Bucket list. We all have one; things we want, adventures we want to try, people we ant to meet. Back in the late-1990's Bill and Patty Sutherland sold ninety percent of their possessions and moved to Tuscany. (Raise your hand if you have thought about doing that once or twice.) Now, the Sutherland's were lucky enough to own a second home in the region, but moving there was bucket list item Bill had been dreaming since he first went backpacking across Europe in 1967.
While enjoying a bottle of Brunello and enjoying the Tuscan landscape at their home, Podere Poggio Castagi, a 300-year-old stone farmhouse that sits atop a hill and surrounded by vineyards and olive trees, the Sutherland's ask themselves a very simple question. Now that we are here, what are we going to do to make a living? As you will find out in this podcast, Bill admits he makes his best decisions when drinking a couple of bottles of wine. (Who doesn't?)
Bill had always had a passion for cooking, taking lessons from Julia Child, Wolfgang Puck, and other celebrity chefs. The thought came to him why not create a cooking school in Tuscany?
The setting for Sutherland's cooking school was perfect! They are situated in the heart of Brunello de Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano country, and border on the Chianti win region. This is an ideal spot for wine lovers and presents spectacular views of the Tuscan landscape.
Bill and Patty are extraordinary people and they wanted to make sure they were offering an extraordinary service, something different, something unique, something memorable.
Just like that,Tuscan Women Cook was born. A week long cooking school that emphasizes the quality of a home cooked meal. How do you do that? Well, Bill recruited the women who live in the tiny village of Montefollonico.
So every day you get to wake up and create magic that tastes delicious and will give you memories that last a lifetime. The great thing about Tuscan Women Cook is, you have a different instructor everyday. This means you will get different family recipes and different cooking styles to take home and impress your friends.
Don't worry, it's not all cooking all the time. As Bill tells us in this podcast, the cooking class is an important part of your experience but not the only part. Day trips to Siena, Florence, and other popular destinations in Tuscany.
Your experience with Tuscan Women Cook includes lodging. Here is the description of La Chiusa from the Tuscan Women Cook website.
La Chiusa, an elegantly restored farmhouse, and olive oil mill. La Chiusa’s luxurious accommodations and award-winning restaurant have been critically acclaimed for decades, and travelers from all over the world come to Montefollonico to stay in this enchanting place.
La Chiusa is ideally situated for glorious views of the Chiana Valley—rolling hills covered with olive trees and vineyards, and the ivory-colored hilltop town of Montepulciano in the distance. You can have breakfast on the terrace, enjoying bread that’s been freshly baked in La Chiusa’s wood-burning oven, slathered with jam made from the property’s fig trees. A breeze may blow through, carrying with it the scent of lavender from the herb garden. In the evenings, the sunsets over La Chiusa’s panorama will dazzle you. Here is a country retreat that calms, inspires, and lifts your spirits.
In the podcast you will notice Bill has a Texas accent. Well, when he's not living in Tuscany he's in Texas. The cultures are an ideal mix; it's all about hospitality!
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Travis Justice & Pat Campagna have been traveling to Tuscany since 2009. They produce the Total Tuscany Podcast and all the content on this website.