"She's just like my nonna (grandmother)!" We hear this from Tuscan Women Cook guests again and again, the moment they set eyes on Iolanda Marcocci. Iolanda is a five-foot tall powerhouse signora, who has been cooking Tuscan classics ever since she could stand up. We'd never ask her age, but guess her to be nearing ninety.
Iolanda was one of our very first cooks and she set the bar for everyone else. She worked in the kitchen of La Chiusa before teaching classes for Tuscan Women Cook. Regretably, she has retired for teaching, but her ricotta stuffed zucchini flowers, her handmade pici with sugo di campagna, and her ribollita were all beyond compare, and her phenomenal tiramisù will always be remembered with love. Be sure and watch the video on the right of Iolanda and her granddaughter Celeste making tiramisù.
is the owner of the Hotel & Ristorante La Chiusa. Her skill in the kitchen has been reviewed in most every language in every travel magazine in the world. The New York Times says a meal from Dania is a voyage of rediscovery. Watch Dania make risotto here.
worked at La Chiusa for 27+ years. She has long been a favorite with our guests, and many of the best recipes and techniques come from this wonderful woman. Think the worlds best tiramisù. Watch Iolanda make tiramisù here.
BrunaOne evening we walked in a new local restaurant and were served delicious gnocchi. My mother made it for the restaurant, the young chef told us. Now the chefs mother teaches for Tuscan Women Cook.
Francesca is one of the best home cooks we have ever encountered. Her skills include all phases of Tuscan cuisine. Each year, she is one of the local women selected to cook for the Festa della Unita in our village.
Isa makes the best melanzane parmigiano ever! Her daughter, Paola, owns the Hotel La Costa where you will often find Isa in the kitchen.
always has an infectious smile as she teaches hands-on pasta making to our guests. A native of Napoli, she married a good Tuscan boy, moved to Montefollonico
and became an excellent Tuscan cook. Watch Anna make pasta with Jane Pauley here.
Orietta makes delicious hand-rolled picia specialty of our village. Oriettas outgoing personality and big smile make her a pleasure to learn from.
NavinaIn many of the great Tuscan restaurants, there is one room specifically dedicated to making pasta, along with one woman who hand-makes all pasta. Navina has been in charge of pasta at La Chiusa for 17 years.
The Bernadini Family
are our closest neighbors. An invitation to their home for dinner is very special. They grow their own vegetables, livestock, grapes and olives for oil. They cook for their guests at her agriturismo and make exceptional dishes in their wood-fired oven. Watch the Bernadini's make pasta here.
Ima can sometimes be heard saying, stretch or gently to our guests while teaching classes. It is English she has learned by listening to our guests. She is an exceptional cook.
Simonetta owns 13 Gobbi restaurant in our village along with her husband Albo. As with most small restaurant kitchens in Tuscany, the best cooks are women like her.
Roll up your sleeves
and learn the recipes and techniques passed down over the generations from the women of Tuscany! Reserve your place now