Il Caminetto (Varenna) cooking class

Has anyone here taken the cooking class offered at Il Caminetto, a little restaurant above Varenna? Was it fun? Informative? Did you actually do some "hands-on" work? The photos show the class sitting around tables and watching while the chef prepares a meat dish, then show a few people actually rolling and cutting pasta. I'm curious how much one actually gets to do, as opposed to watching him do the prep work.

Also, if you have been to Varenna and hiked up to or down from the old castle ruins, how long did that take? We're thinking of including that hike in the cooking class visit.

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
4875 posts

Lola - I'm so glad you asked this question as I have been wanting to know this too. I am considering doing this in September. I would like a hands on experience, rather than just watching someone. I hope you get some good replies.

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
5444 posts

Andrea---do you know how much the class costs? Somehow I think it is 30 euro pp, but I can't find that anywhere now.

We have taken cooking classes here in Seattle that were strictly "watch" rather than "hands on", and they were fun and interesting. And I understand that with certain expensive ingredients, such as meat, etc., they cannot provide enough material for everyone in the class to work on. I'm thinking that is why the photos show the instructor managing the meat by himself, while class members get to roll and cut the pasta. so I'm curious how this one works.

I also have read that wine is served during the meal. As I understand it, the usual rule for cooking classes is that "the wine isn't poured until the knives are put away". (Quite reasonable). Since the class members are using sharp chef's knifes in the pasta-cutting photos, there must not be any wine until after that. . . .

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
4875 posts

I just looked at the website (which I had already bookmarked) and it did not show the price, but I remember reading somewhere (possibly Trip Advisor) that it is 35 euros per person. Of course I would prefer 30 euros. :) I thought this was very reasonable for a class, a meal and wine. They will also pick you up in Varenna and take you to the class, then take you back later. I also remember reading that if you just want to go to the restaurant for a meal they will provide the transportation from Varenna.

That makes sense about not wanting "students" to handle the expensive ingredients, such as meat. I really want the hands on for pasta anyway.

Check this class out on Trip Advisor. I don't recall reading anything negative about it.

When are you going?

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
5444 posts

We will be there at the end of this month! We're taking our daughters (age 18 and 22) and we're thinking the cooking class would be fun for them.

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
4875 posts

I think it would be a very memorable thing to do. Please let me know if you do this. I would love to hear your experience.

Posted by Sharon
Atlanta
2664 posts

My husband and I took the class in 2008 and it was a highlight of the trip for us! Chef Moreno is a patient instructor and very proud of his restaurant. When we took the class it was part demo and some participation. If you want to participate, let him know. I think that he'd be happy for you to do as much as you'd like. We had a wonderful lunch after the class (and wine before!) Not sure about the current cost but it was very inexpensive considering that the class and lunch are included in the price.

Posted by David
Costa Mesa
347 posts

It is 35 euro pp. We are doing it on june 17th. if you send me a note after june 29th I will let you know what I think of the experience

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
5444 posts

Thanks! It sounds like something we would like to do, then.

David--we'll actually be there around the 29th, so I won't be able to ask you about your experience after that.

Posted by Karen
Laguna Niguel
31 posts

We took the cooking class last summer, and it was also the highlight of our trip to the Lakes area. Chef Moreno is charming, the food is outstanding, and you can just watch or participate. We took the ferry to Varenna and his wife picked us up to take us up to the restaurant. You can write down the recipes as he cooks; the risotto was the BEST! The group that day was about 8 people and we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. If you're interested in pictures, email me and I'll send you a few.

Posted by Kathryn
Holland Park West, QUEENSLAND, Australia
17 posts

Hi All, resurrecting an old thread. Does anyone know if Il Caminetto Cooking School is open in November 2013 for a Saturday class? If so we will stay an extra day in the area. They don't have an email address and the Tourist Bureau have not responded to my inquiry.
Thanks.

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
4875 posts

I did take the class in 9/10 and it was great. One of the highlights during 3 weeks in Italy. I called them to reserve the class. The same can be done to ask questions. Just google Il Caminetto for their contact information.

Posted by Lesley
Johannesburg, South Africa
8 posts

Here are the contact details: Ristorante Il Caminetto viale Progresso 4 23828 Perledo (Lc) – Lake Como phone n. +39 0341 815225 - + 39 0341 815127 info@ilcaminettoonline.com
The cost in 2012 was E48.

Posted by Kathryn
Holland Park West, QUEENSLAND, Australia
17 posts

Thanks guys. Sadly no classes on Saturday.