Jerry Pellegrino leads this extraordinary retreat and cultural/culinary immersion and centered in in the region of Umbria, in central Italy. The retreat offers an opportunity to experience some of the most famous culinary and wine traditions of Italy. We will travel to where the most famous foods and wines are produced, while centered in a 16th c. villa in the hills outside of the beautiful and serene village of Monte Castello di Vibio. In this idyllic environment, guests will prepare dishes with the master chef that will be accompanied by his choice from some of the finest wines in the world.
The interplay between food and wine fascinates Chef Pellegrino, and Italy is the ideal environment in which to explore this relationship. His own cuisine is simple and surprising, pairing unexpected ingredients that work together with wine lists at all his restaurants. Participants will be swept up in Chef Pellegrino's passion for food and wine while immersed in a landscape of farms, fields, and vineyards that produce some of the finest ingredients in the world.
Pellegrino’s understanding of this interplay begins at a molecular level and is a direct result of his Doctoral work in molecular biology at Johns Hopkins University. This background, makes him the perfect guide to the foods and wines of Italy, offering insights into the chemical processes that occur in traditional preparations, honed over generations and yielding the world-renowned flavors of Italian breads, cheeses, cured meats, and wines.
The retreat is accommodated at Villa le tre Grazie, built in the 16th century. The Villa sits on 2.1 hectares of privacy that includes an olive orchard, a fruit orchard, and gardens with a 12x6m swimming pool and bath house. WiFi available in house and garden.
The villa itself occupies 1000 sq m with 26 rooms which include 9 bedrooms, each with its own distinctive view, and 6.5 baths. It is furnished for comfort without sacrificing style. The two grand salons, formal dining room and billiard room feature high frescoed ceilings and large stone fireplaces. The villa was recently renovated with modern conveniences while retaining its traditional composition to offer you an authentic experience without sacrificing comfort. The private frescoed chapel offer opportunities for quiet contemplation.
A fully equipped professional kitchen and outdoor brick oven will facilitate class activities as well as dining al fresco during the day and on warm evenings.
While in Umbria, the group will tour vineyards, olive orchards, cheese making facilities, and a wide range of producers of traditional charcuterie. In addition, the group will visit a number of cultural sites in Umbria, including the church of San Francesco in Assisi, one of the most renowned cathedrals in Italy, as well as natural sites, such as Marmore Falls, called by British poet, Lord Byron, “the most beautiful waterfall in Europe.”
Additionally, the group will visit the neighboring region of Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna in order to sample and explore the production of the famous traditional products: Prosciutto di Parma, Parmigiano Reggiano, Aceto Balsamico di Modena, as well as the great wines of the Chianti zone in Tuscany and those of Montepulciano and Montalcino, including Brunello, one of the “kings of Italian wine.”
Jerry Pellegrino is former currently owner of Strickland Hollow Farm, a cider apple farm, distillery and event space in Meridale, New York, tucked into the Catskill Mountains. He is the former co-owner of Schola, a private cooking school, located in the heart of Baltimore’s historic Mt. Vernon district. He and his partner, Chef Amy von Lange, taught hands-on classes to a variety of students covering a vast curriculum. For 15 years, Chef Pellegrino has served as the Vice Chancellor Culinaire of the Baltimore Bailliage of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, certified by the Court of Master Sommeliers and often featured in cooking segments on local television. He is the co-host of the long running radio show on NPR 88.1FM, WYPR’s “Radio Kitchen”. He has been nominated various years as Chef of the Year, awarded by Baltimore’s Academy of Travel, Tourism and Hospitality and was named One of Maryland’s 50 Most Influential People in 2017. For a full list of awards and honors, head to www.scholacooks.com