Cooking Classes


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Welcome to La Cucina di Rina (Rina's Kitchen)

Cooking classes at Villa Sampaguita

Piedmont is famous throughout Italy for the excellence of its cucina (“kitchen” in Italian, like French cuisine) and it is notable that most of the cooks are women in the many family-run osterie and trattorie; mother is the cook and you will nearly always be served by the owner.

Over the years since we arrived in Italy, Rina has evolved from a naturally talented cook into a great Piedmontese cook, and her Philippine upbringing (Asian & Spanish culture) creates a two-in-one east to west cuisine. Creations from old traditional dishes to modern and sophisticated - more than a home cooked meal, using organic high quality ingredients and vegetables from kitchen garden picked according to the dish.

When we first opened, we offered our guests simple home-cooked dinners as an alternative to going out again after a long day of touring and also an opportunity to socialize with other guests in a relaxed and comfortable home setting. As word spread, her cucina has become a fixture that many returning guests look forward to on their arrival.

Rina’s basic concept is quite simple: organic vegetables directly from the garden to the table, fresh made pasta from our own farm grown wheat, a range of antipasti made in typical Piemontese ways, and all served with our Villa Sampaguita wines from our organic vineyard and vinified in our cantina in traditional method (or sometimes guests like to bring their own wines purchased from local wineries). We buy our meat and from the local macellerie, and on occasion we serve our own organically raised duck and geese. Our chickens provide range fresh organic eggs (read low cholesterol) for breakfast and pasta dishes.

Hot or cold breakfast is served in the main dining room, with tables outside for the summer months, and is a buffet selection of cereal, fresh made pastries and bread, seasonal fruit and fresh eggs served to order, always with fresh squeezed orange juice and Italian coffee or English tea.

Dinner normally consists of at least 2 antipasti courses, either a fresh made pasta or risotto primo piatto, a secondi piatti of veal, beef, venison or chicken, (fish on request) served with a vegetable plate and a home-made desert. As Tim is basically a vegetarian, we can offer delicious dishes without meat on request. Quite often in the summer months we eat outside (alfresco), sometimes with a barbecue to fit the occasion. Our dinner cost is 50 euro per person with a different wine for each course including our organic Barbera, an organic Barolo, plus Moscato di Asti.

After years of cooking for hundreds of individuals with gained experience, we decided to offer informal cooking classes, as many of our guests wanting to know and see the food being prepared for dinner. In 2007 we started offering cooking classes, which were enthusiastically attended.

Our basic cooking workshop session costs 75 euro per person, which, of course, includes the dinner and wine, as well as a copy of the recipe.
The workshop allows guests to participate in a spontaneous cooking session for a dinner prepared from scratch creating variations of dishes from simple into something different, even for experienced cooks. Novice cooks can learn basic techniques and methods with recipes suitable for a busy life style using ingredients, which can be found in your local supermarket.

We prefer a minimum of 4 people. Please request the cooking session when making your booking.

Secret of making light and fluffy potato gnocchi

Gnocchi with pesto sauce, with castelmagno or gorgonzola for rich cheese taste, and for a rustic effect chopped tomatoes and herbs, olive oil and toasted pine nuts, learn how to cook potatoes as an accompaniments for meats and fish. For this session stuffed zucchini blossom with pea puree as antipasti, chicken breast marinated in soy sauce and lemon grass for secondo, a surprise for dolce

Hands on pasta making

With easy recipes to bring back to your own kitchen: stuffed pastas such as ravioli with creative fillings served with sage and butter sauce; a chance to taste different types tagliatelle, Piedmont’s traditional pasta dish, made from regular flour, whole wheat or other types of grains made into flour (for example spelt) served with varieties of sauces (such as Piedmont's famous Bagna Cauda); flavoured pastas, red from tomatoes or beetroot, green from spinach; antipasti from seasonal vegetables, roasted pepper for sformato (flan), and lumpia (spring rolls); baconcino di manzo alle nociole (chunks of beef stewed on tomato sauce and hazel nuts); and for desert summer fruit mousse for refreshment.

Rice and risotto

Learn how to cook different types of rice and varieties of risotto dishes; risotto with fresh borlotti beans and leafy green vegetables for a balanced diet; risotto ai fungi, and the classical risotto alla Milanese with osso buco. This session’s secondi piatti course can be served as an accompaniment for boiled plain rice, either spiced marinated beef or a poultry dish. Or maybe both, one served in smaller portions as antipasto and one as the second course. Desert maybe a panna cotta with berries sauce.

Piedmont white truffle hunt

Experience the hunting of the precious “tartufi bianchi” white truffles, then have fun on shaving your own truffle on the dishes prepared for this session (fresh pasta, funduta). Braised meat in red wine brasato al barbera (or Barolo) to match this exquisite delicacy.

Cost of the truffles are extra, price will depend on the market, per oz or gram


Site Design by Erin Brewer

(Click to enlarge photos)
Ravioli Crew
Making Pasta
Dinner with truffles
Preparing Sformato
Antipasto sformato
Artichoke heaven
Garden Fresh
Stuffed Zuchini flowers
Cacchi-fruit Mousse
Al Fresco Dinner