At Easter 2023, my husband Marco and I finally opened our own cooking school and enoteca, Enoteca Marilu. It’s a small, cosy space in an ex-stable in a hidden laneway of our town, San Miniato.
We waited for 19 months of restoration and paperwork (and even a crowdfunding campaign in the middle of it all to help give us a little extra push) before we could open the space and welcome our first guests and our first year was a great success, with almost completely booked out classes!
We had such a busy year I didn’t have time to write much about them so I thought I’d introduce it now to give you an idea of what it is that we do. I wanted to create something that I hadn’t seen before in Tuscany, first of all. I wanted it to be intimate (we have maximum of 8 people in our small kitchen) and I wanted it to be a way for people to experience some of the things I love most about living in Tuscany for the past 18 years: visiting the market, buying fresh, seasonal produce and cooking with friends before sitting down to a long, relaxed lunch with great wine, good conversation and a meal that we cooked together. So that’s basically what we do!
We meet at 10:15am (this seems rather precise but it’s to give people time to get here from the train station as many come in from nearby Florence for the day for it) in a corner of the gardens near the market. Depending on the time of year, there’s a small bar there called Lo Chalet where we can have a coffee while we wait for everyone to arrive. Then we go to the market — it’s small but really has everything you could ever need. Going to the market means not being in a rush to do your shopping! We spend the time it takes to wait our turn, talk to the growers, pick out the best produce for our recipes that day — I never cook the same menu twice so this changes literally every week according to the seasons!
And then we walk to the enoteca with a short stop along the way to pick up one last thing for the antipasto platter.
In the enoteca, we get ready for cooking together. The menu is almost always mostly vegetarian because I want to show you the best produce that we have and let the vegetables shine!
We cook con calma, the food takes the time it takes to cook. We cook together, all hands in. We chat and hopefully you learn many good tips along the way. We have a glass of wine while we put the finishing touches together on our lunch and then we finally get to sit down to a late lunch and enjoy it all together.
Does this sound like something you’d love?
We hold our market classes every Tuesday. You can check out or calendar and book right away on our Enoteca Marilu website.
Here’s more about us written up in The Financial Times.