cook the farm


I have written about the Anna Tasca Lanza cooking school and Fabrizia Lanza before. The school holds a place in my heart and I feel fortunate to call Fabrizia a friend and teacher, to have collaborated with her and Luisa for the first Language of Food Workshop, which we will be repeating next year. It was during the Language of Food this June over merry, boozy dinners and during long conversations at the table in the library that Luisa and I were to witness the bubbling away of a new project. This project has now come to fruition and feels like the culmination and natural progression of Fabrizia’s work as a teacher and educator. It is called Cook the Farm and will allow Fabrizia and others to work intensively with young chefs and food professionals who are keen to bridge the gap between farming and cooking. The project is beautiful and important, which is why I am writing about it here.

As a food writer who –  like many before me – has come to love the food of Italy and become obsessed with trying to find out more about it, I have always felt pulled south to Sicily. This of course is also to do with the fact I live with a Sicilian, for whom the pull home is as fierce as that for a freshly fried arancina filled with ragu , peas and mozzarella. For me Sicily is where the fundamental elements; olive oil, grapes, vegetables, wheat, honey, citrus, nuts , cheese, seem to make most sense, in a complicated way, which is why I go back again and again, which isn’t always straightforward.  Cook the Farm is a residential ten week course in the beating heart of Sicily. Each week will concentrate on one of the elements which flourish in Sicily – wheat, cheese, olive oil, wine, honey and citrus and nuts as well as garden horticulture, culinary anthropology, and a comparative Mediterranean case study on Turkish cuisine. There will be hands-on kitchen and garden workshops, lectures, local field trips, and a one-week culinary journey around the island. Guest experts include professors, culinary and horticultural specialists, local artisans, and if all goes well one of the most inspiring young winemakers on the planet, Arianna Occhipinti. I am biased I know and possibly starting to sound like a bad brochure. If you are interested – truly interested, this is serious commitment in every sense – the best thing is to go over to the site, or talk to Elke or Fabrizia. You could even drop me a note if you want to know more about the school, or simply talk about warm ricotta, tomatoes from Pachino, durum wheat bread dusted with sesame seeds, Sicilian olive oil and a glass of Frappato, nothing technical you understand, just how delicious it all is.

Cook the Farm.


Meanwhile on another note, does anyone remember egg in a cup, or is it choppy egg? Either way I have written about this delicious thing for the Guardian Cook’s special egg supplement, also Mozzarella in Carozza, you can read both here along with lots of other good ideas for eggs. More soon. R



Filed under cook the farm, Fabrizia Lanza, Sicily, the language of food

10 responses to “cook the farm

  1. ah my dream is to go to Italy one day and enjoy the food and country!

  2. laura

    Would that I could! Still, it has been lovely to savor your words and the descriptions on the website and the thought of it. May all those lucky chefs who are able to go spread the Anna Tasca/Fabrizia Lanza word. Hope you are able to go down for at least a bit at one part and will report back to us!

  3. Toffeeapple

    I had an egg like that just yesterday, it was lovely.

  4. laura

    PS “Squishy egg”

  5. I love the concept of this Cook the Farm program. What an incredible experience and gift it would be to delve deeply into food and life in Sicily! Thx for sharing.

  6. Eggs in carriages; brilliant! and the anchovy very nice (I also tried a little pesto and tapenade), but the plain was best.

    Cook the Farm? How I long to leave London and get away to somewhere warmer where I can grub in the dirt. This is such an inspiring idea.


  7. It sounds all too wonderful, and it would be very special to be there. Being neither a young chef (or young anything if it comes to that), nor a food professional, nor someone who could really absent herself from daily responsibilities for 10 delicious weeks, it seems I shall have to pass on this one. But if you ever do anything for older amateurs, I shall do my utmost to sign up

  8. Aaagh! Although I’d read the post, I hadn’t read all the links. Now I have. I’m very interested in ‘The Language of Food’. I shall have to go away, count the pennies, and have a serious talk with Him Indoors. x

  9. Oooh this sounds wonderful..I can at least dream about coming.

  10. Pingback: Kale Crostini by Stefania Barzini | Frascati Cooking That's Amore

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