There is nothing that makes me happier than finding out when a connection has been made between a reader and a brand that I’ve partnered with.
This past year, I’ve been excited to share with you all about Jovial Foods. They’re a company with a deep commitment to a sustainable economic model that focuses on farming first and then considers the entire process all the way to the shelf. You can read their story, mission, and a bit about their farmers here.
I’ve been pleased with all of their products that I’ve used so far. I’ve shared with you all about The Tangled Web of Bread and why my family chooses einkorn flour for all of our baking. I’ve shared some tasty recipes using einkorn flour which include a 100% whole wheat einkorn bread, sweet and simple cherry hand pies, cheddar crackers, a strawberry and rhubarb french toast casserole, naturally sweetened pumpkin bars, and an oatmeal and blueberry breakfast cake. I’ve also been delighted with their jarred organic tomatoes in which I’ve shared with you a couple recipes using them including Remy’s ratatouille and a simple einkorn pasta topped with farm crafted sausages, peppers, and onions.
I adore the Jovial line of products as I know they are of the best quality, both in flavor and nourishment.
Once I learned that Jovial also host’s culinary getaways in Italy, I was more than excited to share that with you all as well.
This is a trip I’d love to take myself so I was completely thrilled to have found out that a My Humble Kitchen reader booked a trip with her daughter to the Jovial villa in Lucca and had the experience of a lifetime!
Since Amy is a part of this community, I thought it would be fun to interview her so that we could all get a behind-the-scenes look at Jovial’s Culinary Getaway in Italy! But before you read on, take note that Jovial’s next culinary getaway all about ancient einkorn is this coming November!
Behind-the-Scenes with Amy: A Look at Jovial’s Culinary Getaway in Italy!
Hi Amy, I’m so thrilled that you’re going to be sharing with us a bit about your recent experience at Jovial’s Culinary Getaway in Lucca, Italy. I’m sure there are many of us that dream about such an experience so we are all very excited to hear about it.
Diana: So, spill the beans, what was your initial reaction once you arrived at the villa in Lucca? Is it everything you dreamed about?
Amy: My initial reaction when we arrived at the villa was, I get to stay HERE for 7 days!!!! The grounds, location and house were like something out of a movie. Picturesque views and beautiful furnishings.
Diana: I know you were able to take your daughter. How old is she and was it a trip that would work well for a family?
Amy: My daughter is 13 and she absolutely loved attending. Carla knew that my daughter was attending, so she had her two daughters and niece attend functions during the week. Mary Beth had a great time swimming, hiking and participating with the other girls making food items and setting up the dining room for dinner.
Diana: Can you explain to us a typical day at the villa?
Amy: Our typical day at the villa was showering/dressing and going downstairs to the main kitchen to visit with other guests while either cooking our own breakfast or sampling what others had cooked. Very easy going and laid back atmosphere at breakfast.
We would then head out to sightsee for the day and return by 4 p.m. (on the days we were to cook) and participate in the group cooking class. Dinner would then be around 8-8:30 and we would all eat with one another in the dining room. It was fun getting to know the other guests and sharing a meal and engaging in great conversation with each other.
Diana: Let’s talk cooking classes? How were they? Do you feel you learned something new that you otherwise couldn’t have learned on your own?
Amy: The cooking classes were very informative. Carla took her time and was very engaging with us as she taught each class. Once she explained things and demonstrated, it was then all our turns. On some things, it was a team effort (pasta making with a real pasta press) and that was a lot of fun.
Diana: Let’s talk food. What kind of things did you eat? Anything new? Anything we should know about?
Amy: All the food was amazing but getting to sample/eat the different breads and meats was a real treat. The last night, Carla pulled out all the stops. We had lamb and rabbit and of course, bread.
Diana: Did you have time to sight see? Tell us, what else did you do during your stay in Italy?
Amy: The villa’s location was extremely easy to leisurely sight see to Lucca proper, Siena, Florence, and Pisa. We had a car, so we just used the GPS and away we went. A train station was within walking distance of the villa and a few folks used it, versus having a car, but we started in Venice and just worked our way to Lucca from there. I loved the location. Very authentic Italian!
Diana: Can you share with us your most memorable moment while on your getaway?
Amy: The most memorable would probably be the pasta making class. It was a few days into the stay and folks were warming up to one another. To make pasta for everyone, it takes a while and was a group effort. Everyone kneaded the dough, rolled out the pasta, used the pasta press and had a final product. With the length of time doing this, all of us in the kitchen, just kinda melted into a bit of a familial bond. Strange how you can do that with strangers, but it was a blast.
Diana: For those of us that would love to participate in one of Jovial’s culinary getaways, what are 3 tips you can share with us.
Amy: 1. A washing machine and dryer or clothesline are provided – you do NOT have to pack your entire closet for a week.
2. Because of #1, my suitcase could have been a lot lighter, thus dragging it up 3 flights of stairs could have been a little easier. No elevators or bag boys in this gorgeous place. Pack light. If you can’t do the stairs, be sure and secure a smaller room that is on the lower floor.
3. Be friendly and understand that you’re about to spend 7 days with complete strangers from every political and religious background coming together over the bonds of food. Savor the moment and appreciate this sociology experiment that is happening before your eyes. I have never been in a situation like this and I will never forget the people that I met. Several of them are now my FB buddies!
Diana: If you could do it all over again, would you?
Amy: Yes, I would do the getaway every single year, should my pocketbook be able to handle it. It was an amazing week that I will never forget!
Diana: Amy, thank you so much for sharing a bit about your experience at Jovial’s Culinary Getaway in Italy. It sounds like you had a fantastic time and are left with memories you’ll cherish for a lifetime. I think it’s absolutely wonderful you were able to experience this trip with your daughter. Prayerfully, one day, many more of us can form these same types of memories as well. It seems like a dream!
Jovial’s Culinary Getaway in Italy – All About Ancient Einkorn
To all of you reading this, I hope you enjoyed this interview with Amy. If attending Jovial’s Culinary Getaway in Italy sounds like something you’d enjoy to do, stop on by the Jovial website here as their next culinary getaway all about ancient einkorn is scheduled for this coming November 1-8, 2014! You still have time to book those flights and head on over for an experience of a lifetime.
Also…as a reminder, Jovial Foods has once again partnered with My Humble Kitchen. Stop on by their online store to pick up all of your einkorn needs as they have once again offered My Humble Kitchen readers 10% off PLUS FREE shipping by using the online coupon code, HumbleK.
So, does Jovial’s Culinary Getaway sound like a trip you’d like to make with your family? Tell me, what would you most like to see in Italy?