We met our tour guide for the week, Christina, and after a tour of historical Lucca she accompanied us to our first cooking lesson with Chef Gianluca Pardini at the Scuola di Cuicina Italiana. As you can see it is NOT a school for Electricians.
He lives in a villa on a hillside outside the walls of Lucca. Our van could only take us partway up the windy road because it couldn't fit through the ancient gate leading up to the cooking school.
Our first meal consisted of many courses. We cooked trout, cuttlefish, asparagus risotto, and pear pana cotta. To name just a few elements of our meal.
Christina had asked Gianluca to include something from the region in our first meal. He was a little disappointed that we were not all wild about the typical Lucca meal of cuttlefish. I still stick by my decision to not eat anything I would use for bait... But I did manage to chew my way through a number of small pieces including the tentacles.
Trout, Asparagus and artichokes appetizer
Pana Cotta with pear sauce