176,01 $ USD
176,01 $ USD
Our instructor Javier so knowledgeable
Tour was very nicely organized. Our personal chef was most knowledgeable and had all of us engaged with the meal preparation.
To begin with, this tour should really be 4 hours, not 7-8 hours. We wasted a whole day, with a lot of sitting around.
The tour began with a visit to a local market. There was nothing special about the market, and we're not sure what the purpose of this was, since we did not personally shop for the ingredients. We tasted some fruit, meat and cheese, while our tour guide shopped for the ingredients separately. We spent 1.5 hours here, and this could have easily been 30 minutes or skipped entirely.
The villa was located in the first town outside of Florence, a 30 min drive, so don't take this tour if you're expecting to see the Tuscan countryside.
When we arrived, I was surprised to see the room was not equipped with sinks or stoves, there was simply one hot plate which the chef would use to cook everything. We were expecting for this to be a full cooking class, but it was more like a demonstration. The only part of the class we were involved in, was making the pasta. This was the most enjoyable part of the class.
The chef/instructor did not pass out recipes for us to follow while he prepared and cooked, we really just watched and asked questions. We were supposed to be making a 3 or 4 course meal, but it turned out to only be pasta with meat sauce and tiramisu. For the bruschetta appetizer, he just opened jars of tapenade and put it onto bread!
In terms of the instructor, Marco, he was not very enthusiastic or engaging. He did not introduce himself at the beginning, and did not engage the group or encourage any introductions. Additionally, the most disturbing part was that he did not practice safe handling of food. When we arrived, he did not ask the group to go and wash our hands, and in fact, he himself touched the meat with his hands, and right afterwards touched the vegetables, without washing his hands. This was extremely upsetting, since he was cooking the food for a large group of people. As a chef and instructor, he should have been practicing food safety, and ensuring the whole group was also being safe. Any cooking classes I have ever taken in the past, this was always of utmost importance.
The food itself was very good. We spent about 45 minutes eating, and drinking wine. Afterwards we were taken to a nearby cellar where they make wine and olive oil. Again, we are not sure what the purpose of this was, since we didn't even get to taste any wine or olive oil. Some was available for purchase, but again this 30-45 mins was a complete waste of time.
I think there are a lot of kinks that need to get worked out with this tour and I wouldn't recommend doing it unless you have a full day you don't mind wasting while in Florence. We only had 3 days in Florence and we were very disappointed we wasted one of them on this.
Best day of our Tuscan honeymoon! thank you Chef Marco!
We had a great time! Javier, our instructor, was wonderful. The food was delicious and I'm looking forward to trying it make it at home.