by Carolina Natoli

Health and well-being with international chefs.

In a breathtaking nature reserve, surrounded by the peace of the vineyards and silvery olive trees, Jens Schmidt and his wife Barbara have given life to a real and true paradise where to get back in touch with nature and Tuscan lifestyle. Their enterprise, Azienda Agricola Montecastelli is an organic-certified farm having Villa Montecastello at its centre, a 4-star agritourism facility of a very high level. The farm produces organic oil and wine and lots of genuine food cultivated and produced on these lands. Amongst the very many things to do on this estate, there will be workshops and cookery classes with starred chefs of international caliber as from April to October 2018 together with the philosophy of well-being to personally take up new lifestyles. “Our aim,” the owner of Villa Montecastello explains, “ is to make our guests discover a new healthy style of cooking, explaining why it is good to use the best products and convey the importance of having the awareness that food is well-being and not a whim, not something to binge upon but a means which, joined with physical exercise such as yoga or Pilates, leads to having a mens sana in corpore sano”. This is why the English saying: “You are what you eat” encloses the essence of this new way of using food so that quality raw material is seen as a medicine, and not just something with calories to count; now, working in the kitchen is like a process to make raw material more digestible, easily absorbed by our human body. The first course is “Scuola di cucina italiana” (The school of Italian cuisine) with Joey Campanaro, an acclaimed chef and restaurant owner from New York City, from 21st to 28th April. Joey will introduce the guests to new techniques and ingredients, cooking together both traditional Italian recipes and the best recipes of his restaurant. From 5th to 12th May, it will be Craig Richards’s turn, a famous chef coming from Atlanta, the city where his restaurant Santa Cecilia” is. During this week, he will take his pupils on a journey of cooking and life starting from: the use of selected flours; fermentation techniques; the preparation of sauces with Tuscan herbs for a simple cuisine matched with his innate sophisticated method of work and presentation which has shot him right at the top of the gastronomic scene in Atlanta. The protagonists for the month of June will be Naomi Pomeroy, who has received the prestigious award of the James Beard Foundation as Best Chef of the North West 2014 and chef Shaun 0’Neil, who in 2016 obtained the title as best home-cooking chef in America and nominated Champion of the Seventh Season of the cooking TV show, MasterChef America. Naomi, self-taught in the kitchen with a unique and strong feminine style does not only include cookery techniques but also flower courses, offering her unique vision. In July, the perfect matchings between various foods, oils and wines, with the sommelier Dan Amatuzzi and the oil expert Nicholas Coleman, will be worked upon. In August, Liz Josefsberg will take guests on a retreat for body and soul with exercises to rebalance the body and the healthy cuisine of the host Jens. In October, the cookery classes will be held by the chef Jenny Dorsey, a professional chef and artist from New York City. Concluding the 2018 programme will be the participation of the starred Chicago restaurant, Elske with an encounter between Nordic and Mediterranean cuisine. To learn more about the single courses, please visit the Villa Montecastello website.

Strada di Pieve a Castello,10
Monteriggioni (SI)
Tel. 39 0577 300036

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