THE COOKING LAB: A COOKERY SCHOOL WITH A VIEW IN FLORENCE
The Cooking Touch in Florence has you covered, in terms of learning to cook great fresh Tuscan traditional food and now with, dare I say it views to match!!
When it comes to authentic experiences to tick off when in Florence, you HAVE to indulge in some cooking! Food tours are fabulous, however you want to recreate the tastes from your trip back home, right? Well I strongly recommend you check out The Cooking Touch.
So my regular avid readers will know I did a similar private cookery experience in Florence a couple of years ago with Touch Bistro. You can have a read below if you fancy…
The Cooking Lab
A cookery School with a view in Florence
The Cooking Lab by the rebranded Cooking Touch is the newest addition to the cookery school scene bought to us by the Matteo, Stefano and Max. You can read more on their story above and on the Cooking Touch website at the end of this post.
The team now have three locations to their cookery school; The Cooking Lab (Ponte Vecchio), The Cooking Club (Sant’ Ambrogio), formerly the Bistro where I did the last experience and The Colle Bereto Winery (in the Chianti Classico region). The Cooking Touch also offer a bespoke private dining experience.
THE COOKING LAB EXPERIENCE
1 FRESH INGREDIENTS
The experience started at 09:00 as we met Chef Matteo at our hotel in Oltrarno and made our way to the market in Santo Spirito Square, where we selected some fresh seasonal ingredients including potatoes, tomatoes, artichokes, pumpkin, aubergines and leeks.
With fresh veg in tow Chef Matteo led the way to The Cooking Lab’s newest location, which is unarguably envious. It literally has an unparalleled view of the Ponte Vecchio. In fact if you could reach just that little bit far enough, you could touch it!!
2 THE VENUE
Well what more can I say, bright, airy informal, full of organised memorabilia. It’s a little like being in someone’s apartment, with fun colourful interiors, a pretty decent kitchen and epic views!
3 THE MENU
Menus are tailored to your dietary requirements and we stuck with a totally vegetarian option, where we had;
Artichoke Salad sprinkled with Parmigiana shavings
Pumpkin Soup topped with Brie
Pumpkin Ravioli drizzled with olive oil
Chocolate Lava cake
4 LETS GET COOKING
It’s time to grab your apron and start the fun part of the class, the Cooking! We begin at the preparation stage, so knives out and sharpened, we got stuck in with the chopping whilst learning some great techniques from Chef Matteo transferring some of his expert cooking skills and knowledge to the novice (I mean me of course!).
Each dish is constructed one at a time under Chef Matteo’s watchful eye. You can be as involved or as uninvolved as you wish. Personally, I love to cook and learn new elements of cooking so it was a great opportunity to embrace this private session with one on one attention with regards to technique with traditional Tuscan cuisine, in the hope that I could recreate the menu at home.
If you’re apprehensive about cooking, there is absolutely no need to be as you’ll be guided through the menu and you won’t be let loose on anything unless you want to partake. You can also take this opportunity to ask any burning questions as I did when it came to making ravioli, which was surprisingly easy and not as daunting or difficult than I first imagined.
Learning the intricacies of pasta flour…
Making the dough for the Ravioli
Rolling and filling the ravioli with pumpkin and potato mix
5 LUNCH IS SERVED
Following the practical side of the class and approximately three hours of cooking trust me, it’s time to grab a pew and enjoy the fruits of your labour! After all, slaving over a hot stove for hours definitely builds up an appetite!
With the wine poured, chef plates up the dishes and you get to have the most satisfying lunch with the stunning Ponte Vecchio right before you.
THE COOKING LAB
Out of all the experiences I’ve tried in Florence, I always enjoy the cookery-based ones and especially with The Cooking Touch team. The atmosphere is very relaxed and easy going and feels very much like you’re cooking with friends, for friends!
As I said earlier, your private cooking class is very much tailored to your dietary needs and you’ll be emailed the electronic cook book at the end of the session. I must admit, I’m looking forward to making some ravioli at home! The question is though, can I do it without Chef Matteo standing beside me?!! Well, watch this space, I’ll feed back soon!
Hit play to see more of The Cooking Lab experience…
The Cooking Lab
Via di Mezzo 42r
Tel. +39 055 246 6150
For further information about Private cooking class experiences and dining, please refer to the Cooking Touch’s website