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testimonial painting workkshops Tuscany

“We certainly had lots of fun, and as you both are superb cooks we also "feasted" like kings.”

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Photos (left to righ and downward)

1) Testing our new recipes (icscis)
2) Or table in Italy (icscis)
3) The figue tree in front of the house (icscis)
4) A kitchen still-life (icscis)
5) The Aussie husbands testing wine for a meal (icscis)
6)Testing restaurants (icscis)
7) Chicken with olives (Monica Marquez)

"Gourmet meals", they said.

We never though about that.

“Every evening, around the supper table, usually dimly lit by four candles dripping on Chianti bottles, we would have length y discussions on various topics such as art marketing, the importance of linguistics in contemporary arts, sociology of the arts, and semantics. Yes, even semantics , since “everything means something”: every work of art needs to carry a conscious meaning or an intention.

Our suppers would start around eight in the evening and typically end some two hours later. And every night our guests were always amazed at the beauty and the scrumptiousness of our meals — we had learned how to cook by working out hundreds of times our recipes for our Studio Italia painters, as well as for family and friends, and by tasting authentic dishes and new flavours in so many ristoranti and trattorie in Tuscany and all over Italy. As the years passed we came to notice that, around the end of each Studio Italia workshop, the same

comment sneaked back at the table: “Your meals are so good! Why don’t you write down your recipes? Photocopy them into a little booklet and sell them as a souvenir of this wonderful workshop. We would be the first ones to buy this book.” We smiled politely, thinking everyone was being well mannered because of the group context, thinking that everyone was able to cook as well as we did. And our answer was always the same: “One day, when we will have some time between two articles or two classes or two flights or…” One year, a participant in the publishing business suggested that these recipes be “published,” and she was dead serious. So, maybe all our former participants were right. We finally came to accept the fact. Why not?” (from Walk the Arts’ recipe book introduction; available NOW.)

Before our groups arrive on location, we usually revise our recipes (photo 1) and try a few restaurants to see what’s “new” in Tuscan kitchens which are usually very “tipica”. One day we stopped at this ristorante perched in Montefolonico because of its interesting menu including "Pigeon in Vino Nobile" sauce and "Rabbit with fennel". Ah! something different we said, here Tuscany reaching Burgundy. We were all enthusiastic, but not for long. The boned rabbit or what was left of the rabbit was rolled with lots of sausage meat and thinly sliced. In fact it was sausage with a little bit of rabbit.  As for the pigeon, the Vino Nobile was so reduced that it retained all its tartaric acid. The sauce was extremely bitter and the pigeon overcooked. Politely, we suggest the owner to change the title of the “rabbit” plate for "Sausage with rabbit" and to add a bit of chestnut honey to break the bitterness of the pigeon sauce. Nevertheless, the presentation was impeccable and the restaurant setting extremely inviting as you can see on this photograph. We learn from mistakes as say the old adage.

Cooking in Italy

In 2011 and 2012, we offered creative cooking classes at the LCBO (Liquor Border Control of Ontario) in Ottawa.  The LCBO is the world’s largest wine importer and also a promoter of fine cooking. Our cooking classes entitled “A Taste of Italian Art” offer a three-course meal paired with wines. Our unique recipes are inspired in Italian works of art and include some of the most popular dishes offered during our painting workshops in Tuscany. Participants learn not only about cooking, but also about art and art history.Here is one of our menus: Risotto Luce di Tintoretto (risotto with squid and squid ink), Agnello alla Lega (Lamb with golden raisins and juniper berries) and Panna Cotta alla De Rossi (panna cotta with chestnuts and rosemary).

This is Walk the Arts cooking book (2018), Let Go! The Artist's Way of Cooking where you will find the meals (and their recipes) served during Studio Italia. For more information on your future gastronomical experiences, visit our site www.theartistswayofcooking.com

Creating means not copying
(the French Chef, Jacques Maximin)

Since 1996, icscis walkthearts have been offering quality painting or art workshops and educational tours in France, Italy, Egypt, Spain, United States and Colombia. It is in Tuscany (around Montepulciano, Pienza and Cortona) that we paint in plein-air, learn and discuss, since the landscapes of the Val d'Orcia are just astounding and the quality of life, seducing.  Attended by hundreds of art lovers and artists from all around the world, mostly New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Ottawa and Australia, our painting courses and art history seminars are given to small group by professional artists and art historians. walkthearts.com also provides educational travel for high school, college and/or university students, or on a private basis. Walkthearts offers a living experience through the arts.

updated February 8, 2019