our 15th anniversary


The paint was still wet on two walls. We forgot about a minor holiday and our market was closed. We prayed that no one asked anything too specific about wine. It was 2003 and our school had just opened. And we knew so little, so little in fact that it would take us years to find out, just how little we actually had known at the time. As a school, our 101 year old neighbour ate our leftovers. She liked some more than others, she said, kindly. But we were open, and learning everyday and the guests were going away happy.

And we studied and studied and more and more of the world started to come, to the point that we now routinely have as many nations as students at the table. We added a second location- the castle-, where we now spend about half the year. We graduated in wine in the national system and began to teach food and wine as university courses and now we’ve had students from 54 different nations and we’re about to turn 15.

It’s time to celebrate.

For our 15th birthday week we’re thinking pig.

Pigs, actually, three of them. Big ones.

A week dedicated to 15 pork dishes, culminating in a whole roast pig, courtesy of the baron’s on premises wood-fired oven. We’ll have a special guest, San Francisco’s Liza Shaw with us for the week, to engage in and oversee all the flagrant porcinity.

You’ll learn to render the lard to make tender pastry. You’ll learn to make sausages, meatballs, meatloaves and rich meat sauces to dress all the pasta that you’ll learn to make. Local wine will gush like a river from countless large-format bottles. Poor judgment will prevail. A profound lack of adult supervision. Moderate to heavy left-arm pain. Paramedics. Profound sweating, and prolonged and laboured mouth breathing. Followed by an array of fruit and fine cordials.

But in the spirit of our early days we’ll make double of everything we’ll need and give half of it away to the local elderly, especially those that don’t get out as much as they used to. We’ll fill their stomachs, and freezers, keeping your visit sweet in their minds for years to come. (In fact, you’re encouraged to bring your favourite freezer bags from home, as they are not as common in Italy).

If you’d like to learn a lot, have a lot of fun while angering your vegan friends on Instagram and give back to the community (literally, giving Italian food to Italian people), then this might be the class for you.

October 8th-13th, 2018. At the castle. 

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