The History Of Toscana Saporita
My cousin Anne and I had a dream: to open a cooking school in Tuscany, the ancestral home of our family. It was an ambitious plan for in those days very few Italian cooking schools were known in the US and many people didn’t even know what to expect from a cooking school abroad.
We were so determined to share our passion for cooking and passing on ancient Tuscan traditions that we said: we must – why not?
After publishing several acclaimed cookbooks in the US and Italy and after having appeared in many well known cooking magazines and newspapers in the US, the adventure began.
We were coming back to the land our ancestors left at the end of 1800… and from NYC, what a step! There was a monumental dose of work and patience waiting for us but we were ready and it was great fun…and sweat! Twenty two years later here I am, unfortunately without Anne who passed away in 2001.
Thankfully her energy, liveliness, passion and inner voice are still with me, intact.
How everything started
During the years, I have been blessed to have worked with some amazing chefs at the school and the immense support of FCI and CIA has made the school famous worldwide. Stellar names of chef friends like Mario Batali , Dieter Schorner, Arthur Schwartz, Cesare Casella, Gary Rhodes and Mary Ann Esposito and wine guru Michael Green, to name a few, have come to the school or have recommended it to their friends.
We have been featured in many prominent magazines and newspapers throughout the years that not only wrote about our authentic program but also highlighted the special weeks organized by Kitchen Aid to support the Komen Foundation and Cook for the Cure. I have to thank each one of these amazing people as they have supported us immensely.
They are the reason why we are still rocking.
Friends are always friends
Family is the core of the Italian people and I can truly say, my clients who first became my students are now my family. I am in touch with all of them since 1994. They are the reason why we grew up so much and became so well known.
They are the school!
Christopher Covelli, amazing chef and friend, has been with me since Anne died. Together we form the dynamic duo and working with him is just great!
Family, tradition, love, ties, stubbornness, laughing until you cry…. these are the qualities that define Toscana Saporita Cooking School and make it unique and so special. We teach you ancient and traditional dishes, using only the freshest and seasonal ingredients. We run classes even if we have 2 students because we care and mostly because we have a commitment to all of you who book, sometimes, a year or two in advance.
My promise to all those who enter the door of the school is that you will take my passion for this land home with you. You will go back as brand new person, enriched (and stuffed and changed. This land can change you; the people you will meet will change you. I will change you and YOU will want to come back again and again.
An extended family
After 29 years from the opening of our cooking school our mission, teaching the importance of our culinary and cultural traditions, hasn’t changed. Our goal is to pass our passion to every single person that walks through our doors. Cooking is the foundation of every population. It represents that significant bond that ties generations and families…it reminds of the flavor of our childhood. It is incredible how recipes and flavors can propell us back to the time we were cooking or eating with our grandparents. Nothing else has this incredible power. Every year we refresh our missision, we propose new recipes, techiniques, dishes, all seasoned with history and the unique Tuscan passion. Our intent is to involve whomever is learning from us and make them feel part of us, part of our history.
We have always believed in the seasons and therefore farm to table has always been our philosophy. We only work with what the seasons offer. Our estate is famous for the variety of its land. We have a bounty of everything, in every season. For centuries, Italians have followed this ritual, celebrating produce that has been waited for for months. The number of recipes featuring each one of them is incredible. Every week we welcome 16 new students coming from every part of the World. Their culture and our culture meet. It is an amazing opportunity for all of us. They share with us and we share with them. Cooking is the bond that ties us forever. Teaching, eating together, touring together, having fun, celebrating food and wine….this is what life is about at Toscana Saporita Cooking School. At the end of the week we are happy to have made new friends. Our students go back with a suitcase full of passion. And we know that every Saturday is not a farewell….it’s an Arrivederci!