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One Chef, or a Bevy of Chefs?
by: Margaret Cowan
Most cooking tours feature one chef who gives you two to four cooking lessons in the same kitchen on your three to six day cooking adventure. Some tours take you to a variety of restaurants and homes so you cook with many chefs or good home cooks. The "cook's tour" version is four chefs in four different kitchens in six days.

Which is better for you, one or many?

Cooking with one chef four times in six days gives you an opportunity to really get to know one another ---a new friend in Italy! Working together in the kitchen over a few days means your teacher will understand what you want and need to learn, and how you learn best, so you get the most out of your lessons.

In most cooking tours with one chef, your cooking lessons are in the same hotel or country property you stay at, so you just go downstairs after breakfast for a morning lesson, and can just walk to your room after your dinner following an early evening lesson. No driving back and forth from home to other chefs' kitchens.

If you're looking for a relaxed pace with a new Italian friend at a home base, the "one chef" cooking tour is for you.

Cooking with many chefs, you meet a wonderful variety of local characters from young & charming to old & charming, from a top restaurant chef to a grandmother on her farm.

Some cook traditional style plates while others mix in creative touches; dishes are too beautiful to eat. You learn a variety of styles and presentations. Each area has it's own specialities, white truffles, artichokes and an ever changing array of olive oils and rich flavoured regional wines. More aromas to temp your palate than you could ever imagine and the best part is that you will be able to recreate the recipes and relive the memories when you are back working in your own kitchen at home.

You experience cooking in many kitchens, restaurants and homes-the equipment they use, how their kitchens are laid out-- you get a real feel for food culture and maybe some ideas for your kitchen at home.

Visit a variety of towns and landscapes as you travel to all the chefs' kitchens and get a good idea of what the countryside is like. It's an opportunity to soak up the warm rich colours and imposing architecture from the various ages of Italy.

If you're looking for real immersion in Italian culture, thrive on variety and like to keep busy, the "many chef" tour is designed especially with you in mind.

I've visited about 40 cooking holiday programs in Italy from north to south stayed in the accommodation, met the owners and chefs, and whenever possible, participated in Italian cooking lessons and of course sampled the food. I've been travelling to Italy since 1972, lived in Tuscany, and the Amalfi Coast for three years. Although I no longer live in Italy, I always come away from my Italian travels in my "second country" with mouth-watering new recipes and a renewed appreciation of Italy and the Italian people.

About the author:
Margaret Cowan is Mama Margaret. She owns Mama Margaret & Friends Cooking, Wine & Walking Adventures in Italy. If you like to immerse yourself in the local culture, learn to cook local dishes and meet unique characters when you travel, you will appreciate Margaret's Insider Travel Tips at:

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