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Sono Marcella
Christine Y. Hickman
690 Gonzales Rd.
Santa Fe, NM 87501

Sono Marcella
Christine Y. Hickman
Via Volte della Pace 17/A
06122 Perugia Italia

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Perugia Umbria, the GREEN HEART of ITALY, is one of Italy’s most lush and nurturing regions, with sheep farms, green mountains, fertile valleys, vineyards, olive groves, and of course, wonderful fresh food. Many years ago, after spending 5 months as an apprentice in a restaurant near Perugia and becoming attached to the area, I began returning yearly to assimilate Italian cuisine and cooking from the local people. The medieval hill town of Perugia, a thriving cultural and language center, and chocolate capital of Italy, is where I now offer daily hands-on cooking lessons in my newly reconstructed home in “Centro” Perugia.

I’ve studied and worked professionally both in the United States and Italy for over 25 years and continue to divide my time between Perugia and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Drawing on my knowledge of both languages and cultures, my classes are a unique and enjoyable experience. Above all, I seek to pass on to my students valuable and pertinent information in a fun atmosphere---an occasion that leaves them confident and looking forward to cooking Italian meals at home.

My classes are small, no more than 6 persons, and I choose to work with participants on a personal basis, creating menus according to their individual interests. I focus on the freshest seasonal ingredients and typical Umbrian specialties such as truffles, Pecorino cheeses, and Torta al Testo. Traditional pasta dishes, specialty desserts, and distinctive local wines and olive oils are also featured. Technique classes on specific subjects (hand-made pastas, gnocchi, desserts, sauces, porcini, and truffles for example), as well as 2 to 5 day sessions are also available by special arrangement.

Classes typically begin at 10AM and last approximately 6 hours, during which time we cook and enjoy the wonderful meal you have helped prepare. Classes are available mid-May through mid-October, Monday through Saturday. Market visits beginning at 9AM may also be pre-arranged any class day.

Per person: 140.00 Euro for 2 persons; 130.00 Euro for 3 or more
Market visits: added fee of 10.00 Euro per person
A two-week advance reservation is requested.
A 50% non-refundable down payment is required.

***For larger groups, please inquire about private lessons “at your villa”.

***I am also available to cater special dinners “at your villa” for groups no larger than 16.


On June 22, 2008 a good friend and I took one of Christine's one day classes and it was superb. My husband and I traveled to Italy this summer for a five week stay in Perugia. My husband had signed up for Italian language classes and I was seeking out some cooking classes. While I attended other cooking classes during my stay I found Christine's day to be the best! Our day started by gathering ingredients for the day's lesson at the local market and small specialty shops throughout the town, picking up a medium-aged pecorino at her favorite cheese store, perfect pork at the butcher shop, crusty bread at the bakery and let's not forget the chocolate! Our day in Christine's fabulous kitchen included olive oil and cheese tastings as well a hands-on preparation of five food courses well balanced with local wines. She has an easy-going manner of imparting useful information to her students in a relaxed but professional atmosphere. Her menu choices were unique, delicious and recipes to take home and use. In fact, I have made every dish at least once since returning home! My show stopper is her zabaglione and grapes roasted with olive oil, rosemary and sugar! When we return to Perugia, another of Christine's classes will be at the top of my list!
Deborah B., CA

I have lived in Italy for a total of 13 years, nine of them in Umbria. I love the country and its cuisine, so any chance I get to learn from the cooks of Italy, whether in the home of a neighbor, a formal cooking school, or private lessons with a wonderful chef, I jump at the opportunity. Recently I had the pleasure of taking a hands-on cooking class with Christine in Perugia. Her menu was unique - courses perfectly balanced for flavor, color and texture, made from ingredients purchased that very morning on our market tour. Even after all these years in Umbria, Christine introduced me to new dishes, new concepts, and old tricks to make cooking easy and pleasurable. Sampling of local breads and olive oils punctuated our time in the kitchen. Eating what we had prepared was fun and rewarding, - the Umbrian wine perfect and the portions just right for a summer pranzo, leaving us energy to still stroll the city. A wholly satisfying experience!
Ginda S., Italy

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