A lesson with Anna Tasca Lanza
The two souls of Sicilian cooking.
Since the mid 1800's, the Regalreal estate, situated in the heart of Sicily, between Enna and Agrigento, has been the property of the members of the Tasca D'Almerita family, who have been wine producers for generations.
At the center of the estate, amidst the grape vines, almond and olive trees, lies the Antico Baglio di Case Vecchie. It is here, in the place where she spent much of her infancy, that the marquise Anna Tasca Lanza decided to open her cooking school. Her life as member of the Sicilian aristocracy has meant that Lanza has a thorough experience of Sicily's two, dramatically different, types of cooking: the region's simple peasant food and the rich and elaborate cuisine of the monsù (the monsù were cooks, originating from Piedmont, who were traditionally employed by the Sicilian noble families). Anna Tasca Lanza's interest in these two very different types of cooking led her to create, together with her daughter Fabrizia, "a Sicilian cooking school with a difference", one which every year welcomes hundreds of students, from all four corners of the globe.
Lanza's "flavor philosophy" reflects the island's diverse, and at times contradictory cooking traditions, and aims to retrieve, conserve and, most importantly, share, a culinary heritage which might otherwise, only too easily, be lost.
The cooking lessons commence with students being introduced to and learning about the products of the land surrounding the Casa Vecchie: they become familiar with the fruit, the vegetables and the aromatic herbs grown in the kitchen gardens, and the meat and milk of the testa rossa sheep which graze in Regaleali's pastures. Anna teaches students that in Sicily, every event, festival, or traditional celebration is accompanied by a particular dish, and in this way the island's colorful past is illustrated, not by its history books, but through its recipes. During the lessons, theory is alternated with practice over the pots and pans, and classes conclude with tasting the prepared dishes. Between lessons, Anna organizes visits to the estate's wine cellars and dairies.
Anna Tasca Lanza
Via Principessa Giovanna 9
Tel: +39 392 3744854