Casa Ombuto | Brava! Exceptional Week at Casa Ombuto
Tucked away in the lovely valley of Casentino, surrounded by natural beauty of the Parco Nationale Foreste Casentinesi, Casa Ombuto is the perfect setting for our week of Mediterranean cooking.
Chef Laura is quite exceptional - an awe-inspiring chef and brilliant teacher with a genuinely warm and welcoming nature. Laura's rigorous planning was evident from the start. The dishes we learned to make together were complex, and consistently flavorful. Careful thought guided each aspect of our cooking, from the freshest possible ingredients (often picked from the villa gardens as we cooked) to seamlessly scheduling and pacing each aspect of the work. Everyone cooked! Each of us was serious about learning, and Chef Laura seemed to intuitively understand our unique levels of experience. Always with a smile, Chef Laura matched individual learning styles while she challenged each of us to move to personal culinary heights.
From the moment we arrived, we were treated like royalty. The accommodations were exceptional. Each apartment included separate bedrooms, each with private bathrooms, along with a common room and full kitchen. The central gourmet kitchen was organized and fully equipped - just touring it gave us a sense of what might be possible in the world of cooking. Our three-hour daily dining experiences, complete with wine pairings and unique table settings, allowed us time to enjoy the fruits our labors, and to enjoy our new international friends.
Finally, and maybe best of all, Chef Laura's belief in simplicity truly does make her lessons replicable. We are home just a little over one month, and we've already made three full meals for our whole family: the first, a simple fresh tomato sauce with homemade tagliatelle; the second, a full four course Italian meal featuring chinghiale; and, upcoming, a four course Spanish / Moroccan feast featuring paella.