Cooking for Health and Beauty

Cooking for health and beauty at TuscookanyAlthough I write about health and beauty I need to confess that I rarely manage to  eat those  5-7 daily servings of  fruits and vegetables.   I buy them, search for  low calorie recipes, cook them up– and then only   eat a bit or two.  They  just didn’t taste that appealing.   French recipes add too much  butter and cream,  while Asian recipes add lethal amounts of salt.  However  the Mediterranean style of eating  in Italy, Greece and Spain  is packed with healthy anti-aging ingredients.  In fact  the Mediterranean  diet is packed with  olive oil, fish and fresh fruits and vegetables.   I realized that I really needed to up my skills and learn to cook in  this naturally healthy style.

Health and beauty in a professional kitchenCooking lessons  in Italy has  long been  an item on my bucket list.  I decided I would learn to cook like an Italian at  Tuscookany, in a villa in Tuscany about an hour from Florance.  For three glorious  days I would learn the secrets of a  true Italian chef.   I had never  cooked in a professional kitchen before  and I was in heaven  with the powerful stoves, giant pots, perfect knives and an ice cream maker that worked in minutes.  I felt like a contestant on the Iron Chef as I chopped garlic, sauted onions ,  and rolled out fresh pasta.  Chef Franco Chef Franco teaches how to cook for hralth and beauty cared deeply that each of us in the class master our menus.  He shared professional tips  like adding  a pinch of baking soda to a tomato  sauce  to neutralize the acidity.   I was even more impressed  when he showed us  how to  use soy  lecithin granules to thicken up a vingergrette. Perfect!

Tuscookany  is based in a 16th century  villa  with its  own  orange groves and olive trees. I learned how to clean artichokes,  make  vegetable broth, debone a whole  bird and make ravioli from scratch.  For lunch  we  made pizza from  scratch and  slid it into a centuries old  coal  fired oven.  Each night I would take a pair of sissors and cut  bunches of fresh tyyme, mint and basil from a glorious herb garden.Cooking for health and beauty

We worked from  the Tuscookany notebook, a 3 ring binder of more than 100 recipes.  We ate  amazingly well at the Villa.  In the morning there were platters of cheese, homemde bread and deep golden eggs from local chickens.  At night we  consumed  multi courses that we had cooked during the day.  And   here is the best part– I didn’t   gain an ounce proving once again the health benefits  of eating  fresh vegetables and olive oil.

Tuscookany offers  3 day and  7 day programs at  three  separate  villas.  I was at the villa  Torre del Tartufo.  In addition to  cooking classes, we went on a tour  of local vineyards, olive  oil producers and bakers.  And true  to  the name of the villa, we went on a truffle hunt and grated our finds  over our completely homemade  spinach and cheese  ravioli. Best. Meal. Ever.  For  more  information  check out  their website



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