Petrignano and Cook off

Friday May 5

Vineyards and view of La Bodoile
Today was a chill day at the villa.  After yesterday's meal we decided that a little excercise was in order so we walked into the nearby village called Petrignano. Lovely walk, sunny 68 degrees with a view of the Tuscan vineyards in every direction.
Olive Oil Factory
The village was as quaint as it gets, with a church, a nice market, and a small Olive Oil factory called Frantoro Olive Siri.  As we were walking by the gate was open and we kind of peaked our heads in.  A nice gentlemen approached us and asked if we could we be helped.  We asked if we could possibly get a tour of his factory and he graciously said yes.  

The production of the oil takes place in the late fall and is considered late harvest so the equipment wasn't actually running.  It was a bit like being back in the Pharmaceutical industry as he explained the process on the production so we understood it perfectly.  It was fascinating.  The rest of our group came in just as he was finishing with his presentation so we were able to run through it for them and then he answered any questions they had.  This company has won awards and is now available in California.  It was really touching how proud the family was of their company. We asked if we could buy some of the oil that had been bottled and he said sure follow me.  He had a small store front down the street, it wasn't open (later we found out that his family was leaving on holiday that morning and was waiting for him) but he unlocked it for us.  We got to taste the oil and browse the store that was full of hand painted ceramics from Pienza as well as the Oil. Everyone enjoyed the spontaneous tour and shopping spree.

My Awesome Teammates! Norman and Arlene
The  afternoon was spent back at the villa where our cook off teams (previously chosen) prepared this evenings meal.  It was so much fun cooking with everyone.  We had work with our team mates, use local ingredients, and then share what we had made in the evening. A toast to the Chefs and another wonderful day!

Fresh Pea puree 
Pea puree Pasta
We were going to be judged as well so of course the trash talking was present (from me of course), but all in good fun.  Each course was amazing and every team was a winner!

Fresh pasta with Basil Pesto

Beef Filet cooked in Wood Fired Oven

Salmon also!
Rory checking beef for Team Shelley,  Marcia, and Michael
The evening ended out on the veranda under the Tuscan Moon with a wonderful dessert from the final team, Stephanie, Colleen, & Katherine! You be the judge.... I think we all won.

Al Fresco dessert time

Story time

Mother and Daughter, how special!


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