In partnership with The Chopping Block, Chicago’s recreational cooking school, and author/sommelier, Viktorija Todorovska, Onward Travel is delighted to announce a special week of culinary and cultural discovery in Italy.

During Cook Like a Tuscan, our small group will stay at a beautiful stone villa in Panzano in Chianti. Grapevines and pomegranate trees come up almost to the doorstep and the charming town is a short walk away.

We’ll visit Tuscany in autumn, when the olives and grapes are being picked and pressed to perfection. It’s the perfect time of year to savor some of Italy’s best wines and ingredient driven dishes. Explore regional Tuscan cooking and expand your culinary repertoire with four hands-on in-depth cooking courses. We’ve selected four outstanding chefs to guide us through a hands-on culinary program. Time in the kitchen is complemented by epicurean field trips, visits to medieval towns and gothic Siena, and opportunities to walk amongst the vines and views.

From our base in the heart of Chianti wine country, we’ll travel throughout the region and enjoy the local charms. Join The Chopping Block’s travel and food loving community for a once-in-a-lifetime culinary immersion in Tuscany.

Cook Like a Tuscan FAQs

Who is Cook Like a Tuscan for and do I need culinary experience?

This tour is for any curious food enthusiast who would like to experience Tuscany through it’s food and wine traditions. No culinary experience is necessary, just a desire to spend time in a few Italian kitchens and a good appetite.

Tell me more about The Chopping Block.

The Chopping Block is a Chicago-based recreational cooking school, with locations in Merchandise Mart and Logan Square. For 20 years, TCB has been on a mission to get the country to cook. TCB has partnered with Onward Travel to offer international culinary experiences. Cooking classes to inspire the home cook inspired the creation of Onward Travel so we jive with The Chopping Block. Viktorija Todorovska is a former wine educator at TCB and will lend her wine and culinary expertise to Cook Like a Tuscan.

How many people will be part of this experience?

This culinary immersion is limited to 12 travelers plus Molly, Viktorija, and your Italian hosts. We are keeping the group small to make sure everyone has the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and learn by doing.  Onward Travel’s culinary tours are always limited to small groups; it’s like a weeklong dinner party!

I have a dietary restriction or preference, can this be accommodated?

Yes it should be fine but contact Molly to discuss. Cook Like a Tuscan is not ideal for someone with celiac disease. If in doubt, get in touch.

Will I have time to (fill in the blank)?

We’ve planned a full week of cooking and sightseeing but do want to make sure you check off whatever’s on your bucket list, including R&R. There are optional hikes and chunks of downtime throughout the tour.

Can I join Cook Like a Tuscan as a solo traveler?

Absolutely! Our groups are usually made up of couples, friends, and solo travelers. The camaraderie and shared experience is one of the best parts of travel. Our travelers are usually from different parts of the country and all different ages, but the groups mesh and bond and have a lot of fun together. You are very welcome to come on your own and you’ll be in good company! You may select single occupancy or we’ll try to match you with a roommate.

What is included?

The itinerary details out the specifics but to make the most of your time and money, this tour is mostly all inclusive. You’ll have a few meals on your own but that is pretty much it. All activities, tastings, libations, gratuities, impromptu gelato, etc. are included. It is a lot of fun to have paid for your vacation in advance, you can really enjoy yourself.

What should I do about (insert phone / credit card / hair dryer)?

Before the tour we’ll provide you with a guide to answer all your questions about international travel: phone, money, packing list, etc! And of course we’re there along the way to assist.

Can I extend my stay?

Yes, that’s a great idea. Onward Travel is happy to help you make arrangements to extend your stay. We’ll assist you (for free), give you some sightseeing ideas, and make sure your logistics are sound. We suggest arriving early and to enjoy a couple days in Florence. It’s a beautiful city with lots to see and do and you can ease into la dolce vita.

I don’t like (insert activity / food / attraction), is that ok?

Totally—this is your vacation. We are very happy to accommodate you whether you’re dealing with a bad knee, not a fan of mushrooms, or really want to go cycling. Just let us know your request and we’ll do our best to make it happen. And if you want to skip an activity to relax or wander the shops, we won’t judge. We want you to enjoy your experience abroad on your terms.

Contact Molly with questions or requests at 267-825-5880 or