Cooking at Mamma Agata's in Ravello!

One of the highlights of this past exclusive Gourmet Getaways tour was to go to Ravello and cook with Mamma Agata.

Our day began early as we had to depart from the Excelsior Victoria hotel in order to arrive in Ravello by 10am.  It was a beautiful day and the ride to Ravello was breathtaking.  Upon our arrival Chiara greeted everyone with a cheerful smile and encouraged us to sit on the terrace and have an Italian breakfast:  Mamma Agata's famous lemon cake and a cappuccino.

Mamma's house is built into the hillside of Ravello with beautiful views of the Amalfi Coast .  Pictures cannot due it justice!  One has to see this to believe this view!  I often wonder what it would be like to wake up to this view every day.  This family works hard to grow their own vegetables and  herbs.  They also have their own lemon trees .    The land is terraced so as to use every available space. 

After we had a chance to collect ourselves we went into Mamma's kitchen and were eager to learn. Everyone was given an apron and folder with notepaper and pens so we could take copious notes. Mamma does not speak English so her daughter, Chiara, translates and together they make quite the team.   The first part of the lesson we concentrated on making eggplant parmesian and fresh tomato sauce.  I has to bake for one hour and then it must rest for about 45 minutes before eating!

Mid way we took a break and explored the working farm and took in the beautiful vistas.  Many of us just marveled at the amount of work that they have to do to  make this an ultimate cooking program. The family works together every step of the way and together they are quite the team.  Even Chiara's children help during the season when another pair of hands are needed.

We returned thirty minutes later.  Mamma then teaches us to make two pasta dishes: one with capers, tomatoes and olives and the other is with sausage, red and yellow peppers and cherry tomatoes. Next comes Mamma's famous lemon chicken. All the ingredients are grown on the farm.

After many glasses of wines, eating  rolled eggplant and tasting the tomato sauces we sit down to a fabulous meal.  The eggplant is so light and tasty, the pasta is outstanding the chicken so juicy and tender. 

 Of course for dessert there is the  lemon cake and no one resisted having seconds.  With all the lemon trees abundant with lemons Mamma makes her own limoncello.  I think it is the best on the Amalfi Coast and I have tasted several brands.  This a winner!  Hands down!

After our dinner Chiara tells everyone about the farm, how Mamma cooked for very famous people and still does and other bits of information.  She kept our attention for quite a while.

Now it is time for us to leave. All of us wanted to stay, but before we departed  we gather for a group picture and hope that the memories of this special day will linger for a long long time. Chiara and Mamma make you feel that you are part of their family. 

This cooking class is the ultimate.  You will not be disappointed one bit!  I cannot wait to go back and will definitely put together another tour.