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Cook the Farm - 2 Months in Sicily Anna Tasca Lanza Cooking School

  • Date Posted July 29, 2020
  • Location Valledolmo, IT
  • Category Culinary
  • Program type Full-Time
About your school

Anna Tasca Lanza is a center of Sicilian food knowledge and culture. We seek to share with those who venture here the most hidden, mysterious and complex values of Sicilian food and agriculture. Our continued research on and exchange of knowledge with local communities guarantees an immersive and participative experience for all of our visitors. 

We support systems of polyculture and strongly believe in the diversity of flavors, landscapes, and practices connected to food. We are convinced that a better understanding and awareness of this diversity improves our capacity to make more responsible choices around our food habits.    

Founded in 1989 as a cooking school by Anna herself, the school is now under the direction of her daughter, Fabrizia. In the course of its 30 years, the school has expanded from a simple culinary haven providing delicious meals, culinary instruction, and rustic accommodation, to a rich organization promoting Sicily’s diverse gastronomic culture. Located in 500 hectares of vineyards, the school is home to extensive vegetable plots, orchards, and a beautiful ornamental garden all cultivated according to organic principles.

Program description

Cook the Farm is an immersive and experiential style of food education that takes place at Case Vecchie in rural Sicily. The first winter session was inaugurated in 2016 by Anna Tasca Lanza owner and director, Fabrizia Lanza. Cook the Farm courses bring together participants from around the world to cook, eat and think about food landscapes. Lectures, tastings, and hands-on lessons both in the kitchen and on the land encourage participants to open their eyes to the complexity of our food systems at both local and global scales. Cook the Farm winter session will take place from January 21 to March 22, 2021. 


Aims and Objectives

The goal is to provide students with a comprehensive appreciation for food production that leads to a critical and creative perspective on foodways, thereby empowering awareness of self and surroundings. This immersive educational approach: 

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

Course Work

Cook the Farm encourages students to experience, think and taste what is in front of them. Lectures, presentations and field work sessions by subject matter experts (agronomists, enologists, professors, food professionals, etc.) are melded with group discussion to further the conversation about food systems. Site visits to cheesemakers, flour mills, citrus groves and more allow insight into the cultivation and production of local products.  Hands-on classes in bread baking, pasta making, and classic Sicilian cuisine are augmented with demos and tastings. To understand food from the ground up, classroom and outdoor horticultural sessions prepare students to navigate basic plant biology, soil needs, and growing techniques used for food cultivation. The Winter Session includes five nights of off-site travel to explore the varying geography, food customs and traditions found around the diverse island of Sicily. 


Winter Session - Staff and Instructors

Cook the Farm Winter Session is led by Fabrizia Lanza and Program Director Henna Garrison with the help of Anna Tasca Lanza staff and involves an ever-changing group of guest presenters coming from around Europe. Learn more about the staff and guest presenters. 

Who should apply

We’re looking for: 

  • People interested in food from the source (how it’s grown, processed, cooked and enjoyed)
  • Those wishing to gain more kitchen confidence
  • All people curious and excited about Sicilian cuisine
  • Recent graduates interested in food but not yet decided on a career path
  • Those looking for a career change into a more food oriented profession
  • Culinary professionals, farmers, growers and restaurant workers looking for a more complete view of food and food systems

As of 2020, 56 participants have been engaged in the program. Participants have hailed from eleven different countries including the United States, Canada, Egypt, Australia, Brazil, the UK, Italy, Germany, Japan, Singapore, and the Netherlands.  Students come from backgrounds as varied as fashion, finance, farming, front-of-house and back-of-house restaurant work, wine, catering, community organizing, teaching, non-profit management, politics, and real estate. 

For a sample program, see here.

Cook the Farm 2021 runs from January 21 - March 22, 2021. Tuition is €10,600 and includes: 
  • Classes, Stay and Lunch
    • All classes, outings, and housing over the two month period 
    • All lunches during lesson days (Monday to Friday) 
    • Five nights accommodation during field trips around Sicily (Accommodation for overnight trips is in shared double rooms. Single rooms available for a supplemental price)  
    • Initial pick up and final drop off at select times from Palermo airport or train station
  • Transportation
    • Transportation to and from daily lessons and for school outings
  • Course materials 
    • Access to digital content such as recipes, presentations and readings as well as printed readings and handouts 
  • Extracurricular activities
    • Optional weekly theater practices and Sicilian/Italian film screenings
  • Special additions: 
    • The Cook the Farm kit: jumper, overalls, and tee-shirt to take home
    • discounts and experiences available only to CTF students (from Michelin restaurants to exclusive wineries and farms)
Please see our website for all the details. 

Join us June 13th at 5:30 pm CEST (Italy time) for a Virtual Open House. Register here. 
  • there is a tuition fee
Application instructions Please click here to sign in and view application details.
If you are not registered, you'll be prompted to do so. Don't worry, it's free! DeadlineSeptember 01, 2020

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