Getting to the heart of Italian cuisine

 

Author: Adele Stiehler

When studying Italian cuisine one very quickly realizes that it is not an isolated subject. Italian food is inseparable from its terroir, its history, cities, art, music and culture. You have to embrace the Italian lifestyle and discover the Italian spirit.

What better place to start such discovery than the heart of Italy? Umbria is the green heart of the country and with its soft rolling hills covered in vineyards olive trees and bell towers it is often referred to as Tuscany’s gentler sister.

This is where ALMA La Scuola Internazionale di Cucina Italiana partnered with the Lungarotti Family to offer a full immersion into Italian lifestyle with their Food and Art Experience courses in the small town of Torgiano.

 

Offered by professional chefs from ALMA’s school in Colorno, Parma, these courses are ideal for foodies and chefs who are interested in authentic Italian cooking. The weekly programme is packed not only with cooking but also includes typical product tastings, visits to local producers and the impressive wine and olive oil museum. The olive oil museum is home to some of the most beautiful ancient oil lamps – the very first use of olive oil, while the wine museum tells a fascinating story of wine as a medicine, an ingredient for love, amusement and merrymaking and wine in mythology.

 

Strolling down the narrow cobble stone streets of this tiny village one can easily get lost in history.  Surrounded by towns like Assisi, Perugia, Montefalco, Spello and Bevagna there is no shortage in history and art. Even Rome, Sienna and Florence, the large art cities are only a two hour trip away. The week suitably ends with a guided tour to one of these cities.

 

Although the course is offered by professional chefs in an industrial kitchen the environment is relaxed and a celebration of food – each day ending in a festive lunch.

 

To make sure you soak up as much of the terroir as possible the accommodations is an agriturismo experience at Lungarottis Poggio Alle Vigne – an old farmhouse turned into apartments with wood fired ovens and a swimming pool for those who want to sunbathe among the vines and olive trees – the way foodies do it! Courses are arranged in South Africa through Prue Leith Chefs Academy.

See the Prue Leith Website for more detail on the full weekly programme and prices. www.prueleith.co.za . The next available week is 7th to the 14th July 2013,  and bookings have already opened.