Your Cooking holidays In Italy team during your stay
Mark founded Taste Trails Rome Cooking holidays in Italy after first travelling through Italy and came across this beautiful area that even though it is so close to Rome , had very few tourists . He settled in Sabina for a few years and has now put together a fine team who will deliver an exciting itinerary we are sure will show you a side to Italy that you would likely not find yourself - An authentic Italy , real people , real passion ,a love for its food, traditions and especially Rome and Sabina . A warm welcome awaits...
A Sabine native, a highly respected Art restorer in Italy, having worked on and supervised the restoration of some of Rome's and Italy's most important art treasures , she specialises in paintings , fresco's and stone.
Susanna will be popping in and out throughout your stay to offer her local knowledge and insight and to make your stay is a wonderful experience. A fine cook she's been making fresh pasta since she was a child, she won't need any excuse to join in the lessons !
Well travelled throughout India and Asia , she's very good company and you can be sure of a warm welcome.
giacomo and eleonora
Giacomo and his lovely partner Elenora are your warm hosts for your stay in their country house which has been in Giacomo's family for more than 200 years . They also run the restaurant here serving ' rustic ' Roman and Sabine dishes which people travel to from miles around to taste and savour.
Giacomo produces nearly everything that is served in the restaurant including their extremely high quality Sabina extra virgin olive oil .
Gambero Rosso trained Emiliano ( centre ) owner / chef at the fabulous L'Antica Bottega restaurant which lies within the walls of the Medieval hill top village of Fara Sabina , will focus on ' modern ' interpretations of Roman and Sabine recipes. He spends hours experimenting and fine tuning his skills and ideas which he then puts to good use in his restaurant.
Paula and Franco
Paula's love for cooking was born since she was a child and played in her grandparent’s restaurant inside Rome's Cinecitta movie studios.
From her mother, a refined and exacting cook, she learned the secrets and techniques of Italian cuisine and by attending a number of specialised in- depth courses.
She practiced her cooking with passion in a few small yet gourmet restaurants, afterwards she wanted to transfer her experience, passion and love for traditional Italian food and pass on her knowledge and experience.
That’s why with Franco she set up Gusto al Borgo Cooking School, where people come from all over the world to learn Italian recipes, as well as professional foreign chefs who come to be trained acquiring an overall good knowledge of Italian cuisine that they will practice in their everyday professional lives.
Franco is your warm host at Gusto al Borgo and grows their organic vegetables in his garden and takes care of his olive grove where he produces the famous Sabina extra virgin olive oil.
He’s also rightly proud of his homemade red wine: a delicious combination of Sangiovese and Nebiolo grapes.
Master Olive oil sommelier Johnny Madge came to Italy in 1982 to study his favorite architect in Rome. After a year he wanted to get his own hands on the marble and learn to restore the very same churches and palaces that he’d be looking at,so he headed off the Carrara (the same place where Michelangelo sourced his marble). In the end, instead of restoration Johnny became a marble sculptor and letter-cutter for tombstones!
But his passion for olive oil had started from the very beginning of his stay in Italy. In 1982 Johnny was invited to a lunch in Umbria where, on the table, was a bottle of freshly-made olive oil. As is was poured (not drizzled!) on bruschetta, then a soup full of beans and, in the end, even onto a grilled steak Johnny realised that this was an ingredient like no other. It was love at first sight, smell and taste. 4 years later Johnny found a ruined farmhouse in the middle of an olive grove and, before buying it, tasted some locally-made oil. “If the oil is good we buy the house.” They bought the house!
From then on Johnny got deeper and deeper into his passion for olive oil: experimenting with mills and talking to as many local producers as possible but it took some time for him to meet someone who was really making quality oil and from whom he began to learn the principles of good practice: perfect olives crushed immediately in clean mills.
In 2004 he started tasting for the Slow Food Extravergini Guide and then, being the only Brit with such a crazy craving for good olive oil he began to get noticed and was invited to New York to talk about bitterness in olive oil at the First International New York Olive Oil Competition. Since he has been judging at Olive Japan in Tokyo, Athena in Greece, Ariston in London and Izmir in Turkey.