try . taste . teach

tasting lessons in tuscany

a culinary adventure with Joël Broekaert

In Tasting Lesson in Tuscany you will be taken by taste expert Joël Broekaert to a unique location in the mountains of the most beautiful region of Italy. During this four-day culinary adventure you will learn to taste like a pro, based on the ancient Italian food culture. Of course you will receive a taste lecture from tour guide Joël, in which he explains in great detail at a scientific level how tasting works. And of course we will immediately apply that in practice. During cooking sessions, the wine tasting, the wild picking walk and especially during the real Tuscan salumi workshop.

We do all this in a beautiful unique location: Novanta, an abandoned village converted into a hotel, in the middle of the Casentinese forests of the Tuscan interior. In addition to cooking, eating, tasting and talking, there is also room to relax by the fireplace or enjoy the amazing view over the valley.

Joël’s co-host on this trip is Jeroen Cappendijk, an experienced chef who led the kitchen in Novanta for seven years. Jeroen knows the valley like no other and knows exactly where everything blooms and grows. Because of his years of experience in the region, he also knows all the local kitchen secrets and regional dishes, and the best producers in the region.

One of the producers is pig farmer and salumi master Fabrizio Andreola, who provides the multi-day salumi workshop. This workshop runs like a thread through the program. Here we learn from a real Tuscan butcher how to process a pig completely from head to tail into the most beautiful Italian meats. This offers Joël the chance to let you taste what really good meat tastes like, from pigs that have been given two years to grow up and plenty of room to move around and find their own food. During a charcuterie tasting, we discover how much influence the region of origin has on the taste of the end product. In a head-to-tail lecture, Joël gives you the tools to eat less and more sustainable meat in the future based on the Italian art of eating – because the Italians know better than anyone how to make something amazing from every part of the pig. can make delicious things and especially how they give a lot of flavor to classic dishes with very little meat.

About Joël:

Joël Broekaert is a historian and culinary journalist. He has been a restaurant critic for NRC for more than 10 years and has also made various TV programs such as De 5 Smaken van Joël and Joël Lokaal. He recently published the popular scientific book Tasting Lesson in which he explains everything you as a curious reader want to know about taste. In 2022 he toured the Netherlands with his interactive theater lecture Proeles with Joël.

What people say

“It was a super fun and educational trip.” Go to the market together, make pasta, pick the wild and, above all, taste a lot! Met very nice people and had wonderful evenings in beautiful Novanta”

Spring 2022

“The place was really great! Located on a beautiful Tuscan hill, have a drink every day with a view of the valley and then sit down for delicious freshly prepared meals. You can’t get it Italian!

Autumn 2022

a typical day

For this one there is no typical day … so instead we thought we would share with you the whole programme – just to help with the excitement!


01 NOV

05 NOV




What's included

  • 4 nights
  • Daily breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Wines served
  • Transport to and from Florence
  • Multi-day workshop ‘from slaughter to salumi’
  • Taste lecture by Joël Broekert 
  • ‘From head to tail’ lecture by Joel Broekaert
  • Your own matured salamis that you can taste during the program you will receive later at home
  • Your own Novanta apron
  • Photo album of the trip
  • Membership of the Novanta Food academy

To offer everyone the same unique and intimate experience, we keep the group small. When you decide to send us a message to book, we really like to know why you would like to come along and what your relationship with food, drinks and tasting looks like. We pick you up in Florence on the first day, and of course bring you back afterwards. You only have to book a flight yourself..

In the unexpected event of the course being undersubscribed, and therefore unable to go ahead, prior booked guests would be still very welcome to join us and take part in all of our usual food experiences.  



Per person for a semi-private bedroom in a shared suite with ensuite bathroom.


Per person for a private single studio bedroom with private ensuite bathroom