"A cakewalk, for me, is an inquisitive journey into the essence of a particular time, place, or object in search of its defining characteristics. The prize - the result of the journey - is the making of a cake, which tells its story in sugar, marzipan, icing, and vibrant color, finished with sugar pearls and gold dust." --Margaret Braun, Cakewalk
What is Cakewalk Through Le Marche?
(watch tv interview)
-Arrival (*Bologna, BLQ is the recommended airport).
-Piero will meet you at the airport and escort you to Hotel Taddeo e Federico in the heart of the beautiful village, Sant’Angelo in Vado, and within walking distance of shops, markets, restaurants and village life unspoiled by time.
- Take time to settle in, unpack and explore the village a bit before we all meet up.
- Margaret, and our wonderful host and native Marchigiano, Piero Pagliardini, will welcome us over drinks and give us an overview of the Cakewalk and days to come. Then pizza night! Enjoy the best pizza in town in a restaurant nestled in the fertile Metauro Valley. Gelato, a nightcap, and a good night’s sleep.
- Wake up to the smell of fresh pastries baking under your hotel window. Enjoy a local breakfast of cappuccino and pastries (or le paste).
- Piero will pick you up and take you to Urbino, the city on the hill, where we kick off our Claykewalk! We'll meet Paolo - who is an art historian with a deep and passionate knowledge of all things Ducale. We'll see the frescos, frieze work, important paintings and architecture of the high Renaissance at the spectacular Palazzo Ducale. In a loose yet structured manner, we'll wander the main squares and winding medieval pathways and pay a visit to Raphaelo's childhood home. You will be immersed in local color, texture, and flavors (while eating everything in sight) as well as examining architectural motifs, contemporary art, design, and their relationship to cake design, all the while sketching ideas that will inspire your art.
-Lunch at our favorite restaurant
-Then head back home by way of Urbania, famous for its ceramic and majolic production center. Add to your inspiration, with the guidance of Margaret, while exploring this magical village.
-Meet local business owner, chef and food historian, Francesca, for a private cooking class and dinner!
First Day of Class
-Breakfast at the hotel and lots of espresso.
-Return to Urbania where we will start the morning with a stroll through the travelling open air market. Explore shops, booths and flower boutiques while nibbling on samples of olives, cheese and porchetta.
-Meet for our first class in Urbania's city center with a demonstration by a regional ceramicist.
-Hearty lunch provided al buffet on site.
-Back to class! RAKU Ceramic demo with Urbania master. Make a *cake plate* set aside to dry
*Make a sugar cup (also at the pottery studio)- set aside to dry. Margaret will demo the relationship between her ceramic & her sugar-work.
-Late afternoon we will drive through the Marche countryside for day trip to Cartocetto - a village famous for the best and only DOP olive oil imported from Le Marche. We'll visit the inimitable Vittorio Beltami - www.gastronomiabeltrami.com. "The Einstein of Cheese," says Lydia Bastianich, and not just because he looks like Albert Einstein but because Senor Beltrami is a genius cheese maker. His pecorino di fossa - a sheep’s milk cheese wrapped in grape leaves, and buried under stone for 90 days - is indescribably intense , earthy and like nothing you have ever tasted. From the cheese cellar, we'll walk over to his shop where Senora Beltrami will prepare us an in depth sampling of the Beltrami cheeses, cured meats, and pasta, with wine parings along with house made sweets.
-Free evening back to Sant'Angelo, Relax. Contemplate your productive day.
-Fresh baked pastries and coffee at the hotel.
-Return to Urbania: Majolica painting demo. Students will practice on a small prepared tile or dish.
-Another delicious regional lunch will be provided on site.
-Free afternoon to rest or work on your creations
-That evening we will drive to the last tiny village along the Metauro River before Tuscany to the rustic property of Oasi San Benedetto. This is home to the historic Museo dei Colori or "Museum of Colors" - a unique and historical landmark dedicated to recording how colors were extracted from nature before the use of synthetic materials. Private tour followed by an onsite studio experience where you will paint the sugar cup made in Mijolica style with food coloring. We'll finish up the evening with an extensive seasonal dinner!
(*Please note a separate dinner is not mentioned this day because our late afternoon tasting usually leaves our painters stuffed until morning!)
-Breakfast and early morning TRUFFLE HUNT with Uncle Gigi. Gigi Dini, a seasoned truffle Hunter along with his dog will lead us on a brisk autumn walk through the forest in search of truffles. Mud boots provided!
-Time to wash up and change, then back to Urbania for on site lunch and class. Based on her 2,000 sugar cup project at The Museum of Arts and Design in New York, Margaret will teach you basic techniques like creating beautiful and unusual food colors, her method of painting onto an edible surface and secrets to developing a good piping hand. You will develop a foundational glossary of sugar-crafted borders & motifs to start with. From there, and with plenty of guidance, Margaret will discuss and demonstrate the importance of symmetry, contrast and silhouette to creating a cohesive, graceful and dynamic work. She will help you achieve your vision by expanding on these techniques - and encouraging you to make them your own.
-Free dinner in Sant'Angelo
Last Day of Class
-Pastries and cappuccino at the hotel
-Last day of class in Urbania, Paint the fired RAKU plate from first day of class- majolica style (to be fired & shipped back).
-Lunch on site
-Return to Sant'Angelo to participate in the National Truffle Festival! Once a year the town airs out its old wine cellars and turns these secret rooms into repurposed wine bars. Float from one wine cellar, or cantina, to the next, enjoying the variety of local and national wines paired with savory truffle-based delicacies. Each cantina has its own theme – from traditional (eat and drink at long, wooden picnic tables), to indulgent (buy the cantina mug, and enjoy free refills the rest of the weekend), to extreme (these cantina have been known to pack in DJ’s, dance floors, and motorcycles into the limited 100 sq.ft. space). Revel in the town’s festivities, ranging from street artists, to market booths, to live music. Buy roasted chestnuts on the corner or crostini with liver pate and truffle shavings from the local butcher. There is something for everyone at theNational Festival of White Precious Truffle of Marche and a reason why it has put Sant’Angelo in Vado on the map! The afternoon will leave you free to explore, but Piero will be there at all times to recommend restaurants, wine cellars, activities and anything else you need.
-Meet back up for our farewell dinner at Mostra Tartufo The Sant' Angelo Truffle Festival!
-Breakfast & Departures. Private transfer to airport (Bologna, BLQ), or Bologna Central Train Station (*see time restrictions)
Pick-ups at BLQ Bologna airport and Bologna Centrale Train Station will be offered between 12:00-3:00 p.m.
Departures at BLQ Bologna airport and Bologna Centrale Train Station will be offered from 12:00 noon onward. In order to arrive for your flight with ample time, we recommend scheduling departing flights after 2:00 p.m.
Pick-up and Departures from other locations, or at times outside these parameters can be arranged at an additional fee.
This will be a small group with intensive individualized instruction- so it is open to all skill levels .
All skill levels are encouraged to come!!!