Advanced Salumi Course Tuscany

Advanced Salumi Course Tuscany

19–24 October 2017 | 23–28 November 2017 | 11–16 January 2018 |1–6 March 2018

Availability: Oct 1 place | Nov 7 places | Jan 7 places | Mar 7 places | Sign up for our newsletter to receive updates

Course designed and led by Giancarlo Russo, National Coordinator for Slow Food Italy on meat topics and co‐author of Salumi d’Italia

On this course you will learn the theoretical and practical elements of making a wide variety of Tuscan salumi (cured pork products). You will work with a number of experienced Italian norcini (pork butchers) in hands-on sessions during which you may take notes, photos and videos. You will also receive a printed set of course notes. Previous participants have been able to return home and make the salumi they learned on the course, and have the confidence to experiment with their own recipes.

Course suitable for pig breeders, butchers, chefs and amateurs who want to make their own salumi. Maximum course size: 7 people.

Course at a glance

Thursday

Arrival at Pisa airport or Viareggio or Pisa train station no later than 2.30 pm (one transfer to B&B, Camaiore will be provided no later than 2.45 pm). You may not drive your own car during the course. If you want to arrive by car, you may park it at Pisa airport. Please ask for details.

Session 1: Introduction and theory with Giancarlo Russo

Welcome dinner at private Italian home

Friday

Session 2: Making sausages, salami and lardo with norcino Bacci

Tasting lunch at Bacci’s

Session 3: Prosciutto-in-depth and how to use liver with norcino Ceccotti

Transfer to agriturismo Venturo

Dinner at Venturo

Saturday

Session 4: Pig to salumi with norcino Turri (butchering the pig, shaping the prosciutto, salting the pancetta)

Lunch at Venturo

Session 5: Less noble parts of the pig with Turri (soppressata, biroldo)

Dinner at Il Vecchio Mulino, Castelnuovo

Sunday

Session 6: Do it yourself (sausages, salami, cotechino) and visit maturing cellars

Session 7: Visit pigs

Lunch at Venturo

Session 8: Q&A and review with Giancarlo

Session 9: Salumi and wine workshop with Giancarlo

Dinner at Lo Sfizio, Castiglione di Garfagnana

Monday

Free day in Lucca (or visits to other artisans can be arranged for an extra fee)

Tuesday

Session 10: Expand and deepen what you’ve already learned: production run at the Rocchi family salumificio

Transfer to Lucca or Pisa Centrale station or Pisa airport. We can get you to any of these by 2.15 pm. When booking your travel, please allow enough time to get to your station platform or for check-in and security at airport.

Extend your stay – ask about

Guided day tours to visit a cheesemaker, make bread in a wood-fired oven with a village baker, pick olives and visit olive press, visit a vineyard, walking tour of Lucca and much more.

Thursday

Arrive Pisa airport or train station and transfer to B&B

One pick-up only no later than 14.45

You may not drive your own car during the course. If you want to arrive by car, you may park it at the airport during the course. Please ask for details of a very reasonably priced car park.

Session 1: Introduction and theory with Giancarlo Russo

  • Overview of Italian salumi
  • What you will do with norcini (pork butchers)
  • Suitable pigs and Italian cuts of pork
  • What to take note of at norcini
  • Boning, division into joints and rifilatura (shaping) the pieces
  • The mixture for salami and appropriate casings
  • Drying and maturing

Dinner in an Italian home

Gabriella Lazzarini has invited us to her home for dinner. Seafood is her great love. She buys from family fishermen who sell their catches at the nearby Viareggio molo (no endangered species here).

Accommodation: Villa Lombardi, Camaiore | Meals: Dinner

Friday

Breakfast and departure from Villa Lombardi

Session 2: Insaccati (meat in ‘sacks’) with Massimo Bacci

  • Sausages, salami (mortadella nostrale): cleaning shoulder, selecting meat, grinding, seasoning with spices and wine, filling casings and tying, drying and maturing salami, hands-on practice making sausages and salami
  • Lardo: salting, seasoning and curing in marble boxes

Lunch: Tasting at Massimo Bacci

Transfer to Macelleria Ceccotti, Lari (Pisa)

Session 3: Prosciutto and pork liver with Simone Ceccotti

  • In depth look at prosciutto: salting, protecting exposed areas, maturing, how to know when it’s ready
  • Making fegatelli (cooked pork liver and meat)
  • Tasting of Simone’s products

Transfer to Chifenti

Neapolitan pizza at Dalla Padella Alle Brace

Transfer to Agriturismo ‘Il Venturo’, Pieve Fosciana

Accommodation: Agriturismo Venturo, Pieve Fosciana | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Saturday

Breakfast

Session 4: From pig to salumi with Ismaele Turri

  • Cutting into joints
  • Rifilatura (shaping leg for prosciutto)
  • Preparation of joints to make salami and sausages
  • Salting whole pieces: pancetta, capocollo, shoulder, ham

Lunch at Venturo

Session 5: Soppressata (head cheese) and maturing with Ismaele Turri

  • Which parts of the pig
  • Cooking, chopping, seasoning, filling casings, pressing
  • Visit drying and maturing cellars

Optional visit to butcher shop of Luigi Angelini for tasting of best biroldo of the Garfagnana

Transfer to Castelnuovo

Dinner at Il Vecchio Mulino

A tasting menu in Andrea’s parallel gastronomic universe

Accommodation: Agriturismo Venturo, Pieve Fosciana | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Sunday

Breakfast

Session 6: Do it yourself

  • Make your own sausages and salami under the guidance of Ismaele

Lunch at Il Prisco, Ismaele’s bar and cellar restaurant: tasting of Ismaele’s salumi

Session 7: Visit Ismaele’s pigs

Session 8: Review and Q&A with Giancarlo Russo

  • Review of practical sessions and question time
  • Evaluation of course
  • Presentation of course certificates

Session 9: Salumi & wine workshop

  • The theory and practice of pairing salumi and wines

Transfer to Castiglione di Garfagnana

Dinner at Lo Sfizio

Mara & Massimo prepare a seasonal feast in their restaurant with only two tables.

Accommodation: Agriturismo Venturo, Pieve Fosciana | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Monday

Breakfast

Transfer to hotel in Lucca

Free day in Lucca

Lunch & dinner: find your own (not included in course fee)

I can organise special activities for you such as baking bread in a wood-fired oven with a village baker, gelato lesson, olive oil tasting, cheesemaking. Please ask for a complete list. Not included in course fee.

Accommodation: Piccolo Hotel Puccini, Lucca | Meals: Breakfast

Tuesday

Breakfast at hotel

Transfer to Matraia

Session 10: Production run at Salumificio Rocchi

The crowning glory of the course is the visit to the Rocchi family salumificio at Matraia. Since their pork arrives on Monday afternoon, Gino, his father and his uncle do their weekly production run on Tuesday morning. The best things are worth waiting for. This session is both a summary and a deepening of all you’ve learned on the course. Additionally, you’ll find out how to organise your production efficiently in a short time, with few hands and little space.

  • Observation of weekly production run
  • Salami (either toscano or salumetti)
  • Soppressata
  • Biroldo
  • Seasoning
  • Drying in natural room
  • Maturing in natural cellar

Tasting lunch

Transfer to Lucca or Pisa airport or station

There will be one transfer at about 12.30 or 13.00 (depending on how long you loiter over lunch). It takes 20 minutes to get to Lucca, 1 hour to get to Pisa. Please don’t book trains that leave Pisa before 14.30 or flights that leave before 15.00. If you need to leave earlier, I can arrange a special transfer at your own expense.

 

 

Villa Lombardi, Camaiore

A family villa that has been restored preserving its historic features. Maria Grazia Lombardi is the perfect hostess and serves mouthwatering breakfasts.

www.villalombardi.it

Villa-Lombardi-47

Agriturismo ‘Il Venturo’, Pieve Fosciana

A working farm with farm buildings converted to comfortable rustic accommodation (en suite bathrooms). On-site bar and restaurant, swimming pool, stables opposite.

www.agriturismoventuro.com

Agriturismo-Il-Venturo-47

Course Leader

Giancarlo Russo

Giancarlo designed and leads our Courses with Artisans Advanced Salumi Course and the Theory & Practice of Italian Cheese. He was Marketing Director for Mars-Nivea and American Express until he bailed out to adopt a slower, more personally rewarding way of life. Since then he has gained a wide range of qualifications and experience in the field of artisanal food:

  • Co-author of Slow Food Guide Salumi d’Italia
  • Lecturer at Universita’ Gastronomica di Pollenzo (Slow Food)
  • Professor of Sustainable Food, Wines of Italy and Pairing Food & Wine, Istituto Lorenzo de’ Medici.
  • Designed and taught Master of Food Salumi for Slow Food Versilia, a 4-part course covering meaning of terms, history, diffusion of pig, how to taste, cuts of pork, classification of products, pig breeds, influence of system of rearing on quality, the skins (natural and synthetic), how pig is prepared, how cuts are made into final products, function of salt and spices, techniques of ageing and conserving, techniques for dealing with less used animals (goose, horse, etc.), description of the principal cured pork products, purchase and conserving salumi at home, how to slice various types of salumi, salumi and wine, salumi in cooking, tasting of quality Italian salumi.
  • Master Cheese Taster (ONAF-National Organization of Cheese Tasters)
  • Instructor for Slow Food Master of Cheese Programme
  • International Judge for Olympic Cheese Games
  • Levoni Salumi – 25 focused training sessions for groceries related to tasting techniques for cured meat and identification of defects
  • Since 2000 Stagionatori d’Arno (Reggello, FI) – Partner and President of the Board. Start-up activity for selection, ageing, refining and selling of high-quality Tuscan artisanal salumi and cheeses
  • Former leader of Slow Food Casentino
Giancarlo Russo

Course Instructors

Massimo Bacci

Massimo and his father work together curing pork and running their butcher shop. They make only a few products (sausages, soppressata, three types of mortadella nostrale — not the mortadella you know, but a type of salami — coppa, lingua salmistrata and lardo). No preservatives, colorants or lactose come within miles of their products; their soppressata is beige. They mature their mortadella and coppa in a temperature and humidity controlled room instead of a cellar, but they stay as near as possible to cellar conditions to encourage the mould necessary to proper maturation. Their lardo is cured in marble conche like those used at Colonnata. The Accademia delle 5T (Territory, Tradition, Typical, Traceability, Transparency) nominated their mortadella nostrale for inclusion in the last all-Italy salami competition.

Massimo Bacci crushes garlic

Simone Ceccotti

The Ceccotti butcher shop was opened in 1956 by Simone’s parents. Today Simone and his wife Barbara carry on the small-scale production of the typical salumi of Pisa. Simone works closely with his pig breeder to improve the quality of the pork for their salami and prosciutto, and waxes lyrical about salt. Prosciutti hang overhead in the laboratory while salami matures below in what was once the cellar of the castle of Lari.

Simone Ceccotti with prosciutti-1

Ismaele Turri

Ismaele learned his butchering and salumi skills from his father. He still ages his prosciutto and salami in a cellar rather than in a modern purpose-built cabinet. On his farm he rears free-range cross-breed pigs and cultivates the primitive grains farro (Triticum dicoccum) and formenton otto file (eight-row maize). He gets immense pleasure from teaching, which was evident when I went to watch him make salami and ended up with a hands-on lesson.

Ismaele portait

Severino & Gino Rocchi

Gino has a degree in economics, but found working in a bank insupportable. He returned to join his father and uncle producing typical Lucchesi salumi as they have for four generations. They are a model of efficiency, making their entire week’s production on Tuesday mornings. They grind their own spices and mature their produce in natural conditions.

Soppressata Rocchi

Course Organiser

Erica Jarman

Following Heather’s careers as archaeologist, orchestra and artist manager and chef, she Italianised her name to Erica and came to Lucca to pursue her passion for traditional artisan food. Her tours, inspired by her infectious curiosity, open captivating new worlds to her guests.

Erica Jarman portrait square

Price

Per person: €1400 (Euros)

Non-participant in same room: €390 (Euros)

Includes

5 nights welcoming, relaxing accommodation, en suite bathrooms

Local ground transportation for 6 days

Daily continental breakfast, 4 lunches, 4 dinners

Course lectures and sessions with norcini, course notes

Non-participant fee includes: accommodation in same room as participant, transfers with participant to and from airport or station, daily continental breakfast, dinner on Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Does not include

Airfares

Travel and cancellation insurance

Wine and drinks other than those served with meals, additional meals

Personal expenses such as telephone, mini-bar, etc.

Meeting points

Pisa airport, Pisa Centrale train station

Recommended international travel

Arrival time: not later than 14.30

Departure time: no earlier than 15.30

Nearest airport: Pisa

Airlines from UK: British Airways, EasyJet, Ryanair

Airlines from USA: You have to fly to another European city and take a connecting flight or train to Pisa Centrale. There are good low-cost flights from many European cities (but not from within Italy). There are better train connections from Rome than from Milan.

Nearest train stations: Pisa Centrale

Dress

Informal. Jeans are acceptable everywhere.

Weather in October

11–21˚C/52–70˚F, precipitation 119 mm/4.7 in

Weather in November

6–15˚C/43–59˚F, precipitation 122 mm/4.8 in

Weather in January

2–11˚C/36–52˚F, precipitation 74 mm/2.9 in

Weather in February

3–12˚C/37–54˚F, precipitation 69 mm/2.7 in

Weather in March

4–14˚C/40–58˚F, precipitation 76 mm/3 in

Itinerary is subject to change if necessary due to weather or agricultural conditions or other events outside our control.

Thanks for the brilliant course. I would certainly recommend it to others. Meeting the norcini really helped me to understand the skill and experience needed to make great salumi. I’m already planning a few curing projects at home!

Elliott Bloomfield, chef, River Cafe, UK, Advanced Salumi Course, March 2017

Thank you for your tireless efforts in making sure that I got the most out of the course.
Thank you for handpicking the most talented and genuine artisans for me to learn from.
Thank you for going out of your way for me to get spices.
Thank you for one of the most memorable and fulfilling experiences of my life.

Vahe Jr Seraydarian, chef, Lebanon, Advanced Salumi Course, February 2017

I have to say that this was one of the best training I have had in my whole career (either as a butcher and also as a Geologist). Theory, tradition and practice has been explained in depth with hands on the job and plenty of Italian joy. I strongly recommend this training for any enthusiast of the salumi art.

David Contreras, Romania, Advanced Salumi Course, March 2017

I would like to thank you very much for such an amazing week… I enjoyed and learned a lot from this experience. The course was very valuable and full of information. Erica and Giancarlo were beyond expectations. Nevertheless, the group were such an amazing company sharing the best moments and knowledge of meat curing.

Fayez Bathish, Israel, Advanced Salumi Course Tuscany, February 2017

I have worked as a butcher for 4 years, but haven’t worked with cured meats. I read a couple books on the topic but really wanted to learn hands on with experienced butchers. That is exactly what this course gave me. All the butchers we worked with were skilled artisans that have a deep respect for their craft and the animals they work with. They were all very open and happy to share their knowledge. They each worked a bit different which gave the experience even more depth. Giancarlo’s wealth of knowledge introduced us to salumi topics and then led us through and followed up each session. Erica’s depth of knowledge on various cultural and culinary aspects of the areas we traveled through rounded out the experience. She did a great job arranging the trip and I must say we ate very well along the way. The course was an excellent primer on various aspects of the craft of salumi and I feel confident going forward that I have a solid foundation to build on.

Josh Meehan, butcher, USA, Advanced Salumi Course Tuscany, February 2017

As an industry professional I appreciated the manner in which you conducted the course. You and Giancarlo hold a wealth of information from which I learned so much. The personal interaction and ability to talk with other experts was priceless. Pair this with the gorgeous Tuscan countryside as a backdrop, wonderful people and food around every corner and you have a gem of a trip! I would recommend this course to other industry professionals looking to get back to the artisanal way of doing things.
Pete’s photographic diary of the salumi course

Pete Manzo, Manzo’s Sausage Kitchen & Market, USA, January 2012, Advanced Salumi Course

The Tuscan salumi class has been fantastic. The hands on experience and the attention to communicating technique and detail has answered so many little questions that I’ve pondered over the years of producing salumi at home. Hats off to you Erica and Giancarlo. A great group of fellow students too!

Rudy Marchesi, winemaker, USA, Advanced Salumi Course Tuscany, February 2017

I recently entered the Melbourne Salami Festa with my 2016 winter Berkshire pork salami and I finished 6th out of 102 entries. The festa is the only major amateur salami competition of its kind in Australia, which is taken really seriously by some. I would like to thank you, Giancarlo and the artisan norcini for all the things I learnt on the salumi course last year. I strongly believe that these things have helped me to improve my family’s salami making techniques. Which has clearly paid off with us finishing in the top 10 this year and hopefully top 5 next year. Your courses are more than just training, they inspire a way of life.

22 October 2016: News from Geoff Burgess, Australia

I have learnt more in four hours with Massimo Bacci than in the whole of the last four months back in the factory reading books and experimenting. It’s a brilliant experience.

Nick Trott, butcher, Dukeshill Ham Company, UK, January 2012, Advanced Salumi Course

The course provided a great insight into the skills and techniques of artisan producers in Tuscany. It was a wonderful adventure, very informative, hands on, delicious food and stunning scenery. The hidden gems of restaurants (and Gabriella’s house) where we dined, the welcome and hospitality we received wherever we went made it such a memorable experience.

Billy Collins, pig farmer, Ireland, Advanced Salumi Course, October 2014

I attended both the cheese course and the salumi course and I have to say that both were amazing. Being a chef I appreciated every single minute and the dedication you put into these events. I think that I learned a lot and seeing many different artisans and the passion they transmit to us “students” is unforgettable.

Erica, you should be proud of what you are doing and I recommend your courses to not only chefs but to all food lovers. I also want to thank Giancarlo for sharing all his knowledge and patience so we could understand more. He is an asset to your courses.

Roderick Vella, Executive Chef, Excelsior Grand Hotel, Malta, Advanced Salumi Course, January 2015

I can’t let this opportunity pass without thanking you for an amazing six days and telling you that you have a fantastic product in the salumi course. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it and feel invigorated after it with an appetite for rolling up my sleeves and getting down to curing and ageing.

I found the extension day extremely valuable as an addition to the main course. The norcini we visited were very knowledgeable, skilled and made salumi in a completely different manner to all the previous ones we visited. I would recommend that anyone with the time available cannot afford to miss the opportunity to do the extension.

Tim McCarthy, McCarthy’s of Kanturk, Ireland, January 2012, Advanced Salumi Course

This course was an amazing insight into the methods and superb skills of the local producers of Tuscany. If you are serious about Italian Salumi techniques, this is the course for you. Giancarlo and Heather are such knowledgeable guides and translators and this adds another dimension to an already action packed tour. It really is amazing value for money in a stunning location, and meeting these producers is the key to knowledge that simply isn’t available anywhere else.
3 weeks after end of course: So far I’m making salsiccia regularly and they are going down a storm. This week I’m doing a roast porchetta and my first prosciutto, and next week we will be attempting our first Tuscan salami so keep the fingers crossed, and I’ll let you know how it turns out.
7 weeks after end of course: Salamis looking good so far – lovely mould developing not quite matured enough yet but I did try one yesterday and it was quite passable!
8 weeks after end of course: They are squisito! Two types – first was in the style that Massimo showed us, quite smooth with a fantastic flavour. Second was a more Tuscan style with red wine etc, lovely flavours again, just needs to mature for longer.
14 weeks after end of course (23 Jan 2012): We’re  pretty busy already this year, and just put down our first Lancashire Prosciutto – I’m like an expectant father! 8 months after end of course (Jun 2012): My latest batch of Coppa went down a storm at a food show here in the North West – sold out in an hour!

Phil Wilcock, UK, pig farmer & butcher, October 2011

Having made and taught preserving in the past, I was always concerned with the risks of dealing with raw meat, in particular pork. This course has shown me that, following certain steps and guidelines, it is easily achievable and concerns could be overcome. Now, I just need to find the perfect pork and begin…

Bruno Richeux, chef, Australia, Advanced Salumi Course, January 2016

Just wanted to say how wonderful it was spending time with all you passionate people! We are all the bit wiser because of our organizers ( Erica & Giancarlo ) and the wonderful teachers we met along the way.

April Bloomfield, chef, The Spotted Pig, New York, March 2014, Advanced Salumi Course

I appreciated the patience of the norcini who gave everyone a chance to try. It was valuable genuinely doing the work and having enough time to practice under their supervision. It has inspired me to get to work on my own projects.

Tom Fabbro, design and marketing, USA, October 2015, Advanced Salumi Course

If the course were on Tripadvisor, it would get 5 stars.

Paul Young, keen amateur, UK, Advanced Salumi Course, October 2015

The best part for me was getting close to artisans who are willing to reveal their secrets. That’s hard to find!

Hans Mertens, butcher, Belgium, Advanced Salumi Course, October 2015

Amazing people make amazing things happen. I fully recommend this course to anyone who wants to see fine Italian meats in action, eyes wide open!! I’m blown away at the amount I have taken from this. Giancarlo Russo and Heather Jarman delivered an in-depth look at the production and the practices of some very knowledgeable Artisans. Loved every minute. If you get the chance or have time, the extension to this course is the cream of the lardo! I met a 4th-generation family up in the hills above a small wine valley. This guy, his dad and uncle and the mum and aunt are truly spot on Salumi.

Drew Howard, pork butcher, Beijing, China, October 2013, Advanced Salumi Course & Extension

Had a blast on the course and want to thank you for arranging such a comprehensive program that highlights not only similarities but differences as well among Italian artisanal norcini, all of whom expressed their passion for their work. Very interesting and delicious indeed!

Bonnie Suarez, chef, USA, Advanced Salumi Course, February 2016

Although I have visited many norcini during my various Italy vacations, I never made it beyond the refrigerated counter case. It therefore was really interesting to see how they operate in the laboratorio. We had a fun group with interesting people and I enjoyed the experience thoroughly.

Christophe Kull, importer, USA, Advanced Salumi Course, February 2016

I couldn’t be happier with my decision to join your courses and the experience is something that I’m sure will be in many of my future story tellings.

Tony Nemati, chef, Kravings, Los Angeles, USA, Advanced Salumi Course, January 2016

I learned more than I imagined I was going to, and had a fantastic time.

Kait Bauman, chef, San Francisco, USA, Advanced Salumi Course, January 2016

I was blown away by the course. You put heart and soul into it to make it so memorable!

Maggie Healey, UK, Advanced Salumi Course, January 2016

It was a great and inspiring experience.

Raven Burns, pastry chef, Blackbird Bakery, BC, Canada, Advanced Salumi Course, January 2016

Thank you for a great time and phenomenal course. Prior to arriving I had prepared 38 questions and every single one of them was answered. In Cape Town we have a saying after surfing a big wave: I am amped. That’s how I feel after my trip.

Oscar Bienz, South Africa, October 2015, Advanced Salumi Course

I would like to thank yourself and Giancarlo for creating such a great action packed course, well it’s more of a life experience than a course. All the things that are packed into the 5 days are amazing, well worth the long journey from Australia for the keen amateur or industry professional. I would also like to thank all the norcini for allowing us to come into their businesses and homes to teach and show us the way in which they produce their salumi, which is not only apart of their lives, but a tradition passed down over many generations. The course has left me feeling more inspired than normal in pursuing my dream of setting up my own Salumi Factory here in Perth, WA, producing as close as possible legal Traditional Italian Salumi.

Geoff Burgess, amateur salumi maker, Australia, October 2015, Advanced Salumi Course

A year after attending your course I’ve been back in Italy travelling around visiting producers of both live animals and the final product. I would like to say how wonderful a service you are providing to not just small producers, but people worldwide. I don’t believe the Italian people really appreciate what you have done and continue to do with your Salumi Masterclasses. It seems that industry is gobbling up the little man. Everyone I spoke to is concerned that it’s getting harder to make salumi the traditional way and remain viable.

James Mele, butcher, The Meat Room, Australia, Advanced Salumi Course

A benefit of the course is the combined experience of the group. I’m going home more motivated.

John Palmer, jewellery importer, UK, October 2015, Advanced Salumi Course

Cathy and I had a wonderful time during the course. The people we met were gracious hosts, wonderful cooks and very open to teaching us the craft from their perspective. Each norcino shared his vision of salumi with all of us; it was interesting and informative. Their patience in answering our questions was very appreciated; they were always willing to listen and answer each and every question posed.

Some of the course for me was reaffirming what I had learned previously or taught myself, a lot of it was new. However I did learned there are multiple ways to achieve the end result, multiple techniques, styles and traditions. I did not expect it and truly enjoyed learning that.

Joe Abandonato, USA, Advanced Salumi Course, March 2015

We would like to thank you for the wonderful time we had in Italy, it was a trip of a life time. The course was excellent. I have people back here asking about my adventure everyday and want to know when I’ll start making some of the items we learned about from all of the very fine artisans.

Ron Cramer, Department of Animal Sciences, Ohio State University, USA, Advanced Salumi Course, March 2015

The experience with your group was so phenomenal. The things that stood out most for me were the dinner in the Tuscan home, the soup competition and Gino’s workshop. To me, these were opportunities that no other traveler to Italy can brag about. For that matter, the entire time with your group falls into this category. I cannot think of one bad thing to say about your course. I have told my friends about the mechanical cow and they want me to present the idea to our local dairy that sells whole unpasteurized milk. It would be wonderful to buy their milk in our own glass containers as they only sell it pre-bottled in plastic. I can’t believe how our time with you has transformed our lives by the people we met and the things we saw and learned. We will be putting our skills to the test the first weekend of May by butchering our pigs and and making the best salumi in Washington.

3 July 2015
We butchered our pigs the first of May. We were beyond pleased with the quality of our pork…At this time we have in our cooler lardo, pancetta, prosciutto, coppa and guanciale. It is hard to be patient with such wonderful pork products to dream about.

Cathy Abandonato, USA, Advanced Salumi Course, March 2015

Thank you for the wonderful few days we spent with you and the artisans in their laboratories looking at salumi techniques. It has enabled us to question why we do, or don’t do, things when making our products. It has clarified techniques, enhanced others and given me new ideas. We have already laid down a prosciutto for Christmas 2016. Nicely salting at the moment in the butchery, using different sizes of salt to account for the humidity and selective absorption – something which we didn’t understand beforehand. My 25-year-old son and I had a big work out on the leg trying to clear the blood and break the sinews around the joint as Ismaele showed us.

We really enjoyed the Italian home-cooked meal. In fact every meal was good, and it was a credit to you that you had taken the trouble to get us tickets for the village feast.

As you stated it’s not a course for beginners, but professional or keen amateur butchers and cooks should get a lot out of it. I know the hard work which goes into making something look easy – thank you so much.

Philip Wray, UK, Advanced Salumi Course, February 2015
Kenth Borglunds’ blog, Sweden, Advanced Salumi Course, January 2015

What a wonderful few days spent in the company of people passionate about Salumi. It confirmed a lot of the things I am doing right, but also offered many, many tips and changes I can make, especially in the initial salting and curing of prosciutto. I am also excited about trying new things like capocollo and pancetta.

John Evans, Dale Street Deli, UK, Advanced Salumi Course, November 2014

Just wanted to say a massive thank you to yourself and Giancarlo for the salumi course last weekend. It was a fantastic experience for both Amie and I and we would definitely love to come back for another course in the future. I thought the tutoring was spot on and Giancarlo’s passion for the subject was infectious! As a complete experience it will be very hard to top.

Jake Townley, chef, UK, Advanced Salumi Course, October 2014

The course was such a highlight for both of us. Your course and the Vatican were the top 2 – followed by Our fish dinner with you, Matera, Trulli and Terra Madre. Oh ya, the Mechanical Cow was a pretty big hit too. Wish we had one here! And the chestnut forest! Thanks again for how much you care, and for going the extra mile to create an unforgettable experience for all of us.

Dana & Cameron Smith, chefs, Joy Road Cuisine du Terroir, Canada, Advanced Salumi Course, October 2014

The course for me was genuinely one of the best things I have ever done. Your passion and knowledge of Tuscany, its food, the culture and tradition was amazing, and coupled with Giancarlo’s insane knowledge of Italian salumi and wine, it was the perfect platform from which to learn and immerse yourself in the course. Everything about the course was authentic and I feel very confident I can apply what was learnt back in the UK.

Hugo Guest, financial consultant, UK, Advanced Salumi Course, October 2014

A brilliant four days that we got so much out of on both the foodie and the cultural side, as well as meeting lovely and interesting people. We know from running holidays for people what a huge amount of work goes on in the background and you really gave us the works with your efficiency and attention to detail and your easy nature. It was worth every last calorie! Clare and Steven (proud members of ‘the-best-course-so-far’ club)

Clare & Steven Wade, Woodmill Shootings, Scotland, March 2014, Advanced Salumi Course

Kirby and I had a fantastic time and all the people on the course inspire me to make my dream a reality even if it takes a few years.

Gina Piazza, USA, March 2014, Advanced Salumi Course

It was so great to meet all of you.  The whole trip was really fantastic and I learned so much and enjoyed every second.

Kevin Flaherty, chef, USA, March 2014, Advanced Salumi Course

A very special opportunity to meet the best of Tuscany salumeria, learn about the way of living of authentic rural families of this lovely region, and much important, making new good friends from all over the world. I will come back some day.

Sergio Perrella, Brazil, March 2014, Advanced Salumi Course

Thank you to both you and Giancarlo, we had a fantastic and educational time with you guys. Every class was informative, the norcini were fantastic, generous with their knowledge as were you and Giancarlo. I do believe Sapori e Saperi is doing a wonderful service to artisan salumi producers, by exposing them to the world and allowing outsiders into their inner sanctum. I would recommend this course to anyone who is interested in furthering their knowledge of (in particular Tuscan style) salumi.

James Mele, butcher, The Meat Room, Australia, February 2014, Advanced Salumi Course

Both you and Giancarlo are passionate, enthusiastic people delivering a truly memorable course. The norcini we met were true artisans with a lot of skill and enthusiasm which is always fantastic for me to see. I have come back to the UK with a new deeper understanding of air drying pork products. I must say the first evening’s meal, at Gabriella’s home was FABULOUS, a definite highlight!

Carl Slingsby, butcher, Greedy Little Pig, UK, January 2014

We had a fantastic time learning with the butchers and this will help our plans to start delving into making some test products.

Jon Gonzales, USA, November 2012, Advanced Salumi Course

I found the course offered a fantastic insight into the otherwise hidden world of Italian artisan ‘charcuterie’. The opportunity to meet passionate and traditional craftsman at work was extremely useful and utterly mesmerising. It really highlighted the true differences between British and Continental butchery.

Mash Chiles, MD, The Bath Pig Company, UK, March 2012

Thank you to both you and Giancarlo for a fantastic course. I’ve been on a high ever since. I can honestly say that I enjoyed every bit of the experience, and while it was quite busy with not a lot of free time, I’m so grateful for that, as I learnt so much more and tasted such wonderful food. I would happily recommend the course to others, and can’t wait to get started making more salami now that the weather is cool. Thanks again Heather, for such a great experience, and your enthusiasm, which made the weekend all the more interesting and informative.

Viv Clucas, Leeds, UK, keen amateur, October 2011

I learned so much from the week Curtis and I spent with you. I would certainly call it an excellent beginning, and I’m sure that we will have a much better outcome from our efforts now.

Ron Silver, chef, Bubby’s, NY, February 2011

I want to thank you for arranging such a fantastic course. Both Andrew and I have returned to England with a much greater knowledge of salumi. You provided us with a real insight into Tuscan food culture. We thoroughly enjoyed all the extras you arranged; the meal provided by Gabriella and the soup competition were fantastic experiences which we would never have had the opportunity to enjoy as tourists. We look forward to putting all our new found knowledge into practice.

Andrew & Suzanne Clarke, UK, pig farmer, February 2011

Course at a glance

Thursday

Arrival at Pisa airport or Viareggio or Pisa train station no later than 2.30 pm (one transfer to B&B, Camaiore will be provided no later than 2.45 pm). You may not drive your own car during the course. If you want to arrive by car, you may park it at Pisa airport. Please ask for details.

Session 1: Introduction and theory with Giancarlo Russo

Welcome dinner at private Italian home

Friday

Session 2: Making sausages, salami and lardo with norcino Bacci

Tasting lunch at Bacci’s

Session 3: Prosciutto-in-depth and how to use liver with norcino Ceccotti

Transfer to agriturismo Venturo

Dinner at Venturo

Saturday

Session 4: Pig to salumi with norcino Turri (butchering the pig, shaping the prosciutto, salting the pancetta)

Lunch at Venturo

Session 5: Less noble parts of the pig with Turri (soppressata, biroldo)

Dinner at Il Vecchio Mulino, Castelnuovo

Sunday

Session 6: Do it yourself (sausages, salami, cotechino) and visit maturing cellars

Session 7: Visit pigs

Lunch at Venturo

Session 8: Q&A and review with Giancarlo

Session 9: Salumi and wine workshop with Giancarlo

Dinner at Lo Sfizio, Castiglione di Garfagnana

Monday

Free day in Lucca (or visits to other artisans can be arranged for an extra fee)

Tuesday

Session 10: Expand and deepen what you’ve already learned: production run at the Rocchi family salumificio

Transfer to Lucca or Pisa Centrale station or Pisa airport. We can get you to any of these by 2.15 pm. When booking your travel, please allow enough time to get to your station platform or for check-in and security at airport.

Extend your stay – ask about

Guided day tours to visit a cheesemaker, make bread in a wood-fired oven with a village baker, pick olives and visit olive press, visit a vineyard, walking tour of Lucca and much more.

Thursday

Arrive Pisa airport or train station and transfer to B&B

One pick-up only no later than 14.45

You may not drive your own car during the course. If you want to arrive by car, you may park it at the airport during the course. Please ask for details of a very reasonably priced car park.

Session 1: Introduction and theory with Giancarlo Russo

  • Overview of Italian salumi
  • What you will do with norcini (pork butchers)
  • Suitable pigs and Italian cuts of pork
  • What to take note of at norcini
  • Boning, division into joints and rifilatura (shaping) the pieces
  • The mixture for salami and appropriate casings
  • Drying and maturing

Dinner in an Italian home

Gabriella Lazzarini has invited us to her home for dinner. Seafood is her great love. She buys from family fishermen who sell their catches at the nearby Viareggio molo (no endangered species here).

Accommodation: Villa Lombardi, Camaiore | Meals: Dinner

Friday

Breakfast and departure from Villa Lombardi

Session 2: Insaccati (meat in ‘sacks’) with Massimo Bacci

  • Sausages, salami (mortadella nostrale): cleaning shoulder, selecting meat, grinding, seasoning with spices and wine, filling casings and tying, drying and maturing salami, hands-on practice making sausages and salami
  • Lardo: salting, seasoning and curing in marble boxes

Lunch: Tasting at Massimo Bacci

Transfer to Macelleria Ceccotti, Lari (Pisa)

Session 3: Prosciutto and pork liver with Simone Ceccotti

  • In depth look at prosciutto: salting, protecting exposed areas, maturing, how to know when it’s ready
  • Making fegatelli (cooked pork liver and meat)
  • Tasting of Simone’s products

Transfer to Chifenti

Neapolitan pizza at Dalla Padella Alle Brace

Transfer to Agriturismo ‘Il Venturo’, Pieve Fosciana

Accommodation: Agriturismo Venturo, Pieve Fosciana | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Saturday

Breakfast

Session 4: From pig to salumi with Ismaele Turri

  • Cutting into joints
  • Rifilatura (shaping leg for prosciutto)
  • Preparation of joints to make salami and sausages
  • Salting whole pieces: pancetta, capocollo, shoulder, ham

Lunch at Venturo

Session 5: Soppressata (head cheese) and maturing with Ismaele Turri

  • Which parts of the pig
  • Cooking, chopping, seasoning, filling casings, pressing
  • Visit drying and maturing cellars

Optional visit to butcher shop of Luigi Angelini for tasting of best biroldo of the Garfagnana

Transfer to Castelnuovo

Dinner at Il Vecchio Mulino

A tasting menu in Andrea’s parallel gastronomic universe

Accommodation: Agriturismo Venturo, Pieve Fosciana | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Sunday

Breakfast

Session 6: Do it yourself

  • Make your own sausages and salami under the guidance of Ismaele

Lunch at Il Prisco, Ismaele’s bar and cellar restaurant: tasting of Ismaele’s salumi

Session 7: Visit Ismaele’s pigs

Session 8: Review and Q&A with Giancarlo Russo

  • Review of practical sessions and question time
  • Evaluation of course
  • Presentation of course certificates

Session 9: Salumi & wine workshop

  • The theory and practice of pairing salumi and wines

Transfer to Castiglione di Garfagnana

Dinner at Lo Sfizio

Mara & Massimo prepare a seasonal feast in their restaurant with only two tables.

Accommodation: Agriturismo Venturo, Pieve Fosciana | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Monday

Breakfast

Transfer to hotel in Lucca

Free day in Lucca

Lunch & dinner: find your own (not included in course fee)

I can organise special activities for you such as baking bread in a wood-fired oven with a village baker, gelato lesson, olive oil tasting, cheesemaking. Please ask for a complete list. Not included in course fee.

Accommodation: Piccolo Hotel Puccini, Lucca | Meals: Breakfast

Tuesday

Breakfast at hotel

Transfer to Matraia

Session 10: Production run at Salumificio Rocchi

The crowning glory of the course is the visit to the Rocchi family salumificio at Matraia. Since their pork arrives on Monday afternoon, Gino, his father and his uncle do their weekly production run on Tuesday morning. The best things are worth waiting for. This session is both a summary and a deepening of all you’ve learned on the course. Additionally, you’ll find out how to organise your production efficiently in a short time, with few hands and little space.

  • Observation of weekly production run
  • Salami (either toscano or salumetti)
  • Soppressata
  • Biroldo
  • Seasoning
  • Drying in natural room
  • Maturing in natural cellar

Tasting lunch

Transfer to Lucca or Pisa airport or station

There will be one transfer at about 12.30 or 13.00 (depending on how long you loiter over lunch). It takes 20 minutes to get to Lucca, 1 hour to get to Pisa. Please don’t book trains that leave Pisa before 14.30 or flights that leave before 15.00. If you need to leave earlier, I can arrange a special transfer at your own expense.

 

 

Villa Lombardi, Camaiore

A family villa that has been restored preserving its historic features. Maria Grazia Lombardi is the perfect hostess and serves mouthwatering breakfasts.

www.villalombardi.it

Villa-Lombardi-47

Agriturismo ‘Il Venturo’, Pieve Fosciana

A working farm with farm buildings converted to comfortable rustic accommodation (en suite bathrooms). On-site bar and restaurant, swimming pool, stables opposite.

www.agriturismoventuro.com

Agriturismo-Il-Venturo-47

Course Leader

Giancarlo Russo

Giancarlo designed and leads our Courses with Artisans Advanced Salumi Course and the Theory & Practice of Italian Cheese. He was Marketing Director for Mars-Nivea and American Express until he bailed out to adopt a slower, more personally rewarding way of life. Since then he has gained a wide range of qualifications and experience in the field of artisanal food:

  • Co-author of Slow Food Guide Salumi d’Italia
  • Lecturer at Universita’ Gastronomica di Pollenzo (Slow Food)
  • Professor of Sustainable Food, Wines of Italy and Pairing Food & Wine, Istituto Lorenzo de’ Medici.
  • Designed and taught Master of Food Salumi for Slow Food Versilia, a 4-part course covering meaning of terms, history, diffusion of pig, how to taste, cuts of pork, classification of products, pig breeds, influence of system of rearing on quality, the skins (natural and synthetic), how pig is prepared, how cuts are made into final products, function of salt and spices, techniques of ageing and conserving, techniques for dealing with less used animals (goose, horse, etc.), description of the principal cured pork products, purchase and conserving salumi at home, how to slice various types of salumi, salumi and wine, salumi in cooking, tasting of quality Italian salumi.
  • Master Cheese Taster (ONAF-National Organization of Cheese Tasters)
  • Instructor for Slow Food Master of Cheese Programme
  • International Judge for Olympic Cheese Games
  • Levoni Salumi – 25 focused training sessions for groceries related to tasting techniques for cured meat and identification of defects
  • Since 2000 Stagionatori d’Arno (Reggello, FI) – Partner and President of the Board. Start-up activity for selection, ageing, refining and selling of high-quality Tuscan artisanal salumi and cheeses
  • Former leader of Slow Food Casentino
Giancarlo Russo

Course Instructors

Massimo Bacci

Massimo and his father work together curing pork and running their butcher shop. They make only a few products (sausages, soppressata, three types of mortadella nostrale — not the mortadella you know, but a type of salami — coppa, lingua salmistrata and lardo). No preservatives, colorants or lactose come within miles of their products; their soppressata is beige. They mature their mortadella and coppa in a temperature and humidity controlled room instead of a cellar, but they stay as near as possible to cellar conditions to encourage the mould necessary to proper maturation. Their lardo is cured in marble conche like those used at Colonnata. The Accademia delle 5T (Territory, Tradition, Typical, Traceability, Transparency) nominated their mortadella nostrale for inclusion in the last all-Italy salami competition.

Massimo Bacci crushes garlic

Simone Ceccotti

The Ceccotti butcher shop was opened in 1956 by Simone’s parents. Today Simone and his wife Barbara carry on the small-scale production of the typical salumi of Pisa. Simone works closely with his pig breeder to improve the quality of the pork for their salami and prosciutto, and waxes lyrical about salt. Prosciutti hang overhead in the laboratory while salami matures below in what was once the cellar of the castle of Lari.

Simone Ceccotti with prosciutti-1

Ismaele Turri

Ismaele learned his butchering and salumi skills from his father. He still ages his prosciutto and salami in a cellar rather than in a modern purpose-built cabinet. On his farm he rears free-range cross-breed pigs and cultivates the primitive grains farro (Triticum dicoccum) and formenton otto file (eight-row maize). He gets immense pleasure from teaching, which was evident when I went to watch him make salami and ended up with a hands-on lesson.

Ismaele portait

Severino & Gino Rocchi

Gino has a degree in economics, but found working in a bank insupportable. He returned to join his father and uncle producing typical Lucchesi salumi as they have for four generations. They are a model of efficiency, making their entire week’s production on Tuesday mornings. They grind their own spices and mature their produce in natural conditions.

Soppressata Rocchi

Course Organiser

Erica Jarman

Following Heather’s careers as archaeologist, orchestra and artist manager and chef, she Italianised her name to Erica and came to Lucca to pursue her passion for traditional artisan food. Her tours, inspired by her infectious curiosity, open captivating new worlds to her guests.

Erica Jarman portrait square

Price

Per person: €1400 (Euros)

Non-participant in same room: €390 (Euros)

Includes

5 nights welcoming, relaxing accommodation, en suite bathrooms

Local ground transportation for 6 days

Daily continental breakfast, 4 lunches, 4 dinners

Course lectures and sessions with norcini, course notes

Non-participant fee includes: accommodation in same room as participant, transfers with participant to and from airport or station, daily continental breakfast, dinner on Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Does not include

Airfares

Travel and cancellation insurance

Wine and drinks other than those served with meals, additional meals

Personal expenses such as telephone, mini-bar, etc.

Meeting points

Pisa airport, Pisa Centrale train station

Recommended international travel

Arrival time: not later than 14.30

Departure time: no earlier than 15.30

Nearest airport: Pisa

Airlines from UK: British Airways, EasyJet, Ryanair

Airlines from USA: You have to fly to another European city and take a connecting flight or train to Pisa Centrale. There are good low-cost flights from many European cities (but not from within Italy). There are better train connections from Rome than from Milan.

Nearest train stations: Pisa Centrale

Dress

Informal. Jeans are acceptable everywhere.

Weather in October

11–21˚C/52–70˚F, precipitation 119 mm/4.7 in

Weather in November

6–15˚C/43–59˚F, precipitation 122 mm/4.8 in

Weather in January

2–11˚C/36–52˚F, precipitation 74 mm/2.9 in

Weather in February

3–12˚C/37–54˚F, precipitation 69 mm/2.7 in

Weather in March

4–14˚C/40–58˚F, precipitation 76 mm/3 in

Itinerary is subject to change if necessary due to weather or agricultural conditions or other events outside our control.

Thanks for the brilliant course. I would certainly recommend it to others. Meeting the norcini really helped me to understand the skill and experience needed to make great salumi. I’m already planning a few curing projects at home!

Elliott Bloomfield, chef, River Cafe, UK, Advanced Salumi Course, March 2017

Thank you for your tireless efforts in making sure that I got the most out of the course. Thank you for handpicking the most talented and genuine artisans for me to learn from. Thank you for going out of your way for me to get spices. Thank you for one of the most memorable and […]

Vahe Jr Seraydarian, chef, Lebanon, Advanced Salumi Course, February 2017

I have to say that this was one of the best training I have had in my whole career (either as a butcher and also as a Geologist). Theory, tradition and practice has been explained in depth with hands on the job and plenty of Italian joy. I strongly recommend this training for any enthusiast of […]

David Contreras, Romania, Advanced Salumi Course, March 2017

I would like to thank you very much for such an amazing week… I enjoyed and learned a lot from this experience. The course was very valuable and full of information. Erica and Giancarlo were beyond expectations. Nevertheless, the group were such an amazing company sharing the best moments and knowledge of meat curing.

Fayez Bathish, Israel, Advanced Salumi Course Tuscany, February 2017

I have worked as a butcher for 4 years, but haven’t worked with cured meats. I read a couple books on the topic but really wanted to learn hands on with experienced butchers. That is exactly what this course gave me. All the butchers we worked with were skilled artisans that have a deep respect […]

Josh Meehan, butcher, USA, Advanced Salumi Course Tuscany, February 2017

As an industry professional I appreciated the manner in which you conducted the course. You and Giancarlo hold a wealth of information from which I learned so much. The personal interaction and ability to talk with other experts was priceless. Pair this with the gorgeous Tuscan countryside as a backdrop, wonderful people and food around […]

Pete Manzo, Manzo’s Sausage Kitchen & Market, USA, January 2012, Advanced Salumi Course

The Tuscan salumi class has been fantastic. The hands on experience and the attention to communicating technique and detail has answered so many little questions that I’ve pondered over the years of producing salumi at home. Hats off to you Erica and Giancarlo. A great group of fellow students too!

Rudy Marchesi, winemaker, USA, Advanced Salumi Course Tuscany, February 2017

I recently entered the Melbourne Salami Festa with my 2016 winter Berkshire pork salami and I finished 6th out of 102 entries. The festa is the only major amateur salami competition of its kind in Australia, which is taken really seriously by some. I would like to thank you, Giancarlo and the artisan norcini for all […]

22 October 2016: News from Geoff Burgess, Australia

I have learnt more in four hours with Massimo Bacci than in the whole of the last four months back in the factory reading books and experimenting. It’s a brilliant experience.

Nick Trott, butcher, Dukeshill Ham Company, UK, January 2012, Advanced Salumi Course

The course provided a great insight into the skills and techniques of artisan producers in Tuscany. It was a wonderful adventure, very informative, hands on, delicious food and stunning scenery. The hidden gems of restaurants (and Gabriella’s house) where we dined, the welcome and hospitality we received wherever we went made it such a memorable […]

Billy Collins, pig farmer, Ireland, Advanced Salumi Course, October 2014

I attended both the cheese course and the salumi course and I have to say that both were amazing. Being a chef I appreciated every single minute and the dedication you put into these events. I think that I learned a lot and seeing many different artisans and the passion they transmit to us “students” […]

Roderick Vella, Executive Chef, Excelsior Grand Hotel, Malta, Advanced Salumi Course, January 2015

I can’t let this opportunity pass without thanking you for an amazing six days and telling you that you have a fantastic product in the salumi course. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it and feel invigorated after it with an appetite for rolling up my sleeves and getting down to curing and ageing. I […]

Tim McCarthy, McCarthy’s of Kanturk, Ireland, January 2012, Advanced Salumi Course

This course was an amazing insight into the methods and superb skills of the local producers of Tuscany. If you are serious about Italian Salumi techniques, this is the course for you. Giancarlo and Heather are such knowledgeable guides and translators and this adds another dimension to an already action packed tour. It really is […]

Phil Wilcock, UK, pig farmer & butcher, October 2011

Having made and taught preserving in the past, I was always concerned with the risks of dealing with raw meat, in particular pork. This course has shown me that, following certain steps and guidelines, it is easily achievable and concerns could be overcome. Now, I just need to find the perfect pork and begin…

Bruno Richeux, chef, Australia, Advanced Salumi Course, January 2016

Just wanted to say how wonderful it was spending time with all you passionate people! We are all the bit wiser because of our organizers ( Erica & Giancarlo ) and the wonderful teachers we met along the way.

April Bloomfield, chef, The Spotted Pig, New York, March 2014, Advanced Salumi Course

I appreciated the patience of the norcini who gave everyone a chance to try. It was valuable genuinely doing the work and having enough time to practice under their supervision. It has inspired me to get to work on my own projects.

Tom Fabbro, design and marketing, USA, October 2015, Advanced Salumi Course

If the course were on Tripadvisor, it would get 5 stars.

Paul Young, keen amateur, UK, Advanced Salumi Course, October 2015

The best part for me was getting close to artisans who are willing to reveal their secrets. That’s hard to find!

Hans Mertens, butcher, Belgium, Advanced Salumi Course, October 2015

Amazing people make amazing things happen. I fully recommend this course to anyone who wants to see fine Italian meats in action, eyes wide open!! I’m blown away at the amount I have taken from this. Giancarlo Russo and Heather Jarman delivered an in-depth look at the production and the practices of some very knowledgeable […]

Drew Howard, pork butcher, Beijing, China, October 2013, Advanced Salumi Course & Extension

Had a blast on the course and want to thank you for arranging such a comprehensive program that highlights not only similarities but differences as well among Italian artisanal norcini, all of whom expressed their passion for their work. Very interesting and delicious indeed!

Bonnie Suarez, chef, USA, Advanced Salumi Course, February 2016

Although I have visited many norcini during my various Italy vacations, I never made it beyond the refrigerated counter case. It therefore was really interesting to see how they operate in the laboratorio. We had a fun group with interesting people and I enjoyed the experience thoroughly.

Christophe Kull, importer, USA, Advanced Salumi Course, February 2016

I couldn’t be happier with my decision to join your courses and the experience is something that I’m sure will be in many of my future story tellings.

Tony Nemati, chef, Kravings, Los Angeles, USA, Advanced Salumi Course, January 2016

I learned more than I imagined I was going to, and had a fantastic time.

Kait Bauman, chef, San Francisco, USA, Advanced Salumi Course, January 2016

I was blown away by the course. You put heart and soul into it to make it so memorable!

Maggie Healey, UK, Advanced Salumi Course, January 2016

It was a great and inspiring experience.

Raven Burns, pastry chef, Blackbird Bakery, BC, Canada, Advanced Salumi Course, January 2016

Thank you for a great time and phenomenal course. Prior to arriving I had prepared 38 questions and every single one of them was answered. In Cape Town we have a saying after surfing a big wave: I am amped. That’s how I feel after my trip.

Oscar Bienz, South Africa, October 2015, Advanced Salumi Course

I would like to thank yourself and Giancarlo for creating such a great action packed course, well it’s more of a life experience than a course. All the things that are packed into the 5 days are amazing, well worth the long journey from Australia for the keen amateur or industry professional. I would also like […]

Geoff Burgess, amateur salumi maker, Australia, October 2015, Advanced Salumi Course

A year after attending your course I’ve been back in Italy travelling around visiting producers of both live animals and the final product. I would like to say how wonderful a service you are providing to not just small producers, but people worldwide. I don’t believe the Italian people really appreciate what you have done […]

James Mele, butcher, The Meat Room, Australia, Advanced Salumi Course

A benefit of the course is the combined experience of the group. I’m going home more motivated.

John Palmer, jewellery importer, UK, October 2015, Advanced Salumi Course

Cathy and I had a wonderful time during the course. The people we met were gracious hosts, wonderful cooks and very open to teaching us the craft from their perspective. Each norcino shared his vision of salumi with all of us; it was interesting and informative. Their patience in answering our questions was very appreciated; […]

Joe Abandonato, USA, Advanced Salumi Course, March 2015

We would like to thank you for the wonderful time we had in Italy, it was a trip of a life time. The course was excellent. I have people back here asking about my adventure everyday and want to know when I’ll start making some of the items we learned about from all of the […]

Ron Cramer, Department of Animal Sciences, Ohio State University, USA, Advanced Salumi Course, March 2015

The experience with your group was so phenomenal. The things that stood out most for me were the dinner in the Tuscan home, the soup competition and Gino’s workshop. To me, these were opportunities that no other traveler to Italy can brag about. For that matter, the entire time with your group falls into this […]

Cathy Abandonato, USA, Advanced Salumi Course, March 2015

Thank you for the wonderful few days we spent with you and the artisans in their laboratories looking at salumi techniques. It has enabled us to question why we do, or don’t do, things when making our products. It has clarified techniques, enhanced others and given me new ideas. We have already laid down a prosciutto […]

Philip Wray, UK, Advanced Salumi Course, February 2015

https://borglunds.wordpress.com/2015/01/22/sapori-saperi-dag-1/

Kenth Borglunds’ blog, Sweden, Advanced Salumi Course, January 2015

What a wonderful few days spent in the company of people passionate about Salumi. It confirmed a lot of the things I am doing right, but also offered many, many tips and changes I can make, especially in the initial salting and curing of prosciutto. I am also excited about trying new things like capocollo […]

John Evans, Dale Street Deli, UK, Advanced Salumi Course, November 2014

Just wanted to say a massive thank you to yourself and Giancarlo for the salumi course last weekend. It was a fantastic experience for both Amie and I and we would definitely love to come back for another course in the future. I thought the tutoring was spot on and Giancarlo’s passion for the subject […]

Jake Townley, chef, UK, Advanced Salumi Course, October 2014

The course was such a highlight for both of us. Your course and the Vatican were the top 2 – followed by Our fish dinner with you, Matera, Trulli and Terra Madre. Oh ya, the Mechanical Cow was a pretty big hit too. Wish we had one here! And the chestnut forest! Thanks again for […]

Dana & Cameron Smith, chefs, Joy Road Cuisine du Terroir, Canada, Advanced Salumi Course, October 2014

The course for me was genuinely one of the best things I have ever done. Your passion and knowledge of Tuscany, its food, the culture and tradition was amazing, and coupled with Giancarlo’s insane knowledge of Italian salumi and wine, it was the perfect platform from which to learn and immerse yourself in the course. […]

Hugo Guest, financial consultant, UK, Advanced Salumi Course, October 2014

A brilliant four days that we got so much out of on both the foodie and the cultural side, as well as meeting lovely and interesting people. We know from running holidays for people what a huge amount of work goes on in the background and you really gave us the works with your efficiency and […]

Clare & Steven Wade, Woodmill Shootings, Scotland, March 2014, Advanced Salumi Course

Kirby and I had a fantastic time and all the people on the course inspire me to make my dream a reality even if it takes a few years.

Gina Piazza, USA, March 2014, Advanced Salumi Course

It was so great to meet all of you.  The whole trip was really fantastic and I learned so much and enjoyed every second.

Kevin Flaherty, chef, USA, March 2014, Advanced Salumi Course

A very special opportunity to meet the best of Tuscany salumeria, learn about the way of living of authentic rural families of this lovely region, and much important, making new good friends from all over the world. I will come back some day.

Sergio Perrella, Brazil, March 2014, Advanced Salumi Course

Thank you to both you and Giancarlo, we had a fantastic and educational time with you guys. Every class was informative, the norcini were fantastic, generous with their knowledge as were you and Giancarlo. I do believe Sapori e Saperi is doing a wonderful service to artisan salumi producers, by exposing them to the world and allowing […]

James Mele, butcher, The Meat Room, Australia, February 2014, Advanced Salumi Course

Both you and Giancarlo are passionate, enthusiastic people delivering a truly memorable course. The norcini we met were true artisans with a lot of skill and enthusiasm which is always fantastic for me to see. I have come back to the UK with a new deeper understanding of air drying pork products. I must say the first evening’s meal, […]

Carl Slingsby, butcher, Greedy Little Pig, UK, January 2014

We had a fantastic time learning with the butchers and this will help our plans to start delving into making some test products.

Jon Gonzales, USA, November 2012, Advanced Salumi Course

I found the course offered a fantastic insight into the otherwise hidden world of Italian artisan ‘charcuterie’. The opportunity to meet passionate and traditional craftsman at work was extremely useful and utterly mesmerising. It really highlighted the true differences between British and Continental butchery.

Mash Chiles, MD, The Bath Pig Company, UK, March 2012

Thank you to both you and Giancarlo for a fantastic course. I’ve been on a high ever since. I can honestly say that I enjoyed every bit of the experience, and while it was quite busy with not a lot of free time, I’m so grateful for that, as I learnt so much more and […]

Viv Clucas, Leeds, UK, keen amateur, October 2011

I learned so much from the week Curtis and I spent with you. I would certainly call it an excellent beginning, and I’m sure that we will have a much better outcome from our efforts now.

Ron Silver, chef, Bubby’s, NY, February 2011

I want to thank you for arranging such a fantastic course. Both Andrew and I have returned to England with a much greater knowledge of salumi. You provided us with a real insight into Tuscan food culture. We thoroughly enjoyed all the extras you arranged; the meal provided by Gabriella and the soup competition were […]

Andrew & Suzanne Clarke, UK, pig farmer, February 2011