I attended the Toscana Mia cooking school with a couple of friends, and had a wonderful time. Paola and Simonetta were wonderful hosts and teachers - we were welcomed into the home (a cosy farmhouse just outside of Gaiole in Chianti) from the instant we arrived, and received more than a cooking experience, but a cultural experience as well. We were given a selection of recipes to choose from prior to our visit, and during the 4 hours we spent in the kitchen/dining, we made (and gobbled up) 5 superb dishes, using simple, fresh ingredients, without requirement for fancy kitchen equipment. As a somewhat lazy cook, the lesson gave me confidence to prepare a great meal without too much fuss. Paola was our main teacher on the day, and she made the whole experience enjoyable, with a quick sense of humour and excellent command of English. Oh, and a couple of glasses of Chianti whilst cooking were just an added bonus. When it came to sit down to dine, we were able to sit with members of the family and learn about some local customs and superstitions (e.g. if you are served the last drops of a bottle of wine, expect to be married in a year!), and pick up a few language and sightseeing tips. I would highly recommend this to anyone who is planning to spend a little time in Tuscany, and who enjoys food!
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