Pamela Sheldon Johns has worked in Italy since 1992, bringing groups to meet food and wine artisans in various regions, and writing her 17 cookbooks, specialized in traditional regional Italian cuisine. Her farm, Poggio Etrusco, in southern Tuscany was certified organic in 2005. Poggio Etrusco produces Pace da Poggio Etrusco, an extra-virgin olive oil, and Sassi di Giove, an organic sangiovese wine. The holiday apartments/bed & breakfast, cooking school, and tours have been touted in Bon Appetit, Travel and Leisure, Cooking Light, on CNN, Wall Street Journal, and more.
Pamela's background includes a Master's Degree in Education/Administration and a 30-year career that has included teaching, food styling, catering, cooking school administration, and food writing. After ten years working with disabled high school students (teaching them to cook and work in food service jobs), she moved into the world of fine cuisine, first with Chef Joachim Splichal and later managing the Ma Cuisine, the Cooking School of Ma Maison in Los Angeles.
Pamela's home base in the US is in Santa Barbara, California, where she created the Cooking School at Jordano's Marketplace, the first chapter of Slow Food, and led the American Institute of Wine & Food for several years. In 1992, she began working as the representative of an Italian culinary program (Capezzana, and later Avignonesi), and in 1996 she created Italian Food Artisans, her culinary travel business. Pamela's wine and food workshops are in several regions of Italy: Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna, Campania, Liguria, Sicily, Puglia, Veneto, and Piemonte.
In Italy, Pamela and her husband Courtney (aka Johnny Johns) are based at Poggio Etrusco, a 15-acre farm near Montepulciano, halfway between Florence and Rome. The villa is divided into private apartments for the students in the culinary programs and for holiday rentals. The estate has an active oliveto with 800 olive trees, a small vineyard, and a garden that provides fresh, seasonal produce for the guests and cooking classes.
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