A Culinary Tour of Umbria with me in July!

by traceyzabar


From the Art Workshop International Website:




A Culinary Tour of Umbria with Tracey Zabar

Instructor: Tracey Zabar

July 17 – July 28

Tracey Zabar, renowned baker and cookbook author, will be your guide in this workshop which offers a delightful exploration of the finer aspects of Umbrian cooking. You will be introduced to the region’s cuisine, with the first week’s emphasis on the savory and the second on the sweet. Here local ingredients, including truffles, olive oil, and wines, are used to make dishes that both delight the palate and please the eye. Included in the workshop are trips to: an olive mill in Trevi; Norcia, home of the black truffle; a winery in Montefalco; an ingredient-shopping excursion to Bastia; a slow food lunch in Spello; and of course walks in our home base of Assisi. Delight in the focaccia and bread from the local forno and sweets from the pasticceria. Explore the enchanting hill towns and search for the perfect souvenir; perhaps a Deruta majolica biscotti jar or a handmade olive wood rolling pin.

During this 12-day session watch and cook along side the Hotel Giotto’s chef, learn baking secrets from Tracey Zabar, sample wines with the hotel’s director and sommelier, and explore the sights, smells, and tastes of Umbria. Arianna Calzolari, a professional party planner and integral part of the hotel’s staff, will serve as your co-guide and interpreter.

Culinary Arts Program Details
Participants arrive Wednesday, July 17, depart Tuesday, July 28.

Included in the Program:
• Eleven nights double accommodation.
• $4548 for class of up to 7 people.
• Single room supplement, $350.
• All breakfasts and dinners.
• Eight cooking lessons.
• “Slow food” luncheon in Spello.
• English speaking guide.
• Excursions as listed in itinerary.

Pricing includes shared double room with private bath, daily breakfast and dinner at the hotel, and all transportation costs associated with day trips. All cooking lessons in 4-star hotel kitchen with Tracey Zabar and Hotel Giotto’s chef, an English speaking guide; excursions as listed in itinerary.

Participants are welcome to attend a 12-day visual arts or creative writing class during the following session or simply prolong your stay before or after the course. Some adjustments in schedule may be made per the hotel’s discretion.

Day One
Arrive from airport to hotel in Assisi • A welcome drink and dinner • Explore Assisi

Day Two 
Meet Tracey Zabar, Arianna Calzolari, the interpreter/planner, and the chef of the restaurant. • General overview of Umbrian cuisine • Drive to hill town of Trevi, the Umbrian capital of olive oil • Visit an olive oil mill, see how olive oil is produced, taste oils • Free time to explore Trevi • In the hotel kitchen preparation of the appetizer course—bruschetta with garlic, tomatoes, and mushrooms, and a speciality, spinach and carrots formato • Dinner at the hotel

Day Three 
Drive to Bastia for food shopping and visit a hand-made pasta store • Return to the hotel for theprima, first course, a special homemade pasta, strangozzi alla norcina, and gnocchi al sugo • Dinner at the hotel

Day Four
Drive through mountain valleys to the Castelluccio Plain, world famous for lentils. Then arrive in Norcia, home of the black truffle and also known for its salami, prosciutto and sausages • Visit a salumificio where salami is made • Explore Norcia’s historic centre with its lovely medieval piazza and wealth of food shops • Return and have dinner at the hotel

Day Five
Morning free to explore Assisi • Preparation of the secondo main course: preparation of tagliata di bue (filet mignon with wild mushrooms sauce and balsamic vinegar) and traditional torta al testo Dinner at the hotel • Evening talk by Tracey Zabar, “So, You Want to Write a Cookbook…”

Day Six
Italians have a wonderful repertoire of puddings, including panna cotta, visit the most famous pastry store in Assisi, and a family-run bakery in a nearby town. • Make panna cotta con fruti de bosco a pudding with mixed berries • Bake a jam crostata with Tracey • Dinner at the hotel

Day Seven
“Slow food” luncheon in Spello • Wine tasting with an introduction to Italian wines and sensory analysis • Visit a shop that sells handmade housewares • Bake biscotti with Tracey • Dinner at the hotel

Day Eight
A trip to Perugia. Visit a beloved pastry shop, and an extraordinary chocolate bar. Continue to Deruta to visit the ancient furnace. Free time for ceramics shopping. • Dinner at the hotel

Day Nine
Italian cheeses are served with fruit at the end of a meal • Take a trip to a local caseificio to sample local cheese and see how the fresh cheeses are made • Return to hotel to make a fresh ricotta cheesecake • Wine tasting—Italian wines for dessert • Dinner at the hotel

Day Ten
Drive to Montefalco to visit a winery and visit its historic center • Back at hotel, make a homemade limoncello • Dinner at the hotel

Day Eleven
What’s the difference between gelato, sorbetto, and granita? • Comparison testing at a localgelaterie • Return to the hotel kitchen to make a green apple gelato • Farewell dinner at the hotel, art open studio and writers’ reading • Receive Umbrian Culinary Course certificate.

Day Twelve
Depart Assisi


Tracey Zabar is a baker, jewelry designer, and author of four books, including her cookbook, One Sweet Cookie (Rizzoli), where six dozen chefs—including Lidia Bastianich, Thomas Keller, Jacques Torres, Terrance Brennan, Todd English, Maida Heatter, François Payard, Marcus Samuelsson, Laurent Tourondel, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Daniel Boulud, and Mario Batali—shared their favorite recipes. Although Tracey attended the French Culinary Institute, she does not consider herself a pastry chef, rather a baker (and is married to one of those Zabars from Zabar’s). A jewelry designer by trade, her collections have been sold at many stores including Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, and Browns of London and have been exhibited in museums. Zabar was formerly a jewelry stylist for Sex and the City and The View. Her designs have been widely featured in the media, including theToday Show, Vogue, Town & Country, InStyle, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, People, and W. She is currently a dealer in antique and vintage engagement and wedding rings, and writes and edits cookbooks. Her next book is about little pies.