ICE offers an incomparable variety of classes in cuisines from around the world, but we also provide the opportunity to be totally immersed in the techniques, ingredients and culture of other countries through culinary programs abroad. ICE Chef Instructor Gerri Sarnataro recently returned from an incredible European adventure and trip to Italy with ICE instructors, students, alumni and guests.
For nine days, Chef Gerri hosted the travelers at Cucina Della Terra, the cooking school she owns in the beautiful Umbrian countryside. The trip was a truly authentic cooking experience that blended cuisine and culture. During their time there, the group journeyed throughout the region to learn authentic Italian cooking techniques. Meandering through picturesque towns such as Montefalco, Bevagna, Perugia, Castiglione del Lago and Orvieto, they had the opportunity to sample many of the fresh local ingredients. Beyond sampling, the group met with vintners, butchers, shopkeepers, and more, exposing them to the region’s culture and how locals source their ingredients, and prepare traditional dishes.
In the spirit of ICE’s hands-on approach, the group got their hands dirty and participated in the olive harvest and witnessed first hand how olives are pressed for oil. There was even a hunt with truffle expert Matteo and his hunting dog, Sole, for the prized Umbrian truffle.
Everyday, the group brought their bounty back to the school’s state-of-the-art kitchen to prepare and cook locally grown ingredients — including vegetables and herbs from the school’s garden. Chef Gerri carefully designed the menus and recipes to showcase the food of Umbria and offer the students an incredible breadth and depth of knowledge of Italian food, culture, and cooking techniques. It was an excursion of a lifetime.
Check out the photos from the trip below.