The True Taste of Italy at Palazzo Tronconi

Peter Morrell meets the team who offer masterclasses in Italian Cuisine at a beautiful Palazzo in an unspoilt medieval village just south of Rome

Marco Marrocco and Leonardo Grimaldi

Marco Marrocco and Leonardo Grimaldi

Arce

Arce

Creamed Cod Fishcakes

Creamed Cod Fishcakes

Zitori

Zitori

Marco Marrocco the ebullient owner of Palazzo Tronconi and two of his top chefs Leonardo Grimaldi and Giuseppe Marcuccilli were recently in the UK to showcase the Palazzo and to give us a taste of the quality of food that they can teach you to cook at home.

A group of us met them in the kitchen of a private house and we started by hearing about the history of the Palazzo and of Marco’s involvement in Italian cuisine. He started by telling us about his vineyard where he produces six bio-dynamic wines made from local grape varietals rather than international cultuvars like merlot and chardonnay. From his olive grove he also produces organic oil, As he spoke it was evident that for Marco ingredients with a good provenance both his own and from his suppliers are essential to the creation of great food.

We then started a mini version of his cookery class, Giuseppe, a pizza master made rustic bread while Leonardo started to cook the dishes. I was intrigued about how carefully they handled the food, treating it almost like a new born baby.

They had brought all the ingredients from Italy, Avezzano potatoes, Portecrorvo peppers, black pig from Caserta and Anconetana goose eggs to name a few. We were about to learn that the beauty of Italian cooking is its simplicity where the natural tastes of the raw materials are allowed to shine.

We feasted on an antipasto of creamed salt cod with potato, marvelled at the primo piatto of the silky carbonara sauce clinging to rigatoni and enhanced by pancetta, parmesan and pecorino, swooned at the melt in the mouth tenderness of the slow cooked pig cheeks of the secondo piatto and appreciated the refreshing dolce of poached pears with the scent of lemon.

Our bio-dynamic wine companions along the way were the Fregellae white, full bodied with hints of tannin and the Zitore red, showing punchy fruit flavours with a persistent finish.

It had been a pleasure watching the experts at work and now you have the opportunity of going to Palazzo Tronconi and under the tutelage of these Italian master chefs learn how to create the True Taste of Italy in your own home.

Specialist tour operator Booking for You are now offering exclusive packages to Palazzo Tronconi. Below are three examples which all represent exceptional value for money. All packages include complimentary transfers to and from the airport as well as a daily breakfast service with home baked traditional pastries and freshly brewed coffee.

Also included is a complimentary dinner on the first evening of your stay. This is the chance to dine and drink with the locals at a fantastic local pizzeria, complete with wood-burning ovens. During your stay there is also the opportunity to visit places of interest in this culturally rich region of Italy.

These packages are simply to provide some guidance on possible options. These can all be completely tailored for between 1 to 10 guests.

4 nights cookery and wine experience (850 euros per person)
  • 4 nights accommodation
  • 3 hands-on cookery lessons with Leonardo Grimaldi, each followed by a dinner served with the estate’s biodynamic wines.
  • An introduction to biodynamic wine, including tastings and a visit to the winery and vineyard
  • A choice of 3 cultural and culinary day trips (options to tempt guests include a trip to the world famous Montecassino Abbey, a trip to Sperlonga which is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful villages in Italy or a visit to an olive mill or a Mozarella du Buffalo farm. However, these are just a flavour of the options available.)
3 nights cookery and wine experience (700 euros per person)
  • 3 nights accommodation
  • 2 hands-on cookery lessons with Leonardo Grimaldi, each followed by a dinner served with the estate’s biodynamic wines.
  • An introduction to biodynamic wine (see above)
  • A choice of 2 cultural and culinary day trips (see above).
2 night cookery and wine experience (400 euros per person)
  • 2 nights accommodation
  • 1 hands-on cookery lessons with Leonardo Grimaldi, followed by a dinner served with the estate’s biodynamic wines.
  • An introduction to biodynamic wine (see above)
  • A choice of 1 cultural and culinary day trips (see above).

For more information go to www.bookingsforyou.com/palazzo-tronconi

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