Chef Moreno picked us up at Varenna's main square for a gorgeous ride to his restaurant and the fun began. After selecting fresh eggs at the local market in Varenna, he carefully prepared tortelloni with ricotta & fresh herbs, roasted pork loin with pancetta & herbs, & an amazing potato casserole. Watching the preparation was not only informative but also grand fun as Chef Moreno combined meticulous instruction with charming wit. His English is wonderful and his sense of humor grand. He provides many preparation tips obviously handed down from generations of Italian cooks, and also lets you help in the preparation if you are so inclined. Found out my teenage son can make a mean tortellini! While you are there, you are served cappuccino and, while food is cooked, wines and a personal tray of artisan meats, cheeses & local crackers. You also have a short break to walk around the area and enjoy the beautiful vistas. (Not that you need it as the class takes place in the lovely, generations-owned restaurant that has stood for centuries.) Each of the snacks and meal were amazing! The pasta is the best ever! And the best part, you leave with recipes that you really can make at home--they are simple and wonderful with normal ingredients. He also gave us alternatives to prepare them a bit differently at home. Our day lasted from 10AM pick up to about 4:15, an all day affair but one we would gladly repeat. At the end Chef Moreno drove us to the ferry to catch the 4:30 ferry across the lake to Mennagio for the Friday evening handicraft market. (Also fun.) Our family agreed this cooking class really was the highlight of our Italian vacation--- and one I hope to one day repeat...until then, I have my memories, cooking notes,and recipes to keep me happy! The 50 euro fee was well worth it for the amazing food and fun. Cannot recommend enough!!
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