Cook the Farm Weeklong Experience 2020

November 1 – 7, 2020

Led by Anna Tasca Lanza staff and guest presenters. Experience, think and taste your way through Sicily over the course of the week. From olive oil to pasta making, wine and wheat, we spend time in the kitchen, around the table and through the local landscape. Our beyond-the-recipe approach gives you access to some of the best artisans, thinkers and makers of the food world. The goal is to provide students with a comprehensive appreciation of food production that leads to a critical perspective on food, empowering awareness of self and surroundings in relation to food. This immersive educational approach:


  • Provides students with direct interaction with Sicilian life and food productions
  • Offers practical and theoretical lessons
  • Facilitates discussions to cultivate critical thinking
  • Exposes tools to enable self-directed learning after the programme


**This program differs from other workshops as daily activities take place at Case Vecchie but participants are housed off-site in the town of Valledolmo.**


What’s Included

Single or double accomodations at a convent in the quiet town of Valledolmo. For shared accommodations you will be housed with a roommate of the same sex, or you may make roommate requests. Rooms are basic with twin beds. There is a shared kitchen for communal cooking for your morning and evening meals. Transportation to and from lessons at Case Vecchie is provided. All lunches are included.


Valledolmo is small town just 15 minutes ride from Case Vecchie. There are a number of small cafe/bars, two restaurants and small supermarkets. The convent is occupied by three nuns and you will be free to enter and exit as you wish. Wifi is available but limited.


Lessons are held at Case Vecchie typically from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. Due to the seasonal rhythm of life and agriculture in Sicily, planned activities and schedules may change at short notice.

Costs per person

Single room in convent with private bathroom: €2,600

Shared room in convent (per person): €2,200

*Airfare and transportation to and from Case Vecchie are not included in the price. Please request transportation arrangements at the time of booking if you would like us to book a car to and from the estate.


Example Schedule


Sunday, November 1: Arrival and welcome

4:00 pm: Arrival in Valledolmo and settle into accommodations

6:00 – 8:00 pm: Welcome with Fabrizia Lanza and staff followed by group pizza dinner


Monday, November 2: The landscape around us: wheat

8:30 am: Bus pick up from Valledolmo to Case Vecchie

9:00: Group discussion session: What is food?

10:45 am: Visit local flour mill with picnic lunch

1:30 – 4:00 pm: In the kitchen with Rina Poletti, famed pasta maker from Bologna.

4:15 pm: Bus pick up to Valledolmo accommodations


Tuesday, November 3: The geography of pasta

8:30 am: Bus pick up from Valledolmo to Case Vecchie

9:30 am – 12:30 pm: In the kitchen with Rina Poletti and Enza di Gangi. Comparing northern and southern pasta making techniques.

1:00 – 2:00 pm: Lunch at Case Vecchie

2:00 – 3:00 pm: Group session: dissecting our landscape

3:00 – 4:00 pm: Welcome to the world of wine.

4:15 pm: Bus pick up to Valledolmo accommodations


Tuesday, November 4: The wine world

8:30 am: Bus pick up from Valledolmo to Case Vecchie

9:00 – 10:00 am: Tour and wine making process at Tasca D’Almerita cantina

12:00 – 4:30 pm: Lecture, lunch and wine tasting of Sicilian wines

4:30 pm: Bus pick up to Valledolmo accommodations.


Wednesday, November 5: Artisanal sustainability

8:30 am: Field trip to Polizzi Generosa to visit Roberta Billitteri, small scale producer of heritage vegetables and Slow Food presidia products. Stroll in the the town of Polizzi.

1:30 pm: Lunch at a local salumeria.

4:30 pm: Return to Valledolmo.


Thursday, November 6: Cheese, please!

7:30 am – 11:00 am: Bus pick up for visit to Filippo Privitera, a local sheep’s milk cheese maker with picnic breakfast.

11:00 – 1:00: Cheese tasting and lunch

1:00 – 3:00 pm: Group discussion: our place in the food system. Local reality, global mentality.

3:00 pm: Bus pick up to Valledolmo accommodations.


Friday, November 7: Myths of the Mediterranean

8:30 am: Bus pick up to Case Grandi

9:00 – 9:30 am: Introduction to the Mediterranean diet.

9:30 – 10:30 am: Lecture: the olive oil making process explained.

10:30 – 12:30 pm: Visit to the Valledolmo olive oil mill and tasting lunch at the mill

1:00 – 3:00 pm: Tasting defective olive oils.

3:00 – 4:00 pm: A conversation: the morality of meat consumption

4:15 pm: Bus pick up to Valledolmo accommodations.


Saturday, November 8: Farewell

9:00 am: Farewell brunch and discussion

12:00 pm: Departure


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