Ask Evan: Can Your Recommend Places to Visit on A Culinary Tour of Tuscany?

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Every Tuesday I answer a question from a Good Food listener. You can email me a question, leave one on Facebook or add one in the comments section here. This week’s came from Susan:

Can Your Recommend Places to Visit on A Culinary Tour of Tuscany?

First you rent the house, then we figure out where you go for olive oil tastings.  If you are lucky, when you go some people may already be pressing olives, but usually it happens later in the fall.  If you want to live like a local then I assume you don’t want to spend hours each and every day in the car.  When I’m in Tuscany I either spend time near Montalcino or Montepulciano-Pienza or, of course the Chianti region.  Each have their charms and their local resources for food exploring.  Here are contacts of four very talented friends who make it their business to help out the foodie traveler.  Poke around their websites and see what feels best for you.  Also buy Carla Capalbo’s Food Lover’s Campanion to Tuscany.  It hasn’t been updated in awhile but many food businesses remain fairly stable over time in Italy.  I’ve found the book to be an incredible resource.

Elizabeth Minchilli – She is my best friend in Italy and specializes in Rome.  If you are arriving or leaving from Rome, take a food tour with her.  It will be beyond memorable. She has created two apps for restaurant/food resources in Italy. EatRome and EatFlorence. She and her husband have a house near Todi that they rent out.  She also knows everyone in food in Tuscany.

Judy Witt is a friend.  She’s wonderful and is one of two famous class/tour people in Florence/Tuscany.  She’s recently moved outside of Florence into the countryside.  Her website is an incredible resource

Faith Willinger is a foodie’s foodie and gives day classes at her place in Florence.  She’s written for every major publication on Tuscany.

Pamela Sheldon Johns, is also a friend.  She has a small agriturismo in Tuscany out in the countryside. Everyone I’ve sent to her raves about the experience.  She’s a great teacher and knows everyone in the Montepulciano-Pienza-Siena area.  But I’ve also sent clients to her for special food tours of Bologna etc.  She’s written many cookbooks and really knows her stuff.