Join Mauro, home Chef, food lover and purveyor, in his professional Tuscan kitchen for a flavor-filled cooking experience in the heart of Lucca. He grew up cooking in the kitchen with his grandmother, using ancient flavors, Tuscan traditions and family recipes from his native land. Join him in our food lover’s experience that is authentic, educational, tasty and fun. Your four-day program includes two hands-on Kosher cooking classes in the center of Lucca with Mauro and his family and features a Shop With The Chef Market Tour hosted by the Maestro himself. Tie on your aprons and get ready for a hands-on cooking experience set in this quaint Tuscan town.
Mauro started to cook at the early age of 16 years old and continued to develop his love and passion for cooking family style. His food experience includes working with chefs, wine producers, olive oil producers, butchers, and most important, local Tuscan women who really showed him how to cook!
With hands-on experience and knowledge in a world of food experts & artisans, he then opened his own kitchen. Today he shares his knowledge of food and wine along with his wife and family at home in Lucca. He uses only seasonal fresh products of the region in each cooking class, such as porcini, chestnuts, extra virgin olive oils, polenta, truffles, and of course the great wines and cheeses. Menus change seasonally, with a selection of vegetarian, meat and fish recipes too. After each cooking class, everyone enjoys the foods you prepared in class on the outdoor patio (weather permitting) for lunch.
Partnered with his Italo-Israeli wife, Maestro Mauro’s Kosher menus are based on regional & seasonal ingredients, including meat and dairy. Special kosher needs are accommodated upon request.
Sample Seasonal Menus Include:
Bruschetta al Pomodoro
Homemade Fresh Pasta: Tordelli al Ragù
Pollo alla Cacciatora
Crostini with salsa verde, artichokes, mushrooms or dried tomato and olive pâté
Homemade Fresh Pasta: Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli
Lucca, a quaint Medieval city where locals still bike along ancient cobblestone streets; cafés fill with young and old alike, reading, conversing and studying; and life passes slower than usual. Pass a bookshop or ceramic artisan’s studio, or just stop and listen to one of the musicians in the piazza playing a classic Puccini. The best way to visit and see Lucca is by bicycle, foot or horse-driven carriage. Lucca is known for its 16th and 17th-century walls that circle the city and once protected it from invaders.
While soaking up the culture in Lucca, whether peddling along the cobblestone streets or strolling under an early morning sun, we suggest a visit to the home of Lucca’s great, Giacomo Puccini.
Giacomo Puccini was born on December 22, 1858, within Lucca’s city walls, on Via di Poggio near Piazza San Michele. Visit the composer’s former home, which is now a museum with artifacts and Puccini’s piano on display. Take a half a day to visit the museum. And if you still have time, walk over to the Corte San Lorenzo where a bronze statue of Giacomo Puccini sits in honor of his life.
Puccini’s memories are seen throughout the province of Lucca, especially at his charming home of Torre del Lago. Puccini spent his childhood at this house in Lucca, before he moved to Milan. Giacomo Puccini’s credits include Tosca, Madam Butterfly and La Boheme.
Each summer, the Opera Theater of Lucca still salutes the great musician with the Summer Festival.
Your non-Kosher accommodations in Lucca are in a historic 4-star superior hotel, originally a 16th-century palace. Located in the heart of Lucca, the hotel has recently completed a careful restoration keeping its character and adding modern comforts. A few steps from the main square, the hotel provides a great location to enjoy the sights, smells and sounds of the ancient city of Lucca. Each morning, an international breakfast is served and the hotel’s Lounge Bar provides the perfect spot for a relaxing aperitivo in the evening.
Each elegantly appointed bedroom is furnished with fine furnishing, and has a private bathroom, independently controlled air conditioning/ heating, LCD TV with satellite channels and PAYTV, direct line telephone, Wi-Fi internet connection, minibar, safe, relax or work area, hairdryer and cable radio. (If you would prefer to book a self-contained apartment for the duration of your stay, please contact us for details.)
Itinerary: 4 Days, 3 Nights
Check in and start your program on any day of the week, subject to availability.
Day 1: Arrival & Welcome Dinner
- Arrival in Pisa and transfer to your hotel in the heart of Lucca.
- Relax and check in to the hotel.
- In the evening, a Welcome Dinner is served by Mauro. Your first evening will introduce you to the traditional Kosher dishes of Tuscany and Italy, food history and culture that make up your cooking course.
Day 2: Market Tour & Kosher Cooking Class 1
Breakfast is served.
- After breakfast, get an early start for your Local Marketplace Tour. Shop With The Chef Market Tour led by Mauro & his wife. Shop With The Chef Market Tour and learn how to choose fragrant, in-season fruits and vegetables, crisp oven-baked breads, artisan cheeses and hand-selected ingredients for your afternoon cooking course.
- Meet back in the kitchen in the later morning and get cooking for your hands-on Kosher Cooking Class 1 with your hosts.
- Lunch follows and everyone enjoys the foods that were prepared in class.
- Afternoon free and dinner is on your own. Suggestions provided at the hotel.
Day 3: Kosher Cooking Class 2
- Breakfast is served.
- Meet back in the kitchen in the later morning for your hands-on Kosher Cooking Class 2.
- Lunch follows and everyone enjoys the foods that were prepared in class.
- Afternoon free and on your own. Dinner on your own. Suggestions provided.
- Add on a guided tour, suggestion, to Siena, Pisa or the Garfagna Countryside. See Tours below.
Day 4: Departure
- Breakfast is served.
- Departure transfer. Ciao e a presto!
- 4 days/ 3 nights at 4-star superior hotel, based on double occupancy.
- Daily breakfast.
- 2 Kosher cooking classes with lunch or dinner following with the foods that were prepared in class. ¼ L local Kosher wine per person & water included.
- Transfers to/from cooking classes.
- Marketplace Tour- Shop With The Chef Market Tour before one of your cooking classes.
- Welcome dinner, drinks included.
- Cooking aprons and recipes.
- Arrival & Departure transfers from Florence or Pisa Airport.
$1,895 per person, based on double occupancy. (January 3 to March 31, November 5 to December 23)
Please call for single supplement pricing. Low Season
$2,025 per person, based on double occupancy. (April 1 – 19, April 22 to June 30)
Please call for single supplement pricing. Mid Season
$2,195 per person, based on double occupancy. (April 20-21, July 1 to November 3, December 24 to January 2)
Please call for single supplement pricing. High Season
The Kashrut Certification and supervision for the 1-Day Class is $435 (no matter how many clients) and for the 4-day program is $755 (no matter how many clients).
The Kosher supervision is carried out by a Capo Rabbi. All utensils are Kosher, including the oven and stove, meat. wine and recipes are all Kosher.
*An Italian visitor tax may apply in some cities and must be paid directly on site at check out.
2019 Dates: This program is available throughout the year. You can check in and start your program any day of the week. Rates are subject to change, based on currency exchange. Call for updated rates. Airfare not included. Group transfers for any cooking tour or tours that include transfers, are for the group and are not private. Transfers before, after or to another destination outside of your cooking tour are not included in the program price. If you would like to add on a private transfer or transfers, let us know and we will send you pricing.
Tuscan Country & City Tours:
Please ask if you would like to add-on tours to your program. Must be reserved in an advance and are an additional fee.
Lucca City Walking Tour
Guided Walking Tour of Lucca; walking, touring and seeing the sights, the tour runs approximately 2 to 3 hours. World famous for its walls Lucca, is a quaint Medieval city where locals still bike along ancient cobblestone streets. The city tour meanders through medieval streets, churches & palaces, Renaissance gardens, and the piazzas with their friendly cafés. Our tour leads you to discover the main monuments of the city: the perfectly preserved town walls, the Cathedral of S. Martino, the Amphitheatre Square, and the Guinigi Tower.
Garfagnana Countryside Tour
Depart for a tour with private driver to the fascinating valley through the northern mountains of Lucca, Garfagnana. Admire a valley rich of culture and discover a fascinating world of traditions such as cheese production, local sausages and other well-known artisan-made Slow Food delicacies. Tastings included.
A stop for lunch in a Traditional Trattoria (Lunch not included).
After lunch, visit of the historic villages of Castelnuovo and Barga, dominated by the main church on the hilltop. Get a glimpse on how life was in the old times through narrow and steep alleys, and enjoy the view of the mountains around the valley.
Half Day Guided Excursion To Pisa
Guided tour of the Piazza del Duomo, also called Piazza dei Miracoli. It represents one of the most breathtaking sites in all Italy for the extraordinary harmony which unifies its array of magnificent monuments like the Leaning Tower, the Baptistery and the Camposanto.
Full Day Excursion To Florence
Guided Tour of Italy’s City of Art. This visit to Florence offers a marvelous insight into the town. The most important places of artistic interest: the Duomo square and the Cathedral, the Giotto Bell and the Baptistery. The visit continues with the Signoria square and Palazzo Vecchio with the suggestive Ponte Vecchio. There you’ll be able to admire the ancient goldsmith shops lining the bridge. Your tour finishes with a visit to the Santa Croce Basilica that holds several works of art, including Giotto’s famous frescos and the tombs of many Italian celebrities. Lunch in a world-renowned trattoria in the old town. Free afternoon for shopping and return to Lucca.
Full Day Excursion To Siena
This guided walking tour of Siena with English speaking guide lasts approximately 2/3 hours; walking through the centre of the historic town. Famous for its Palio, described as “the sole living model of a medieval city.” Our tour leads you to discover the main monuments of the city: The Piazza del Campo, the main square, an outstanding example of medieval architecture shaped like a scalloped-shell with the Torre del Mangia, the unique Piazza del Duomo with its trecento Paving and the Basilica of S. Domenico. Lunch included in a typical Restaurant in the famous Palio Square to taste the famous Pici and other typical dishes with Chianti wine. Free time in the afternoon and return in the late afternoon to Lucca.