Gabriella, Cristina AND THE OTHER TEACHERS

Cristina Blasi and Gabriella Mari first met at The School of Culinary Arts in Rome. It was back in 1983.
Cristina’s parents are the owners of a historic pizzeria in Pomarance, and it is in the pizzeria's kitchen that Cristina spent most of her childhood, fascinated by its smells, the simple gestures, the time schedules, the anecdotes, the stories. 

Gabriella was studying Physics at university when, at the age of 16, she fell in love with food. It was love at first sight which has influenced her entire life.

Just over their twenties, they had both decided to go to Rome to refine their culinary techniques and study the complex system of anthropic, cultural, historical and scientific factors related to the most universal and transversal human activity.

So different in personality and experience but with the same passion for cooking, a humble yet powerful daily task.

Cristina and Gabriella return to Florence with a wealth of culinary knowledge and a friendship, which becomes stronger year after year.

The culinary journey, started in Rome, is followed by their decision to open the one and only first professional private cooking school in Florence.  

The School of Culinary Arts CORDON BLEU is established in 1985, and it soon becomes a successful business venture, to which a new chapter is added in 2015 when Cristina and Gabriella decide to complement their professional courses with a new project dedicated to the culinary narrative.

The project, called Aroma Italia, is not only the teaching of the basic skills of cooking and the preparation of traditional recipes,  but it is also a highly immersive and exciting exploration of the Italian culinary territory and its peculiarities.     


A team of experienced teachers at the service of AROMA ITALIA

Talented cooks are those able to turn ingredients into food stories. For this reason, we pride ourselves in defining our team of chefs with the term narrators. Andrea Bianchini, multi award- winning chocolatier and patissier; Barbara Zattoni  who, with a culinary experience of 35 years, plays the role of main character in regional cooking; Marco Luca Vannini, the soul of contemporary cooking, with his theatre-like juggling and tossing; Emilia Onesti, custodian of ancient tastes, and an international culinary education; Serena Guidobaldi, the narrator of food, its characters, its settings, its stories; Tommaso Bartoloni, amusing and amused teacher able to break the ice for the less confident in the kitchen; Giovanni Tamburini, the keeper of the secrets behind Italian traditional pastries and cakes. They are the real professionals of Aroma Italia who, like Cristina and Gabriella, have been driven by their passion for food and cooking, and are now ready to share their culinary knowledge with you, in all its forms and shapes, and with an accurate, playful and enthusiastic approach. 


In 2014 the school moved its premises from Via di Mezzo to the current location in Palazzo Panciatichi Ximenes Da Sangallo, a charming sixteenth century Renaissance building. It was a very important move to celebrate thirty years of activity of the school, which is still the most prestigious formative culinary institution in Tuscany. The 450 sqm school offers professional courses for chefs, a three year Academic course, and courses for amateurs and cooking enthusiasts. Whether single or spread in more days, the lessons focus on specific topics (from fish to bread making onto traditional festive cooking) where you will learn the basic skills, the tricks and the secrets to be able to prepare the recipes of the Italian cooking tradition as well as the international one. All this under the guidance of our highly qualified chefs, and in well equipped kitchens.


On the hills of The Badia of Passignano, a picture-postcard-perfect landscape, dry-stone walls,  Cypress trees,  olive groves and vineyards are the background scenery of Ristoro L'Antica Scuderia. On these premises, which were once a horse resting place and now one of the best restaurants in the shadow of the old monastery, Maria Abbarchini and Stefano Puliti have decided to narrate the surrounding territory not only through high quality dishes but also through its aromas, colours and cadences. The Scuderia, with one of the most breathtaking views over the Chianti, is the location of the cooking courses run in collaboration with The School of Culinary Arts and the team of Aroma Italia. With a group of specialised collaborators, and the availabilty of seasonal ingredients, L'Anica Scuderia offers Italian and Tuscan cooking lessons as well as other activities associated with honey, truffle and foraging, which become a learning journey in the surrounding countryside and in the culture and traditions of the proposed dishes. An elegant and professional setting, a magic atmosphere, and a 30 year competence, is the right background for an authentic and fully immersive hands-on experience.   

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