The Women of Tuscan Women Cook

While the restaurants throughout Italy have wonderful cuisine, we’ve found the very best cooks in all of Tuscany are the local Tuscan women. Our local Tuscan women cooks teach recipes and techniques passed down from generation to generation over the centuries—the truly great cooking of Tuscany. Click here for featured recipes.

The women of our village of Montefollonico are exceptional cooks. From restaurant chefs to modest, but incredible home cooks, the women of Tuscan Women Cook will delight you.

Our local cooks grow most of the ingredients for each class in their own gardens. Eggs come from their chickens, local cinghiale (wild boar) is turned into flavorful ragu, tomatoes and the fresh zucchini flowers you’ll stuff and prepare in your cooking class at Agriturismo Belagaggio are picked just moments before in their farmland just steps from the kitchen.

Seasonal cooking, green methods of gardening, sustainable food products, slow food, local suppliers and purveyors—these are not new concepts to these Tuscan women, rather these are methods and concepts that have been passed down over the generations and are still practiced today.

Meet the Cooks

Watch this video for a “taste” of what we offer guests during their week at Tuscan Women Cook.

This mother-daughter team of Antonella and Ada run the kitchen at Agriturismo Belagaggio, a picturesque family compound perched atop a Tuscan hillside. Three generations of family members cook and teach in their kitchen on any given day, sharing their secret stuffing ingredient with guests for their memorable fried stuffed zucchini flowers and patiently guiding the hungry and the willing through each delicious, delicate layer upon layer of their famous pasta al forno.
This busy, fragrant kitchen is run by Ada, who has prepared her long list of regional specialities for decades. Our guests always ask for seconds of Ada’s rich, flavorful lasagna. It’s a recipe many guests report preparing as soon as they arrive home to recapture the memory of Ada’s bustling kitchen.
Siriana was born and raised in Montefollonico and works as a chef in the local theater. For our guests, she regularly teaches brodo di pollo, a focaccia bread called ciacia, pork fillet stuffed with prunes and pistachios, and ciambellone, a dessert cake.
Lorella is our lovely cook at Andreucci Winery. She conducts the hands-on class where our guests make panzanella, gnocchi, and ricciarelli to enjoy while sampling and pairing a wide array of the finest Tuscan wines. Lorella’s one-on-one assistance, and fun-loving energy, not only provide laughter, but give our guests tactful skills to bring home.
Daria Capelli of Ristorante Daria in Monticchiello passed away in 2021. She welcomed Tuscan Women Cook guests to a multi-course dinner with exceptional wine pairings. Daria was a certified sommelier. Her expert food and wine commentary on each course mades it an evening to remember. Daria was featured in Food&Wine Italia, calling her restaurant “therapeutic” because it is based on the “cure” of a warm welcome and wonderful food.

To watch Donatella’s arms stretched wide, twirling fresh pici is to akin to watching extraordinary choreography. And like a dancer, Donatella makes the most complicated handmade pastas and pastry look effortless, leaving guests who visit her at Ristorante 13 Gobbi both awed and inspired. Her fresh fruit crostata is the perfect ending to one of the best meals you’ll have in Montefollonico.
Simonetta welcomes guests into the Ristorante 13 Gobbi kitchen to learn how to prepare their immensely popular pungent, garlicky aglione sauce. Guests spoon this delicious sauce over everything, from fresh pasta to the bountiful grilled vegetable platter Simonetta serves at lunch.
As the former owner of the Michelin-starred La Chiusa Ristorante, Dania enters any kitchen with experience, grace, and style. You’ll often find her out in her organic garden picking fresh herbs and vegetables for her bright and creamy vegetable risotto. Our guests swoon over Dania’s homemade caramel gelato and love learning how to pull hand-spun sugar during Dania’s cooking class.
Iolanda Marcocci, 95 years young, was one of our very first cooks and she set the bar for everyone else. She has retired from 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.

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