Crocs Field Trip To Tuscany!

The week of July 4th  is slow here at Crocodile, so I usually take my management crew (+ 2 apprentices) to some foreign land to do some menu research & development. This year we decided upon a cooking villa in Tuscany.

I know, I am a very nice boss.

So, on Saturday, June 30th, 2018, we set out for our trip to Tuscany. Of course, the flight was delayed 4 hours, which meant we spent 4 more hours at the bar than we should have. But what choice did we have?

So after a 7.5 hour flight and a 3 hour bus ride, we finally arrived at our villa.  To say our villa was on top of a hill would be inaccurate… this villa was almost on top of a mountain! We were scared the bus wouldn’t make it up the hill  the first time around!  The villa itself was isolated, historic, and beautiful overlooking vineyards, lemon groves and twisty, country roads.

Our villa provided breakfast and a 4-course dinner for us every day.  Talk about indulgence!  We were on our own for lunch, but that was just fine as we got to visit (& eat & drink wine!!!!) in some of the best cities – Pienza, Siena, Montepulciano, and Cortona! (It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it!!) We took two cooking classes where we got to actually make parts of our dinner!  (Some of us were better at it than others!)

Here’s what we discovered about Tuscan food…

Tuscan food is not fussy or complicated…but it is of extremely high quality with most ingredients locally sourced. Prosciutto di Parma, Pecorino Romano, olives, capers, espresso, fennel, fresh anchovies, tomatoes, beautiful lemons,  truffles, wine, ROSEMARY EVERYWHERE!, basil, ridiculously pungent arugula, extra-virgin olive oil (on everything). Did I say wine?

Here are a few pictures of the adventures from Tuscany. Enjoy!

Our first cooking class of the week on Tuesday! Such good students we are!

Our pasta dish for Monday night’s dinner. This is the Bucatini pasta we made earlier that day in our cooking class!

On Wednesday, we visited a spot in search of the perfect Bistecca Fiorentina! This place was so legit… we had to break out our phones to translate the menu!!!

Our delicious Bistecca Fiorentina!

This was one of everyone’s favorite meal of the trip! Homemade pasta with mushrooms and truffles!

The-freshest-melon on Earth loaded with arugula, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and topped with prosciutto!

We visited two wineries on Friday!

Lunch one day in Montepulciano- Spinach & Ricotta Gnudi in brown butter sauce, pistachios, and Pecorino Romano cheese!