A unique culinary experience in Florence

Everyone loves eating Italian and it is the dream of many to become a culinary expert. But why learn in Florence? Food is an important link to the past, as it reveals a great deal about society and the customs that were once in vogue. It is also thanks to Catherine de’ Medici, the great-granddaughter of Lorenzo il Magnifico, that Florence took center-stage in Medieval Europe. A woman of great poise and intellect, she is considered to be one of the most important women of the Italian Renaissance.

The young Florentine moved to France to marry King Henry II and became Queen from 1547 until 1599, bringing with her Florence’s well-kept culinary secrets, along with the best cooks. She introduced olive oil, Chianti wines, carabaccia (onion soup), duck in orange sauce and a host of other ingredients to the French culinary lexicon. During this time, Queen Catherine established new customs and a refined etiquette at the French court, which later were adopted by the most important dynasties.

Barbara and Silvia – following in Queen Catherine’s footsteps

Barbara and Silvia are two very talented chef-educators and owners of one of the best cooking schools in Florence. They have been teaching the secrets of Italian cooking for more than a decade, both at home, in Italy, and abroad. Whether you’re an amateur or professional, they’ll help you reach your full potential. They are also certified as wine sommeliers and olive oil experts. Team building events can also be organized for a maximum number of 40 participants. Learn the secrets of how to excel in baking, pastry-making and the fundamental techniques of Italian cooking. Let’s cook together and celebrate life!

Course details

12 Week Professional Course

Learn from the masters as you pursue the dream of becoming a professional chef. A full immersion, hands-on course, with a maximum of 8 participants. The course includes:

Three 4-week stages: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. You may select any of the three stages


          • 48 cooking lessons (16 for each level)
          • 4 lessons per week (9:30 am to 1:30 pm)
          • Lesson materials (recipe book, apron, uniform, ingredients)
          • Insurance coverage during the classes
          • Guided excursions

Throughout the course, you’ll meet local producers, visit award-winning wineries and learn about the many well-kept secrets of Italian gastronomy. Upon completion of the Advanced level, you’ll be considered for an internship at a restaurant selected by Barbara and Silvia, where you’ll be mentored by a highly experienced chef.

5 Day Course

Master the fundamental techniques of Italian cuisine, so you can start to get creative. Ideal if you want to acquire further culinary skills in specific areas.

Classes can be held either in class, or in Barbara’s beautiful Tuscan villa in the Chianti.

1 Day Course

Learn valuable tips and tricks, and some classic recipes. Perfect for the enthusiastic home chef. We begin with a visit to Florence’s fruit and vegetable market of Sant’ Ambrogio. A short stroll in the city and then head off to start our hands-on lesson.


Barbara was born in Florence and, from a very young age, travelled the world with her opera-singing father. While overseas she acquired a true passion for international cuisine, as well as for the various cultures she encountered along the way. After studying political science at university, she decided to pursue a completely different career: The culinary arts. Over the next 5 years, she worked at some of Florence’s most sought-after restaurants and rapidly mastered the many secrets of Italian cooking. In 2003, she launched her own cooking school, La Pentola delle Meraviglie.

She is also well known as a gifted sommelier and an olive oil expert. In 2013, in partnership with Silvia Maccari, she launched a brand-new cooking school in Florence. Her classes are loved by both locals and tourists and often you can hear a melodious hum of several languages. She has time for everyone’s questions and finds much delight in helping others progress in what she loves doing most. She enjoys the outdoors and often retreats to her stone-cottage villa in the Chianti where she holds exclusive cooking classes for small groups.


Silvia began her career by attending professional culinary courses in Milan (Italian Cuisine) – Bologna (Sisters Simili and Method Tamara Valenti) Trevi (Chef Angelo Paracucchi). She is also a certified olive oil sommelier.

Over the past 15 years she has welcomed in her kitchen guests from all over the world, organizing cooking classes, food tours and gastronomic itineraries. At the same time, Silvia travelled extensively in the United States and Europe working with Marriott International and Aldiana Gmbh to train in-house chefs. She is a visiting chef-instructor in London at Leiths School of Food & wine. She has recently opened, together with Barbara, a brand new cooking school in Florence that is soon becoming a favorite among foodies, both local and international.

Included in every course

Every cooking course is a genuine educational experience, with authentic local insights. And in all our dealings with you, you’ll enjoy attentive personal service, exceptional guest care and uncompromising quality.

Delicious Florence, cooking classes

Location: Florence
Date: All year
Length: 1 day, 5 days, 1 month, 3 months
Price: Quoted to you at the time of request

Register your interest

Silvia’s cooking class was the highlight of our vacation. The market tour was amazing. Her knowledge of all of the meats, cheese and produce was wonderful. Her cultural and historical input was so interesting to us. Of all of our tour guides during our time in Italy, she was our favorite. We would return to Florence just for a cooking class with her.

― Cherisa & Alex, UK

We met Barbara at local markets in Florence. We had a great time seeing all the beautiful fruits and vegetables and seasonal produce. During our cooking class Barbara shared her recipes with us and we each had various tasks to complete as we prepared a divine lunch from scratch. She was funny, gracious, patient and generous with her time.

―Bruce & Shelley R., USA

We had a fantastic day with Chef Barbara in Florence and highly recommend her class. She was very welcoming, explaining about the local produce at the markets, and giving us lots of tips on Italian food. We went to her villa just outside Florence for the class and it was well worth the extra time, as Barbara has a lovely kitchen to cook in and the countryside is beautiful.

― Karen & Jessica M., Australia

Silvia was a treasure. She was extremely knowledgeable about the area, the foods and their preparation as well as the wines. Her English was wonderful. A truly delightful and beautiful woman with a sense of style as well as humor. She was the highlight of the tour.

― Marcia, USA