CI Newsletter - Jan. Edition
Jan 23, 2001 08:27 PST
- January 2001
Welcome to the January edition of the Cuisine International Newsletter.
It is hard to believe Cuisine International is entering its 15th year of
offering unique culinary holidays. Each year gets more exciting as we
continue to broaden our offerings.
Judy, Dick, Amy and Craig all extend our best wishes for a wonderful New
BOAR’S HEAD INN
Here at Cuisine International we are frequently asked to offer week-long
culinary classes in the United States. After a year of research, we
have come up with the perfect location and chef and are very excited
about the upcoming venture. The location is the Boar’s Head Inn in
Charlottesville, VA; a Country Resort set on 573 acres in the foothills
of the legendary Blue Ridge Mountains surrounded by horse farms,
wineries and antique shops.
Executive Chef Alex Montiel of the Old Mill Room restaurant will be
teaching in a culinary style that uses fresh seasonal local ingredients.
Chef Montiel sharpened his culinary skills with some of the world’s
most highly regarded chefs, including Alain Ducasse, Gunther Seeger,
Manuel Martinez and Joel Robuchon. Guests will also be able to take
advantage of tennis, golf, squash, 3 swimming pools, a fitness center
and a spa. Children are welcome and baby-sitting is available as well
as tennis, golf, swimming, basketball clinics and even cooking classes
for kids through the Boar’s Head Kids Club.
We will be making an announcement along with details of the itinerary
after the first of the year. Amy and Craig will be accompanying the
inaugural group and they would be thrilled to have you join them.
Recipe of the Month
The recipe for January is Gran Farro. We received this recipe from
Pane, Vino e Lingua and it is a wonderful, filling dish to serve in the
fall and winter months.
Gran Farro is traditional wheat soup made in Tuscany from raw spelt
(hard wheat). If this is unavailable, you can substitute using kasha or
- 5 oz. Raw spelt or German wheat, boiled for at least 3 hours.
- 9 oz. Dried or 1 lb 6 oz. Fresh kidney beans
- ½ Onion, sliced thinly
- 3 Tbs. olive oil
- Stick celery, diced with leaves
- Clove garlic, crushed
- 4 oz. Prosciutto or fatty ham, finely chopped
- 8 oz. Tomatoes, peeled seeded and finally sieved
- 3-4 Sage leaves
- 1 tsp. marjoram
- ½ tsp. nutmeg
- Salt and pepper
Boil fresh beans in water until tender (about 1- 1 1/2 hours). If using
dried beans, soak them overnight, rinse and then boil in fresh water for
about 45 minutes. Drain and put half the beans through a food processor
or mouli, reserving the water and the remaining half of the whole beans.
Heat the oil in a deep saucepan and add the onion, ham, celery, garlic,
sage, marjoram and nutmeg. Sauté gently and when the onion starts to
brown, add the tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for about 15
minutes until the mixture is well blended. Add the bean puree with a
little of its own water. Mix well before adding the wheat. Simmer for
about 40 minutes, adding more bean water if the soup seems to be drying
out. About 10 minutes before the end of this time, add the whole beans
and allow to heat through. Serve with a jug of olive oil to pour over
Find more recipes at:
BORGOLECCHI IN TUSCANY
While Dick and I were visiting prospective schools in Tuscany to add to
our list of incredible culinary holidays, we found a fun bed & breakfast
in the small town of Lecchi, just a few miles from Gaiole and Radda.
Lovingly restored, this building was originally built in 1550 for local
farmers. A stone found on the property has been dated back to 1472. We
found this out of the way place with the help of an old friend who
happens to live there with her husband and little girl, so we were
welcomed with loving arms. However, as we watched the interactions
along this single street village, it was apparent that everyone was
accorded the very same warmth.
Borgolecchi has 5 double rooms, each with its own panoramic terrace or
balcony. There is also an apartment that can sleep 4 on the ground
floor with a large balcony and a kitchen equipped so clients can prepare
their own meals. All of the rooms are named after flowers, some facing
the street and other’s with views of the beautiful Chianti countryside.
We were shown to our room and were immediately attracted to the balcony
where we enjoyed a bottle of wine and relaxed as we enjoyed the view as
we attempted to overcome our jet lag.
A late afternoon walk allowed us to see the locals as they greeted one
another and played with all the children. Strolling just a few blocks,
we enjoyed an evening meal of pasta at Malborghetto Ristorante, sitting
out under umbrellas listening to the church bells ring. In the hustle
and bustle world we live in, it was a much loved and needed respite.
Visitors can immerse themselves in a warm and friendly atmosphere and go
on walks, hikes, bicycle rides and even take horseback rides. If you
have a car you can visit the many ancient castles, abbeys, famous wine
cellars and the fascinating nearby hill top towns and Siena. Which is
exactly what we did during our stay. About 5 minutes drive out of town
are Il Poggio Da Giannetto in Poggio S. Polo and La Grotta della Rana in
S. Sano for other delicious meals.
Each morning, a wonderful breakfast was prepared and served by Annalena
which we thoroughly savored. Annalena works magic with muffins and what
I might call "coffee cakes", but with a whole new meaning. Fresh juice
and coffee set the pace for our busy days.
Your stay at Borgolecche will cost 190.000 lire per night with breakfast
for double occupancy and 130.000 lire for single which is approximately
$90 double and $60 single depending on the exchange rate A lovely brunch
can be arranged if reserved in advance. Children under 4 years of age
are free. There is a charge of $6 a day for small pets traveling with
The apartment, with a minimum of 3 nights, for two people is 170.000
[approximately $85] and 220.000 for 4 people without breakfast. Cuisine
International can make the bookings for you and send you a map and
detailed instructions on how to get there.
Wine and Food
WINES IN CAMPANIA
For over ten years I have spent two months every year in Amalfi on the
Amalfi Coast Drive southeast of Naples. Not typically known for their
wines, there has been a remarkable improvement in the last few years.
Eric Asimov wrote a wonderful article in the Dec. 6 issue of the New
York Times in the Living Section bringing to light what exciting things
are happening in this region.
How thrilled I was to see that he mentioned one of the Mastroberardino
wines. We have been drinking them for years, often bringing them home
from our trips to Amalfi as they are not always easy to find. One on
the list was the Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio 1997. We have never found
one we did not enjoy. We also savor the Antheres, a sweet after dinner
drink. This close knit family owned business has a wonderful and
exciting history. We have visited the winery and dined in local
restaurants serving the wines. I would highly recommend them to anyone
in the area. Please log on to their comprehensive and exciting web
site. You will have visited a treasure.
We are also familiar with Marisa Cuomo, Furore Riserva, Costa D’Amalfi
1996 as it is just down the road from the Luna Convento Hotel and
Cooking School in Amalfi where we spend our treasured time. We are
looking forward to sampling the others mentioned in the article.
LETTER FROM THE OCTOBER 8-14 2000 CLASS AT THE HOTEL LUNA CONVENTO IN
If the Luna Convento is the moon that shines on the Amalfi Coast
And Rose-A-Maria is the most stellar of Amalfi’s Constellations.
Then Enrico is the brightest of all the stars
and he guides us all to Amalfi’s superb cuisine.
Enrico’s star shines and twinkles with Humour, Patience, Creativity and
as he lights our way to the delights of Pasts Bella Donna,
Zucchini Trifolati, Saltimbocca Alla Romana
and unlocks the door to La Dolce Vita!
Find more information on our school in Amalfi at:
If you've had an amazing experience at a Cuisine International school
and would like to share it with our readers, please contact us! We would
love to hear from you and would like to include you in our next
Until next month, Cheers and Buon Appetito!