Skip to main content

Tuscan Cooking Class at Castello Banfi

One of my favorite parts of our mother/daughter trip this spring was our cooking class in the Montalcino region at Castello Banfi Il Borgo with Chef Domenico Francone. He oversees everything from the cuisine served at La Sala dei Grappoli, the fine dining restaurant, to the room service for the hotel guests. We had already enjoyed a multi-course dinner on our first night so we knew that he was going to be good.

We had been looking forward to learning to cook some Tuscan dishes from a genuine Italian chef ever since we started planning our trip. We met Chef Domenico out on the grounds and we rode with him to a guest house out in the vineyard. Inside a small, homey kitchen, the three of us set about creating a four course lunch to be paired with Banfi wines.

As the chief cook in my own home, I was happy to sit back, sample the wine and let him teach my next generation. I did help with everything though the video doesn't show it. My favorite part was making the pasta which, oddly, I had never attempted before this day.

Our menu:

  • Ricotta flan with zucchini and tomato concasse- I loved this first course and its not difficult to make.
  • Tagliatelle with ragout- My meat sauce has definitely improved since my afternoon with Domenico, I'm using less garlic and mincing up the veggies more.
  • Fillet of veal with Tuscan bacon and seasonal vegetables- Complete stove-top meal in this one course that every college student should be able to make in some rendition, perfect for my daughter.
  • Chocolate Souffle- Easier than I expected though I didn't actually participate in this dish. I watched them, took pictures and sipped on some more wine, but from my vantage point, it looked very doable.
Check out the video and get a glimpse of our cooking class in beautiful Tuscany, an amazing culinary experience.


Popular posts from this blog

Sculpted in Steel - A Luxury Automobile Showcase from the Art Deco Era

Whether you are visiting the city of Houston or live here full time, if you are a car lover, there is one thing to do this spring that is a must-do.  Visit the Museum of Fine Arts Houston to check out the temporary luxury art deco automobile exhibit, Sculpted in Steel .  I toured the display recently and was impressed by the array.  This collection is   a showcase of seventeen cars and motorcycles designed between 1929 -1940. These vehicles are more than art cars or show cars, they are true art deco masterpieces. The museum has great information about the period and designers throughout the exhibit.  Go sooner rather than later, they will only be on display until May 30, 2016.

Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows - Santa Monica

Refreshment on the patio of the Lobby Lounge My husband and I stayed at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows with our adult daughter this summer after her graduation from a Masters program at Claremont Graduate University. We wanted to be near the beach but still be able to easily get into Los Angeles to visit some of the tourist attractions. This was our first time to stay at a Fairmont Hotel . I chose the Miramar for its ocean views and its proximity to the Santa Monica Pier and the beach. It has a long history with a Hollywood connection, it has been a destination of the stars for almost a century. After looking over the various room options, I decided that the Palisade King Suite would easily accommodate us. My husband and I shared a private bedroom and our daughter got the fold out couch in the living room. The six story Palisades wing which housed our room is a historic part of the property that was built in 1924. For a more luxe experience, you can also book a pool

Touring the Getty Villa

We toured the Getty Villa during our recent trip to Santa Monica, it was about a 15 minute drive from our hotel. We opted to do a self-guided tour as we had not really allowed enough time for this visit. The museum is currently under construction and will be until the fall of this year so some parts were closed or not fully functional during our time there. Check the website for more information on times and schedules. Visitors enter through the Fleishman Theater which was added in 1996 during a renovation. It is constructed to look like an outdoor classical theater and they will do a live production here on weekends in September which does carry a cost. Admission is free to tour the Getty Villa but parking is $15 a car. You do need to go on-line and reserve your tickets as you have a designated entry time. They also have shows, tours and live music on their calendar that you may want to schedule your visit around, some fees may apply for those special events. The shows include a