Getting our gnocchi on in Florence


It would be no surprise to me that attending a cooking school in Florence, Italy is at the top of many bucket lists around the world.  Italian gastronomy is abundant in flavor, and colors.  It is to be experienced using all of the senses.   I will let you in on a little secret that I have…  as much as I loved to experience the entire package of fine dining Italian style… I have no interest what-so-ever in cooking it.  Gasp if you must, but that is not my gift.  In fact I’d rather wash clothes than cook, and I don’t like to do the laundry.   So when I was told that we were going to a cooking school, I had a tad bit of hesitancy getting excited about it.  Almost immediately I had a backup plan…  food photography.

My friend Pam & I surrounded by yummy ingredients.

My friend Pam & I surrounded by yummy ingredients.


The Arbitrary Swoon Gnocchi

Following an eventful taxi ride (aren’t those the best kind?) from the hotel we were warmly greeted at the Giglio Cooking School by chef Marcella Ansaldo and her staff.  She graciously outlined the meal that we would be preparing, and the steps involved.  Lucky for us we seemed to have several very knowledgeable people in our group with years of extensive meal preparation experience so we were smooth sailing.  We would be making handmade gnocchi with a mushroom sauce, chicken breast rolls with spinach and Tiramisu for dessert.  Everyone broke off to the area where they wished to begin and went to town!

The Arbitrary Swoon Gnocchi Prep

The Arbitrary Swoon Gnocchi Cutting

I did my best to stay out of everyone’s way…  I did help a few times, but frankly not much at all.  It was a fun process watching everyone working together and it was a pleasure attempting to capture natural expressions as the dinner progressed.

The Arbitrary Swoon Veggie Prep

The Arbitrary Swoon - Chicken Prep

The Arbitrary Swoon - Instagram Pic

Of course I sent a pic to my Instagram account that evening of our fun cooking experience later in the evening.  Note my hands are not actually doing anything!  Heaven forbid I get a bit of potato on my camera lens!

The Arbitrary Swoon Tiramisu

The Arbitrary Swoon Tiramisu

That night, I felt we did experience the full essence of Italian cooking.  It was a lovely affair.  After some bit of time we all finally sat down at our tables, cheerfully toasted our dinner with wine and then proceeded in some fabulous fellowship amongst each other.  It was a night that we will never forget and I am so glad that I was allowed to participate… even if only through the eye of my lens.

The Arbitrary Swoon Cooking Tiramisu

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