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Cooking Schools: Where to Learn the Best Gourmet Secrets

Cooking Schools: Where to Learn the Best Gourmet Secrets

From Italy to Australia, FDL takes a tour of some of the world's best cooking schools: an opportunity to learn what expert chefs know and are willing to share

By FDL on

To perfectly reproduce a recipe, there’s one necessary ingredient that you won’t find in any supermarket – culinary sensibility. That internal voice that tells you when it’s the right time to check the cake in the oven, or the perfect moment to remove a sauce from the stovetop. There’s no use denying it: like all matter of instincts, you either have it, or you don’t.

But don’t despair: anything else, you can learn. And to demonstrate this, Fine Dining Lovers takes you into the most exclusive, original cooking schools in the world. These are places immersed in nature, where a student’s experience goes beyond cooking techniques. The actual cooking classes often evolve into the perfect occasion to get to know fellow curious foodies and passionate gourmands.

Take, for example, the relais Castello di Vicarello, in the heart of Tuscany, where Aurora Baccheschi Berti reveals the secrets of her region: from crostini to soups, from wild greens tortelli to the famous cantucci biscuits. The few rooms, immersed in nature, are surrounded by olive trees, rosemary bushes, and fruit orchards. Or, once again in Italy, try cooking with the Sicilian aristocracy – between Enna and Agrigento, the Marchioness Fabrizia Lanza welcomes her guests in a typical example of a 19th Century country estate, with a large interior courtyard and the old farm houses dotted around. Her Sicilian cooking school comes in three variants (lasting 1, 3 or 5 days), and includes cooking lessons, meals and hospitality.

With a Masters Degree in Nutritional Studies, the Portguese executive chef Vladmir Niza is part of what makes the Daylesford Cookery School so special. Just an hour by train from London, lies an organic heaven where the likes of Liz Hurley and Kate Moss have been known to shop, as well as a place for people to relax, eat and learn to cook. Can’t manage to take a day trip there anytime soon? We’ve done it for you, with this special report.

And the last stop is Sydney, where there’s a high concentration of cooking schools run by top chefs like Mark Best (Marque), Matt Moran (Aria), Justin North (Becasse) and Giovanni Pilu (Pilu at Freshwater), who all share the tricks of the trade with their students. Why shouldn’t you be one of them?

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