Many years ago, Shilpa fell in love with Tuscany's great ingredients and tasty yet
simple dishes. She and her team will open the doors to the beautiful organic farms
in the area for you and to many of the area's culinary secrets. As a teenager, she learned
to cook at a family-run gourmet Italian restaurant in England.
After obtaining a degree in French and Italian from the University of Cambridge, and living in both
Florence and Rome, she moved to Barcelona, Spain, where she worked as
a chef at Sesamo, an Italian-owned vegetarian organic restaurant; she then set up her own successful restaurant, Mosquito, which she later sold. Shilpa and her family
now live between Spain and Italy. They are members of the Slow
Mathilde came to Italy 23 years ago to study art... and never left! She and her husband are both artists and live with their two children in the Tuscan countryside where they grow their own vegetables and make their own olive oil.
As a girl Mathilde learnt to cook by helping her French mother prepare traditional food for a family of seven. She loves Italian cuisine because of the superb quality of the ingredients here, which can turn the simplest dish into something really very special.
Serenella is originally from Milan, and has worked in several restaurants, learning many different kinds of regional Italian and international cuisines.
She came to Tuscany in 1998 to start an organic farm. And when she had her first daughter, she decided never to move away!
Serenella is passionate about showing people how to cook delicious Italian dishes and is keen to help visitors discover her beautiful little corner of Tuscany.
Your guide to Siena
Chiara is a proud native of her beloved Siena and has a degree in foreign languages and literature.
She loves to talk, and always infects the people listening to her with her
enthusiasm for her city. She loves to make them laugh, make them curious
about the things they see with her and to hear that irrepressible "ooooh" when
they see Piazza del Campo for the first time.
She says "I love my city and I love people. What better job than to be a guide?"
Riccardo was born in Florence and studied graphic design and history
of art at the Istituto d'Arte and at the University of Florence. He
works in graphic design, a job which has taken him to live and work in several cities:
New York, Rome, Barcelona and Florence. He designs and maintains the Organic
website and recipe blog and helps run some of the courses. He has always been an excellent cook and is passionate
about great Tuscan food and wine.
is a Tuscan mother of two college-aged girls, and lives in the heart of the Chianti. She will teach you dozens of her unbeatable dishes, including melt-in-the-mouth
sformati (vegetable flan-like souffles), aubergine croquettes (to die
for!), and her amazing Torta della Nonna, a warm custard and pine-nut pie. There is not much Manuela does not know about local cuisine, and you'll have the chance to ask her plenty of questions!
Cristina is originally from Rome and has a background in journalism.
Now transplanted in the Tuscan countryside, she has become a certified sommelier and olive oil expert, and will open up the
world of Tuscan wines and extra virgin olive oils for you, from the basics to the complexities. People
always comment on her warm manner and lighthearted, relaxed and open approach
to a subject that is easy to find mystifying and snobbish.
Your local guide
Clara is originally from Milan but embraced Tuscany as her adopted home
twenty years ago. She lives in the hills near the villa with
her partner Terry, an accomplished British ceramicist. She will guide
you around the local countryside and farms, pointing out the interesting
flora and fauna and some eccentric neighbours too!
Your guide to Florence
Elisabetta is a native Florentine with a British mother. She grew up
abroad thanks to her fathers work in the UN, coming back to Florence
when she was 18. She studied at the Università di Firenze and became well
versed in literature and art history. She has lived in Florence
for some 20 years and loves showing people the hidden corners of the
birthplace of the Renaissance.