We loved the whole week
We took a train to Lastra a Signa and Emily and June met us at the station. It was like living in a fairy-tale castle. We loved the whole week. The 3 chefs, the cooking classes, the food, the day-trips, the guide in Florence, the owners and their family and staff were all fantastic. So professional!! They couldn't have done any more for us. We will treasure the memories forever. Ian and Chef Luciano swapped hats, so, Ian now has a chef's hat and Luciano has a farmers hat.
Your cooking class exceeded all expectations
Our visit to Taste of Tuscany with my family was one of my personal favorites two summers ago when i travelled with my husband, aunt and mother-in-law, so i would personally like to thank you for providing a wonderful theme-style destination for me to talk about! Your cooking class exceeded all expectations. We look forward to showcasing many great trips and providing quality travel tips.
Thank you for making the day so special
I wanted to send you a brief note of thanks for being a part of a very successful Italian Gourmet tour this year.
Marilyn was very pleased with how well our group was looked after at the Villa Pandolfino. The day at the villa was an absolute highlight of our tour that was absolutely loved by all that participated.
Thank you for making the day so special. We look forward to returning in 2014 and seeing you on the 3rd July!
The best experience of a lifetime
My wife and I have spent 2 weeks in Europe. By FAR this has been the best experience of a lifetime. I would love to come back to complete more cooking classes.
Cooking with our chefs is one of the primo experiences in visiting Florence
Cooking with our chefs is one of the primo experiences in visiting Florence. Cooking, eating and being able to prepare authentic Tuscan dishes is beyond words. Not only is the food extraordinary but meeting and cookign with all the new friends you make is just wonderful! I wuold recommend this class to anyone. Thank you.
Our villa was beautiful and had an amazing time.
Dear Villa Pandolfini, Thankyou so much for a wonderful stay here. Our villa was beautiful and had an amazing time. Thankyou for your hospitality. Your kindness and extra measures meant so much. Thankyou, Chelsea, Laura, Cristina, Kristin & Meghan.
Words alone cannot express our gratitude
Dear Sarah, Words alone cannot express our gratitude to you for all of your assistance both in planning and enhancing our visit to the beautiful estate! Your kindness, patience and positive attitude helped us transition from city to country so much more fluidly. Your willingness to do whatever necessary for us to all thoroughly enjoy our lengthy stay was so very much appreciated. You helped us all see the marvellous ease of country living in Tuscany , from perfect accommodations to welcome baskets, from our cooking classes to our day of touring, you di a magnificent job! We will be back.
I want to thank you for the experience of my life
Dear Mary Smith and Sarah, I want to thank you for the experience of my life during the week long cooking class in Tuscany. It was beyond my expectations! EVERYTHING was more than one can even begin to anticipate. Casa Rossa was the perfect place to stay. What a surprise to find a wonderful basket of fruit and food items, and other women with common interests. My traveling friend and I now have some great new friends to share our adventure with back in the states. Then to have an incredible cooking week, meeting our chefs, bantering about pasta methods and enjoying incredible food, was just over the top! I am so very glad I decided to attend the Good Tastes of Tuscany cooking school and will recommend it to everyone who is wants the experience of a great cooking school in Tuscany, good people and new friends. Thank you again, and please let all the family and chefs know we will remember each day, each adventure, for a lifetime.
Wonderful holiday in Itlay
I just got back home from our wonderful holiday in Itlay. I wanted you to know how much we enjoyed our cooking experience. It was one of the highlights of our trip. Maurezio was outstanding. I will recomend your class to everyone I know. Thanks again.
I truly enjoyed the classes
Hi Mary Smith and Sarah!! I hope your are all well! I just wanted to say thank you for making my experience in Tuscany Cooking a very deliciuos one!! I truly enjoyed the classes with your 3 different chefs, and I took home with me all their varied ways and little tricks they use to make the menu a little extra special.tsc I will certainly reccomend your school to all my clients. I plan on returning with my girlfriends next time so they can share tha calories with me. In the meantime can you send me the link for FaceBook as you had suggested. Take good care !!! Give little Julia a kiss for me!!
I would love to come for a vacation and cook more Tuscan delights
Dear All I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed participating in your Tuscan cooking experience. As a chef on board a corporate jet, I was looking forward to learning some new recipes I could cook on the plane, On the way home, I indeed did cook the stuffed onions with pecorino cheese and the Tuscan chicken with pine nuts,red onion, raisins, white wine and black olives. The owners loved the dishes and it was the perfect end to our Italian leg. The market tour we took was very informative. I would suggest that everyone add that tour to the day. I learned so much from Simon. So many times in foreign countries the food is different and I always have many questions. Not only was this market spectacular, but I returned and bought almost all my catering from there for the trip home. The benefit of the tour is also knowing where to buy. Thank you for saving me time with that selection. Of course coming during mushroom season was an added bonus. I cooked Porcini mushrooms and they were also appreciated by the owners. I would love to come for a vacation and cook more Tuscan delights. I loved the ease and simplicity and the countryside. My owner's wife wanted a copy of your book. the Vice President of Jet Aviation would like one,too.I raved about the experience and would like to purchase 2 books to give to them if possible. Thank you again to all who worked so hard to make us feel welcome and teach us some great recipes. I look forward to returning either for business or pleasure soon!
I had such a great time
31st Mar 2010 - My friend Rose and I have just completed our 3-day cooking course and we LOVED it. I expect Rose will write her own thing in due course (she is returning to a much busier life than me ... (I'm currently redundant!)) ... I had such a great time and learned such a lot ... I can't wait to get started on the things that Alberto and Simone taught us (we both bought fresh yeast before we left Florence earlier today and even now I'm searching out 0 and 00 flour - not easy in England, which doesn't apply any ratings to flour!). Both chefs were highly knowledgeable and passed their knowledge on to us skillfully and in a fun/relaxed way (particularly Alberto - he was our chef for two out of the three days, so we saw more of him - he was great and I hope you will pass our compliments on to him for his good teaching style, his enthusiasm and attentiveness - he really brought the recipes and Tuscan cooking culture to life). All the arrangements you put in place worked really well (pick up / drop off each day etc. etc.) - it was a truly memorable holiday. Anyhow, I'm looking forward to hearing more about what the cookery school is up to (Rose and I will be saving our pennies to come again hopefully one day soon) Thanks to everyone for all their efforts on our behalf.
Truly unforgettable day at Villa Pandolfini
Rachelle and I wanted to express our thanks for a truly unforgettable day at Villa Pandolfini. Our vacation in Tuscany was magical - every day was a fantastic voyage of discovery; a beautiful assault to all the senses. There was no better way to end our week than by taking our cooking class with Maurizio. It is a day we will remember for the rest of our lives. We left Italy longing for more and hope to return next year for an extended course. Thank you so much for a truly memorable and unique experience. We hope you enjoy the photographs.
We feel the experience was one of the high points of our entire trip!
Now that we are home from our vacation (sadly) we just wanted to say how much we truly enjoyed the cooking class. Maurizo was awesome and we feel the experience was one of the high points of our entire trip! Thank you for such a wonderful experience.
We had an absolute blast...
We had an absolute blast...I am soooo happy that we stayed put for a week, and got to know the locals and the town! Kenya and I had sooo much fun taking the cooking classes too! Kenya has already made homemade pasta (by herself, I must add!!!) and I had an opportunity to make the Panna Cotta for my co-workers...they were very impressed! Maurizio and Alberto had very different teaching styles, and that was perfect!!! I would definitely, and actually have, recommended Good Tastes of Tuscany to my family and friends...you are listed on my Facebook page, and tagged in several of my photos! : ) I will also post a review on Trip Advisor as well! : )
We enjoyed the cooking classes a lot
My son and I enjoyed very much our stay with you. It was perfect. 1. We tried a few restaurants in Signa, they were good. There was one, however, where we found the food mediocre and the service lacking. That was, if I remember correctly, Officina del gusto. 2. As to the stay, we stayed in villa agnoli 2 which was ample room for two persons. It was well equipped, tasteful, great view. Appreciated acces to computer since I had to check my mail for confirmations for our further trip. Great also to have groceries waiting for us. 3. The drivers were OK. The organization was very good. I appreciated a lot the helpfulness of Sarah who also took me to the pharmacy, called her doctor, etc. Great relaxed atmosphere, nothing was too difficult. 4. We enjoyed the cooking classes a lot. Good to have different styles of chefs, some relaxed. I appreciated Simone who gave information about what happened with different techniques, for example when you add water to the dough it is absorbed by the protein,etc. etc. We had pulp on the menu one day we is OK, but I would have liked to have fish one day as well (we stayed four days). What could be improved? It is really hard to find something to improve.... It was just perfect and we plan on coming back later in the year when the seasons (and hence the products) change.
I really loved the class
I really loved the class; I really don't have any feedback on improvements that could be made. The Chef was wonderful and it was one of the best meals I ate in Italy! Have a wonderful day!
It was a really fun way to learn about Tuscan cookery
We did have a great time at the cooking class. It was a really fun way to learn about Tuscan cookery with the chef Alberto and the other people in class making it a very friendly and sociable experience too! We have recreated some of the dishes since we got back home and they've gone down really well with our friends and family! In fact some of our friends are visiting Florence later this year (September/October) and we're trying to encourage them to go to the cooking class!
Our experience at your cooking school was very wonderful
Our experience at your cooking school was very wonderful - in fact, it was exactly what I had pictured it to be in my mind!! We loved that it was completely hands on, with many opportunities to ask questions along the way. The recipes were delicious, the chef and his wife could not have been nicer and in all, we had a perfect day at the school. We have told many friends about it and will be talking about it and recalling it for a very long time. And, yes, we are enjoying trying out the recipes in our own kitchen.
Testimonial Had a FANTASTIC time at the Tuscany Cooking Class
We had a FANTASTIC time at the Tuscany Cooking Class. The class catered to beginner and experienced chefs alike and featured recipes for food that someone would cook on a regular basis. The chefs/teachers were very friendly, patient and informative throughout the entire day. We would definitely recommend this course for the new or experienced chef!
I thoroughly enjoyed my day with Good Tastes of Tuscany
I thoroughly enjoyed my day with Good Tastes of Tuscany. The setting was exceptional; the kitchen splendid and the chef, Riberto, was enthusiastic, well-prepared and completely professional while at the same time affirming of his apprentices. We ate our own cooking and enjoyed it! That is the test of a good meal!
It was an experience of a lifetime
It seems like a lifetime ago I was cooking in Italy. You can use my name, initial for anything. I do not think there is any room for improvement. It was an experience of a lifetime. It really made our trip complete.
We enjoyed the cooking class immensely
We enjoyed the cooking class immensely. We have tried several of the recipes at home and they are wonderful. Mastering the art of making pasta is one goal that we have! There wouldn't be anything we would change and thought that the Chef Simone was wonderful, patient and gave very helpful hints. The cooking class was one of the highlights of our stay in Florence!
Cooking class was wonderful
This cooking class was wonderful. I learned to make the best, fresh ravioli that I have ever eaten!" Thanks again for the class.
SO enjoyable and educational.
I would be happy to leave these comments... It was about a 20 minute walk from Ponte Vecchio to the pick up site so leave yourself time to get there. We were picked up in a van and transported to the winery - about a 15 minute drive. The cooking lesson is given inside a large kitchen on the bottom floor of a building where there are several ovens, two large tables set up for us to make our dishes, several burners, and a long table for everyone to eat around. When we first got there and got started I thought we were just going to be watching, but after we were introduced to our menu, and got our own recipe book and apron, we all took part in the preparation - I definitely got messy - which is exactly what I wanted!! Our chef, Simone, was wonderful!! His English was really good. The recipes were great - they tasted SO GOOD - and Simone would tell us alterations that he used that made them even better!! I learned so many new things and I am so excited about using them now that I'm back home. Several of us wanted to purchase wine/olive oil and the winery was nice enough to bring over bottles in boxes for us so it made it easier to transport. I would DEFINATELY recommend this company and I will definitely take another lesson when I return to Florence!! Hopefully, Simone will still be working for them...he made the evening SO enjoyable and educational. Thank you so much for the awesome experience and I can't wait to come back! You definitely have my business and will tell everyone else to use you!!
Great memories of cooking in Tuscany!
We really enjoyed our cooking class in Florence with chef Alberto! It was entertaining, interesting, and informative. The menu selection was wonderful and the aromas of the pasta sauce and chicken simmering on the stove are still fresh. We had so much fun and quite a few laughs making pasta "from scatch". I was amazed at how simple it was to prepare panna cotta, a favorite dessert. Alberto made it all seem so easy! Of course, the wine and olive oil tasting added to our feeling of being true Italian cooks. The huge authentic kitchen was a wonderful place to cook and everything met or exceeded our expectations. We learn best by being involved, so we sincerely enjoyed the "hands on" experience and would recommend Good Tastes of Tuscany to everyone- young, old, experienced cooks, and beginners. Our small class of six had them all and we had a most enjoyable time together. Later in our travels, we met people who had also been at a cooking school in Florence but only as observers and not participants. They wished they'd been in our class! We have been away on an extended holiday so we haven't tried our recipes yet. Our friends are all asking for invitations to an Italian dinner so we'll begin soon. We did not get the recipe for the "fake meat" sauce (vegetables) and it's not in the book so we would appreciate it if you could send that via email. Thank you for the great memories of cooking in Tuscany!
The most memorable days of our trip to Italy
Our day with Franco and Edna was a very special day. They were good teachers and we learned a lot about cooking stock, veal shank, tiramisu, ravioli, and brochette. Both Franco and Edna were good teachers and friendly. Our day with them was one of the most memorable days of our trip to Italy. Thanks for a great day and experience with Italian cooking. I now need to find some utensils so I can make my own ravioli.
We all had a blast!
One of our favourite things we did in Italy! Six kids ages 5-12 and 5 adults and we all had a blast! All of the kids are tiramisu converts, and the kids made us a whole dinner from other recipes in the cookbook. Would highly recommend for families. Alberto was fantastic with the kids. Only suggestions would be that there wasn't enough for everyone to do since all 11 of us wanted to participate - maybe needed the extra course with a group our size.
The dishes we prepared were delicious
I want to let you know that our class with Franco and Eldna was wonderful!!! They were great teachers, made the class interesting and fun. The dishes we prepared were delicious and we enjoyed trying out what we learned now that we are home. Please send our regards.
The dishes we prepared were delicious
I want to let you know that our class with Franco and Eldna was wonderful!!! They were great teachers, made the class interesting and fun. The dishes we prepared were delicious and we enjoyed trying out what we learned now that we are home. Please send our regards.
I look forward to coming back
As promise my comment for your website is here: A big thanks to Mary Smith for being such a great host and welcoming me to the Villa, I must commend you for the flexibility you showed when I was in the planning stages and for the opportunity that provided me to do so much: taking classes and working under the guidance of Maurizio and Simone in making some wonderful dishes, enjoying sumptuous meals and for putting together such nice group of people during my visit to Tuscany, I look forward to coming back and wish you every success! warm regards,
I loved every moment
I just wanted to say hello to you both Mary Smith and Sarah, and tell you that after two weeks of being home from my trip, I still wake up everyday and my first thought is of Italy. I have pictures here in my computer nook of my beautiful view out of my bedroom windows. One of the favorite parts of my day there was waking and opening those green shutters and looking out, pinching myself as proof that I was really there and hearing the beautiful church bells ring. I loved every moment that I was there and must say that you both should glow with pride at what a wonderful business you have grown and never doubt that your attention to detail and your warmth and caring make it possible for someone like myself to have had the trip of a lifetime. I thank you both from the bottom of my heart. I am looking forward to returning as soon as I can. I know you are both busy making other peoples dreams a reality, and squeezing in your own I hope, so please don't worry about writing back, I just wanted to share my thoughts. Be well and happy and find joy in every day.
Had a splendid time at Good Taste of Tuscany
My family and I had a splendid time at Good Taste of Tuscany and have recommended you to others. Not only have I used your cookbook several times to much acclaim, but I even bought a pasta machine though with less successful results. My daughter also bought a pasta machine and is delighted with her linguine and ravioli. And my son wants one for his birthday -- I could never have predicted that. When we talk about our trip to Florence, there is no disagreement about the highlight -- our time spent in your kitchen. Of course, use my comments if you wish as well as my name. We do have photos and I will send those in a separate e-mail. I am copying my children in case they have additional comments. All the best.
We had an incredible time
I'm happy to give feedback on behalf of myself and Mel Carseldine. - and its fine to go on the website. We had an incredible time, Chef Moretti was a fantastic chef, he provided us with entertainment and was really easy to get along with. The food itself that we cooked, was great. We enjoyed every bit of making it, and eating it! The size of the group was great - we only had 4 people in ours, and it was easier to take in everything, and get to know each other. The course was one of the highlights of our trip and we learnt alot!
We enjoyed the class very much
We enjoyed the class very much and Simone was wonderful. Thank you so much for upgrading us. And be assured that if we EVER know of anyone coming to Florence wanting to take a cooking class, we will insist they go to your class
The welcome basket and the goodies in the fridge were perfect.
My stay was fabulous. I stayed and fell in love with it from the moment I walked in. The welcome basket and the goodies in the fridge were perfect. My room was so lovely and my view out the window was one of my favorite parts of my stay. All of Villa Pandolfini was so beautiful as was Tosca. Such a warm and lovely woman. The chefs, all of them, were truly wonderful. Each one had a very different personality and way of doing things, but that made it even more fun. The foods we cooked were simple yet delicious. I loved everything about the classes and have made several of the dishes here at home! The outings...our driver Roberto was great. He really knew his stuff, was always happy to help us with information or translations or whatever else we needed. A very kind and funny man who I enjoyed getting to know. I enjoyed everywhere we went, the only thing that perhaps I would look at changing was our first outing day, (with the cheese factory, Montapulciano, winery etc.) was perhaps a bit too long of a day. I personally didn't mind it, but the majority of the group, even though they loved every minute of it, all felt it was too much for one day. I would say that the winery we went to on the last day (not sure of name!) with the Contessa, was far more enjoyable than the Brunello one and I would have enjoyed more time at Montapulciano instead of both wineries. But again this is not a complaint just my thought! I honestly coudln't find anything "bad" to say about my time in Italy if I had to!! From start to finish Good Tastes of Tuscany was incredible. As I planned my trip, Mary Smith and Sarah were so helpful with all my questions and concerns and did everything they could to make it all easy. The villa, the food, the tours, the people and the countryside were amazing in every way and I have never had such a wonderful vacation. I tell everyone how great it was and recommend you to anyone who will listen! I can't wait to come back and I think of my stay there everyday. Thank you all for a trip of a lifetime full of memories that I will cherish forever.
We will never forget this great experience
I am writing this follow up email to thank you for the wonderful time that we had learning to cook at the good tastes of Tuscany cooking class. I would like to specially and sincerely thank Alberto for his dedication to us and his passion for cooking. His sincerity and attention to us makes us feel that we have a friend for life. I will recommend him to everyone interested in taking a course in italian cooking. Also my wife and mother in-law from Mexico will never forget this great experience. I myself am very excited to return to participate in a multiple day course. Please send him a copy of this message as an expression of our gratitude for an opportunity to learn to cook with him. Thanks again and warm wishes from Houston, Texas and Monterrey, Mexico.
Thoroughly enjoyed by everyone
We had a fantastic evening on Friday with the cooking class and it was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. Maurizo was excellent and the food prepared was beautiful and it was great being involved in the preparation - while it was a large group Maurizo managed to involve us all. Thank you also for getting Marcella to come and help with the cleaning as this helped us all relax and enjoy the great food. The evening was one of the highlights of the week and the great wine you sent was enjoyed by all (could you please let us know what the wine was at some stage as a number of us woild like to get hold of some more if we can). Sorry we didn't get to catch up with you in Florence but most of our party was in Florence for the night and we were busy saying goodbye to them all. We will send you a more comprehensive reference when we return but we enjoyed ourselves so much that we are planning the next one most likley in two years time!
Italy takes such pride in the quality of its food
I recently concluded my stay at the lovely Estate and want to praise everything about my experience. My amazing mother began planning this trip last summer. I swear, she has spoiled me my whole life with vacations beyond my wildest dreams, but this, I truly believe, cannot be topped. My stay at the Villa Pandolfini was truly the BEST vacation of my life. You comprised a chef staff stocked with truly talented teachers. We attended three cooking classes (I wish I could have gone to three million) with three different chefs, Fabrizio, Luciano and Maurizio. Such charming and hilarious cooks. I cook a lot at home and put a great deal of stock into eating. Delicious food turns around even the dreariest day. I looked forward to refining my skills. Little did I know, I would be learning how to make the lightest, fluffiest panna cotta the world has ever known, the greenest tasting pesto spring could imagine, the creamiest risotto I never dared to dream of! It was so much more than seeing and repeating rote cooking skills. It was about learning style. About making the recipe work for you and not being a slave to the recipe. We learned how to make pasta each time, each chef showed us a slightly different technique. This, I believe, is the best way a person can suss out their own styles, their own techniques, by seeing the individuality in cooking. And this is priceless. Aside from the cooking experience, the tours and outings you set up for us absolutely blew my mind. Particularly, the biological goat cheese farm. Italy takes such pride in the quality of its food, something I care more about than anything else. Seeing cinque terre was so lovely, as well as the Carrara marble caves. And Roberto informed us of so much on our drives we never would have otherwise known. I've attempted to bring a piece of Italy back with me by making four course lunches whenever I can and drinking some white wine while I do! I truly lack the words to thank you for this vacation, this EXPERIENCE. Every friend I have has received an email singing your praises. If someone loves to cook, loves to eat, loves to learn, this is the best vacation they could possibly ever go on. I will never forget my time or the lovely people I met at the Villa Pandolfini. I hope to return someday.
One of the Best Tours
I just wanted you to know that the wine tour we arranged with you was absolutely one of the best tours that we have ever been on. Darren, Valerio was a great driver and guide, and we truly appreciated his knowledge of the area and his thoughtfulness throughout the day. The whole experience was the most memorable of our entire 10 day visit to Italy. We will definitely book another tour with you on our next trip to Italy.
Incredible Experience in Your Class!
Darren can you please forward this to Italy .Thank you very much for an incredible experience in your class! I think that day with all of you, along with my visit to 'David' was the highlight of my trip to Italy! My birthday was very special and it was purely because of your kindness and hospitality. I truly enjoyed the wine you gave me. Thank you so much! I realize the four of you meet hundreds of people annually and are quite busy, so I appreciate that you made me feel so much at home that day!...I have some pictures I will send to you... Any time you come to the states, especially St. Louis, Missouri, please call me, as I would enjoy returning the generosity! That includes experiencing a Thanksgiving meal, I would love to cook our traditional meal for you...the American holiday is the last Thursday of November.
Really Enjoyed the Cooking Class
We really enjoyed the cooking class we took when we were in Italy!!!! It was truly one of the highlights of our vacation!! I would most definitely take another class through you if I were ever in Italy! Candace and I have a Personal Concierge and Events Planning business. I am in the process of adding a "Favorite Links" page to our website. I will be adding your site to this page as I would recomment your class to anyone I know visiting Italy. During the class we made the flourless chocolate cake. The recipes that we received had a different desert in them. Our chef stated that he would have one of you e-mail all of us the recipe. Is it possible to get that recipe e-mailed? I want to make the Tuscan dinner that we learned for some friends!!! It was all wonderful - the villa is beautiful - it was SO much fun!!!!
Cooking Class at Your school was the Highlight...
My Cooking Class at your school was the highlight of my recent trip to Italy! Since I've been home, I've been able to make the Panzanella, Pork Roast with Grapes and Eggplant & Walnut Ravioli. They were all fantastico! Thanks to Lisa and her group for all they did to make this class so worthwhile. Thanks and I will continue to recommend you to my friends.
Great Time Cooking, Learning and Eating
Janet and I have just returned from Italy and your cooking class in Florence. We just want to thank you for the course and the wine and olive oil. We had a great time cooking, learning and eating (the wine wasn't bad either!). In fact, last night we made homemade ravioli and a chocolate torte we created at the class. We will be posting our pleasure and experiences on the Slow Travel site and hope you get a positive response.