cuisine Through Time & Space
http://www.gigliocooking.com/en/programs/monthly/monthly-course.html is starting on June 29th with this schedule:
Monday June 29 - 9 :30 am -
01:00 pm - Lesson 1
Pasta 1 : Dry And Fresh Pasta.Different flours. Basic recipes of simple pasta with semolina
(tagliatelle, tagliolini, taglierini garganelli, orecchiette emiliane,
sfrappole); pasta with mixtures of 00 flour and semolina; orecchiette pugliesi
Tuesday June 30th - 9 :30 am -
01:00 pm - Lesson 2
Basic Preparations The
pre-preparation in the kitchen: broths, stocks, consommè and bisque. Lecture:
Sauces and stocks: tradition and innovation
Wednesday July 1st- 9 :30 am -
01:00 pm - Lesson 3
Meat 1 : traditional
searing and roasting and low cooking. Traditional low cooking and modern
rare-ness. Recipes: Abbacchio alla Romana; Pullus fusillis; Vitellina fricta.
Thursday July 2nd- 9 :30 am -
01:00 pm - Lesson 4
Pasta 2 : Stuffed Pasta. Ravioli,
tortellini, agnolotti, raviolo spiegato. Folding of pasta, stuffing,
presentation from traditional to modern style. Ravioli stuffed with broth
Friday July 3rd - 2 :00 pm -
05:30 pm - Lesson 5
Fish 1 : Practise: how to
fillet the fish Recipes: Raw fish, Tuna fish Sicilian style; Sword fish with
citrus sauce and celery soufflé; Sea bream with artichokes; Molluscs soup.
Monday 6th - 9 :30 am - 01:00
pm - Lesson 6
Pasta 3 : Pasta Made With
Different Flours. The use of buck wheat, hazelnut, beans purees, kamut, Recipes:
traditional Pasta and fagioli; Marcella’s Pasta and Fagioli; Soy lecithin pasta
Tuesday 7th- 9 :30 am - 01:00
pm - Lesson 7
Vegetable 1 :
the vegetables on the Italian table. Seasonality and nutritional value.
Recipes: Classic Melanzane alla
Parmigiana and modern variations; Burrata salad; Eggplant mousse in chocolate
bomb; Minestrone.; delicate lentils soup.
Wednesday 8th - 9 :30 am -
01:00 pm - Lesson 8
Fish 2 - Preserved Cod Fish, Baccalà and
Stoccafisso, from traditional recipes to foams. Anchovies and sardines: from
Roman Garum to modern finger foods.
Thursday 9th - 9 :30 am -
01:00 pm - Lesson 9
Pasta 4 : Coloured Pasta, with vegetables.
Pasta with soy lecitine. Recipes: Green handkerchiefs with asparagus and
scampis; Black taglioni with white squid; Coffee tagliatelle with artichokes;
Red tagliolini with zucchini and smoked cheese
Chris, Hannah, Clara, Marcella, Katherine and the Table set up with the food
Katherine separating eggs
This joyful family came to GiglioCooking mainly for two topics: being able to make a tender octopus and a real Tiramisù. Certainly they found what they were looking for, but , what they found has been also an unexpected afternoon of smiles, laughts, sharing, happy approach to tools and foods.
THANK TO YOU ALL, DEAR CLARA & CHRIS, HANNAH AND KATHY! I HOPE TO COOK WITH YOU AGAIN!
ground chili pepper (optional)
finely sliced white celery (optional)
Eviscerate the octopus turning the head. Take off
the eyes and the mouth.
Bring to boil a pot of water, salt. Toss inside the
whole octopus and cook 25-35 minutes, depending on size. Check it by piercing
with a fork at the base of the tentacles.
As tender, turn off the heat, but leave the octopus
inside the cooking water until cold.
Drain, cut in little pieces. Drizzle with olive oil,
spread chopped parsley and garlic. Optionally add slices of celery or lemon
juice or chili pepper. Serve as appetizer.
Program: 5 cooking lessons
at Il Giglio School in Florence
Monday – Friday, 02,30 – 05:30 pm
Every day of the week is voted to a meal
course, spacing from ancient to new ones: Primi Piatti on Monday; Meat and
poultry on Tuesday; Fish on Wednesday; Desserts on Thursday. The last day,
Friday, a complete meal is performed,
chosen by the students between the ones offered by the school.
At the end of
every lesson, all the participants will enjoy the dishes at a nicely set up
attending the full course will receive apron and the course book.
Monday the 18th : Fresh pasta: Noodles of the Lucumon;
Testaroli with pesto; Crepes of Caterina de’ Medici; Pici with sausage sauce
Tuesday the 19th:
Meat and poultry: Quails(or other available bird, depending on season) with
juniper berries; Chicken Etruscan style; Rabbit with apples; Pork loin in sea
Wednesday the 20th:
Fish and seafood: Drawned baby octopus; Calamars stuffed with Pecorino Romano;
Red mullets Livornese style; Cacciucco (fish soup)
Thursday the 21st:
Dessert day (the desserts vary depending on season): Cremè brulee of
Tuscan Pecorino ;Fresh fruit tart; Cantuccini
Friday the 22nd: a
complete Tuscan Menu contact: email@example.com
.......God will want us to cook some of this soup for HIM.
You'd better know how to make it!
MINESTRA DI FARRO
Ingredients for 6:
1 onion, 1 celery stalk, 1
carrot, finely chopped
50 gr ( 1 ½ Oz) Pancetta,
2 garlic cloves
2 sage leaves
15 gr ( ½ oz
) tomato paste
300 gr ( 10 oz ) Borlotti beans
200 gr ( ½ pound ) farro
40 gr ( 1 ½ oz ) extra virgin olive oil
fresh ground pepper
extra virgin olive oil for
Soak beans in
cold water overnight, then drain them.
Place them in
plenty of water and cook on low heat with 1 garlic clove and 1 sage leaf. Add salt
at the end of cooking time. Puree half of beans, reserving their water.
remaining garlic clove and sage leaf.
chopped vegetables and Pancetta in 40 gr of extra virgin olive oil for about 10
minutes on low heat (with the lid); add
the chopped garlic and sage sage and tomato paste and cook for 5 more minutes.
Add the whole
beans and the pureed beans with about 1 litre (4 cups) of their water. If the
beans water is not enough, add hot clean water.
Bring to a
boil and after few minutes add the farro, previously rinsed and drained..
Simmer for about half hour, adding boiling water as needed.
approximately 15 minutes before serving
the farro soup.
Serve sprinkled with extra virgin olive oil and
freshly ground pepper.
Magic Mike Watcson is a judge of BBQ (barbeque) in Charlotte, North Carolina.
He came to GiglioCooking some years ago to take a weekly course.
He was back last week, to learn how to cook what he defines "the best thing I have ever eaten".
In this photo, out of focus, he is checking the quails which are fired ("fuoco" in Italian) with alchool.
I will be waiting for your third cooking course at GiglioCooking! Thank you for your fidelity, for the lovely conversation and for the funny stories you told me!