1 The spectacular Amalfi Coast in Southern Italy
2 Chiara welcomed the class with a cappuccino and lemon cake as we put on our aprons.
3 This is Mamma Agata's famous lemon cake - I still dream about it!!!
4 This is the sweet family dog, which they adopted as a stray.
5 Chiara and her Mamma in their kitchen describing the first dish they would be demonstrating - an eggplant parmesan
6 This is the view from the kitchen. If I had a view like this, I would never want to leave.
7 Fresh herbs are picked and laid out on this tray to dry in the Mediterranean sun.
8 Chiara explained the importance of finding a good local tomato sauce that's not too acidic, while giving the students a taste of their homemade sauce.
9 Mamma Agata began to fry up the eggplant in peanut oil.
10 The fried eggplant was layered with cheese, basil, and sauce.
11 The masterpiece was ready for the oven.
12 The leftover fried eggplant slices were topped with cheese, basil, sun-dried tomatoes, and roasted peppers.
13 Each slice of eggplant was made into rollatini and Chiara explained the different combinations.
14 Chiara guided me through the rolling process.
15 The next demonstation was Mamma's coccoli's, or fritters. These are made with finely chopped salami, rosemary, sage, and thyme. 00-flour make them super light and airy.
16 Adding all of the chopped ingredients
17 Mama and Chiara's husband, Gennaro, fried the coccoli.
18 Everyone indulged in the first batch.
19 These coccoli are so light and delicious and I've already made them twice for friends.
20 Next on the menu was lemon chicken.
21 This is made with lots of herbs picked from the garden a few terraces below.
22 During a break, I went exploring the seven levels of gardens this family has farmed for generations.
23 The lemon trees were loaded with fruit.
24 These lemons, that grow in the Mediterranean clean fresh air, were simply delicious!
25 This season has been unseasonably cold, so the protective netting was still in place, protecting the lemon crop.
26 The chickens and rooster love living here!
27 The sage leaves were huge!
28 And so was the rosemary.
29 Chiara showed the class how an Italian woman uses her apron as a basket when going to pick in the garden.
30 We got busy slicing tomatos for the soon-to-be-made pasta sauce.
31 Farmers' Spaghetti was the next dish.
32 The sauce is made with two kinds of olives, which are from the Agata's olive orchard.
33 The final dish was sausage and red peppers.
34 The sausage was house-made that morning before we arrived.
35 We were just moments away from trying everything.
36 We gathered on the terrace with spectacular views of the Mediterranean. Belissimo!
37 Cin cin! The wine was terrific!
38 Gennarro served the eggplant parmesan.
39 My serving of eggplant
40 The Farmers Spaghetti
41 Pappardelle was served with the sausage and peppers.
42 The amazing sausage and peppers
43 Chiara served house-made limoncello.
44 My classmates were from Canada and Australia, Tampa, Florida and me, the New Yorker!
45 Here I am with Gennaro and Chiara at the end of the day, a day I will remember forever! My smile reveals what an amazing time I had.