GRADARA, ITALY Cooking, Photography & Styling Retreat { July 2016 }

2 whole days of intimate, hands on lessons and examining what exactly makes an intriguing, beautiful story.

{register} email bettysliu07 [ at] gmail.com or hortuscuisine [at] gmail.com to reserve your spot.
(Betty’s previous workshops have sold out quickly, so email now to ensure your spot!) 


In between the blue Adriatic sea and the hills studded with  medieval castles and villages, sits Gradara, a beautiful, quaint bouquet of stone houses and a majestic castle with a romantic view of the bay. All around it, fruit and olive trees and vegetable gardens make for a refreshing, blissful Italian getaway.
In this sun-kissed setting, me, Zaira of The Freaky Table  and Betty Liu will be joining our expertise for an intimate photography and styling workshop in my farmhouse. We’ll call Gradara home for a few nights, a perfect, charming place to nurture creativity and learn together.
Join us for a few days of photographing,compelling storytelling, and feasting on what this village has to offer. We’ll gaze out at the Adriatic sea along the secret beaches, visit markets, feast on all the local produce and seafood there is, and experience traditional, authentic central Italian cuisine from le Marche and Romagna.

The workshop will be VEGETARIAN + VEGAN FRIENDLY.

Gradara, Italy Cooking, Photography & Styling Workshop - July 22 - 24 2016 with Betty Liu, Zaira Zarotti & Valentina Solfrini | Hortus Natural Cooking Gradara, Italy Cooking, Photography & Styling Workshop - July 22 - 24 2016 with Betty Liu, Zaira Zarotti & Valentina Solfrini | Hortus Natural Cooking Gradara, Italy Cooking, Photography & Styling Workshop - July 22 - 24 2016 with Betty Liu, Zaira Zarotti & Valentina Solfrini | Hortus Natural Cooking Gradara, Italy Cooking, Photography & Styling Workshop  - July 22 - 24 2016 with Betty Liu, Zaira Zarotti & Valentina Solfrini | Hortus Natural Cooking

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Workshop highlights include

Live Storytelling / We’ll put together beautifully styled food stories, led by the three of us, and show you how we choose a shoot space. We’ll talk through our thought process, including set up, examining natural light, crafting an environment, choosing props, managing time, and photographing from the ingredients to the process and finally, the finished plate.

Hands-on pasta making workshop / As a daughter and grand-daughter of a long line of skilled pasta makers, I will be guiding you through the process of authentic homemade pasta, made by the rolling pin method, and teach you the various ways to cut it. You will be able to get your hands dirty and create your favorite shapes. We’ll learn about the various shapes and the sauces that may pair well with them, then feast on our own pasta creations and dress it with fresh vegetables from the garden.

Lightroom demonstration & preset building / We’ll sit down to a collective lightroom editing session, where we’ll talk about post-processing and how to develop your own preset to get the look you want consistently.

Local Harvests & Market Feast / Our garden is bountiful in the summer: we will harvest fresh fruit and vegetables to style, shoot and cook with, but we willalso take some time to explore the local markets and create a photo story. We will also have a suggestive traditional Italian dinner, in the romantic summer garden of a restaurant built within the cloister of an ancient monastery in the heart of Gradara Castle.
For our last meal, my mother, an extremely talented chef, will welcome us to a traditional Italian dinner – a truly authentic, homestyle meal, characteristic of the wonderful hospitality of Italian culture.

Explore / Gradara is a beautiful medieval village in central Italy, where the Adriatic coast meets the hilly countryside, and where the landscape is covered in olive groves, wheat fields and wild flora of all kinds. I will lead you to secret, romantic beaches (and, why not, have a dip in the beautiful Adriatic sea – bring your bikinis!) and through the walls of what is recognized as one of the most beautiful medieval towns in Italy.

Business Talks / We’ll talk about blogging, blog sponsorship, and how to navigate the murky waters of social media to showcase yourself and your brand. We’ll talk about tips and tricks for consistent blogging and our own experiences.

Chill / Just as importantly, you will be able to just sit back and relax in the nature and on the beach, eat healthy but also indulge in some of the most delicious food you will ever try, and get to know one of the most beautiful parts of Italy you don’t know about.

Gradara, Italy Cooking, Photography & Styling Workshop - July 22 - 24 2016 with Betty Liu, Zaira Zarotti & Valentina Solfrini | Hortus Natural CookingBetty Liu | Gradara, Italy Cooking, Photography & Styling Workshop - July 22 - 24 2016 with Betty Liu, Zaira Zarotti & Valentina Solfrini | Hortus Natural Cooking Zaira Zarotti Photo | Gradara, Italy Cooking, Photography & Styling Workshop - July 22 - 24 2016 with Betty Liu, Zaira Zarotti & Valentina Solfrini | Hortus Natural Cooking Valentina Solfrini | Gradara, Italy Cooking, Photography & Styling Workshop - July 22 - 24 2016 with Betty Liu, Zaira Zarotti & Valentina Solfrini | Hortus Natural Cooking

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Workshop Details

July 22-24
Gradara, central Italy
taught by Betty, Valentina, and Zaira
Price: $895 per person
nearest airport: Bologna airport

Included:
all lessons and discussions
2 dinners
1 lunch
2 breakfasts
welcome gifts
other drinks and bites during the workshop

Not Included:
accommodations*
transportation to and from Gradara

Register by emailing bettysliu07 [ at] gmail.com or hortuscuisine [at] gmail.com to reserve your spot. Workshops tend to sell out quick, so make sure to book early!

There are plenty of reasonable hotels within walking distance to the workshop location. Many of them are in Italian, so please, feel free to contact us if you need help booking. I’d recommend booking earlier rather than later, as this is a popular destination in the summertime!
I am also available to help with any transportation issue, and I will pick you up at the station. For more info or help about getting to the venue, feel free to contact me.

http://www.hotelgradara.it/castellobeb.htm
http://www.casadellastella.it/en/index.asp
http://www.letamericigradara.it/it/bed-and-breakfast-gradara-le-tamerici.htm
http://www.bb-gradara.com/
http://www.affittacameregradara.com/
http://www.lagrandeagave.it/home.html

Gradara, Italy Cooking, Photography & Styling Workshop - July 22 - 24 2016 with Betty Liu, Zaira Zarotti & Valentina Solfrini | Hortus Natural Cooking Betty Liu | Gradara, Italy Cooking, Photography & Styling Workshop - July 22 - 24 2016 with Betty Liu, Zaira Zarotti & Valentina Solfrini | Hortus Natural Cooking Zaira Zarotti Photo | Gradara, Italy Cooking, Photography & Styling Workshop - July 22 - 24 2016 with Betty Liu, Zaira Zarotti & Valentina Solfrini | Hortus Natural Cooking

  1. Ohhhhh how I WISH I could attend this workshop!!!! Love the work that all three of you share with us and–Italy!!!!! Alas, maybe someday. But I’ll be partaking in the beauty of it all the way from LA, and this is such a fun idea, gals. <33

  2. I wish I were going!! I would love to follow you around and absorb all that your teaching!! And I can imagine that the scenery is spectacular — how could you not be inspired!! I really do love the way you tell a story with your dishes. I believe it engages the reader so much more. Will you post some of the classes? I would even pay for it. Abbracci!!

  3. Wow, mi piacerebbe davvero moltissimo. Ci sto pensando seriamente… La parte destinata alla food photography è rilevante? Mamma mia quanto vorrei partecipare!

    • Ciao Fran! Se ti interessa, abbiamo solo ancora uno o due posti…ci sará food photography entrambi i giorni! In pratica, per ogni attivitá ci sará food photography a seguire. Betty e Zaira sono due fotografe precisissime dalle quali c’é un sacco da imparare :) Se ti va mandami una mail – ci sono altri workshop quest’estate!

  4. Looks lovely, have fun! Let’s ponder a PNW-style version, with luminous, sweet-smelling encaustic (beeswax) art. Can’t wait to visit when you come to the studio~ Xx theresa ig: @theresastirlingart

  5. Hello Valentina,
    We would really love to experience any workshop with you. The timing is really hard since our busy season ends by the end of Autumn. We have 2 food trucks making French crepes, but running away after the season to little places like yours is a must. Last year we went to Bretagne but sadly a lot of good restaurants were closed and the daylight was so short. Please advise, maybe we can work something out. I am passionate for photography myself and worked as a professional for many years before coming to the US. My subject has always been horses though, but food is very inspiring. I love your lighting, very simple and brings a lot of freshness to the food you present. Congrats.

    • Hello Jean Pierre, thank you so so much for your kind words and I am so happy you would like to join us! if you can make time, we will have another workshop here in Gradara September 3rd and 4th. Think you can make it? We will announce it later today! I know this is probably still high season for you. Where are you based? And when are you free to travel? We were also thinking of doing a late fall workshop here in Italy. Will keep you posted!

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