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Anna Tasca Lanza

is a center of Sicilian food knowledge and culture. The organization was founded in 1989 as a cooking school by Anna herself.

We seek to share with those who venture here the most hidden and complex values of Sicilian food and agriculture. Our continued research and exchange of knowledge with local communities guarantee an immersive and participative experience for all of our visitors.

We support systems of polyculture and strongly believe in the diversity of flavors, landscapes, and practices connected to food. We are convinced that a better understanding and awareness of this diversity improves our capacity to make more responsible choices around our food habits.

Values

Anna Tasca Lanza stands for INTEGRITY, KNOWLEDGE, COMMUNITY and VITALITY.

Integrity is conveying an honest narrative of Sicilian cuisine and culture through open and transparent dialogue.

Knowledge is the heart of our mission. It is fueled by curiosity and dispersed through experiencing food traditions and practices, empowering individual choice and awareness.

Community is our source of strength and nourishment. It is cultivated through personal connections and grows by building opportunities and capabilities amongst our local and global networks.

Vitality is irrational and indispensable. It blooms organically from our relationships and must be nourished in order to improve our capacity to listen, our quality of learning, and our mutual understanding.

The Anna Tasca Lanza Story

My mother started this adventure in 1987 when nobody in Italy was talking nor caring about food as much as they do now. Using the little bit of land given to her by my grandfather from the family estate (which has belonged to my family since the early 1800s) she opened her doors to visitors from America and taught them about food from the heart of Sicily. Around her, the wheat and wine produced by her father and his father before him continued growing and growing. My mother belonged to an aristocratic family and had been trained to have good manners: to speak proper English and French, and cook gracefully. Which she did until I was grown up and left home. Then, she decided she wanted to make something different with her life and opened up the school and started traveling across the United States; adventurous, pioneering, smiling, and curious. No one could understand why she would forge such a path, but she went forward with tremendous success, being recognized by the most prominent figures and institutions of cuisine in America for her work. This is her legacy, which has been given to me to nourish.

For the past fifteen years, I have run the school. We have continued to expand my mother’s mission of connecting and sharing with guests from around the world. But like all good gardens, we have grown and evolved. Anna Tasca Lanza has expanded as a non-profit bound to researching the roots and the reasons of Sicilian culinary history, and also to Cook the Farm, an immersive and experiential food education method that brings together participants from around the world to cook, eat and think about food landscapes.

No good food without good agriculture, is my motto.

My mother was a visionary, and her work has revealed to me two things that I believe are the foundation of Anna Tasca Lanza. First, that I discovered, luckily young enough, that love piles up. The fact that this place has been cherished and loved generation after generation shows deeply. It is the soul of Case Vecchie. And secondly, that my mothers’ vision was free, like any good vision should be. Free from the ties of the market and bound to her intentions. I think this should be the lead for everyone—it is definitely for me. You are truly privileged, not when you have money or power, but when you can listen to what your internal voice has to say. This I saw in my mother and is my commitment today.

Team

A good team is fundamental to working with joy. To keep up with the bustle of day-to-day life at Case Vecchie you’ll find a loyal staff of housekeepers, kitchen help and groundskeepers in addition to a gracious international team leading our hospitality and educational programs.

Anna Tasca Lanza

Founder

Anna Tasca Lanza was the first of four children (born Tasca, married to a Lanza) and had always lived in Palermo. At 15 she was sent to L’Ecole Ménagère de Lausanne Briamond, where she learned some notions of French cuisine and, basically, how to be a good wife. After marrying and raising Fabrizia, Anna took up the project of breathing new life into Case Vecchie. Within a few years, Anna knew and worked with stars of international cuisines such as Julia Child, James Beard, Alice Waters, Carol Field, Robert Mondavi, and the Coppolas. Anna went on to publish two books in America, The Heart of Sicily and Flavours of Sicily.

Fabrizia Lanza

Director

Fabrizia grew up being part of the renowned Tasca family of vignerons which meant immersion into the food and wine world from birth. At the age of 18, Fabrizia flew north, spending time in France and Italy to experience other worlds and to study. With a degree in Art History, she worked for 25 years in museums and as an art curator, ultimately directing two museums in Feltre. In 2006, at the age of 45, Fabrizia decided to join her mother Anna and return to Sicily to rediscover her food roots. With Anna’s passing in 2010, Fabrizia took over the operations of the school and continues to build on her mother’s magnificent legacy. Fabrizia is the author of Olive, A Global History (2011) and Coming Home to Sicily (2014) in English and Tenerumi (2019) in Italian. She has a third cookbook in the works. She has also produced two short documentaries Amuri: The Sacred Flavors of Sicily (2014) and Amaro (2019). Fabrizia is now transferring her legacy in the kitchen to her talented chefs, and is more involved in research and development activities of the Food Heritage Association. She is still often found at Case Vecchie around the table or in the garden.

Gianni Spezia

Administration

Gianni was born in Alano di Piave, a small village in the Veneto region of Northern Italy. He worked his entire life as a black smith and is recently retired from a fruitful career. Since marrying Fabrizia, he has also been by her side taking care of the school’s administration and is the President of the Food Heritage Association. His official title is truly Master of Risotto, and is in charge of making it for students, for the team and at all family gatherings. Gianni is warm, charming, heartfelt and the best spritz maker ever. He is not always around Case Vecchie, but when he is, there is sure to be a few wine glasses clinking and lots of merrymaking!

Anna Feldman

Chef in Residence

Anna’s culinary education started early, at her French mother’s elbow, learning the elegance and comfort of good food and hospitality. After studying English and Italian literature in college, she quickly turned towards more hands-on work and learned how to farm and cook professionally, working in fields and kitchens across New England and Europe, and sometimes even kitchens in fields! She graduated with a Master’s degree from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italian Gastronomy and Tourism and couldn’t resist the opportunity to venture to Sicily for a year to try her hand at teaching cooking. Since her arrival in fall of 2019, she has developed her passion for baking bread, experimenting with native Sicilian wheat varieties. When not in the kitchen, Anna can be found in the vegetable garden, picking wildflowers, or playing music.

Aleeshia Tozzi

Hospitality & Communications Manager

Raised across North America in a truly Mediterranean household, Aleeshia’s earliest food memories are of her Italian and Egyptian heritage melding on the table. Her undergraduate studies in English Literature and Political Science were destined for a law career, but this plan was unreservedly changed when she discovered the University of Gastronomic Sciences. After completing her Master of Gastronomy: Food in the World, Aleeshia worked for a bit in wine communications before being drawn to the beauty of Sicily and joining ATL in 2019. She manages the hospitality program and oversees the school’s communications, finding new ways to connect and share our work. Rural Italy has long captured her heart, and she strongly believes that food can be a driver of sustainable community development.

Henna Garrison

Program Director: Cook the Farm

With a Master’s degree from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Food Culture and Communication, she has always been fascinated by how food is perceived and expressed. She manages the Cook the Farm program from initial application to everyday facilitation. She has worked at ATL since 2017 and is a founding member of the Food Heritage Association.

Adriana Zanchi

Social Media Manager

After completing her Bachelor's Degree at the University of Gastronomic Sciences, Adriana worked for Slow Food developing educational events and programs for families and kids. Afterward, she became a Mediterranean wanderer and moved from France to Italy, to Spain and Greece to complete her Master's Degree in Sustainable Management of Food Quality. In 2018, Adriana joined the ATL team and since then she has been the facilitator between the local and the global community of ATL managing all social media profiles. Her work is focused on sharing the values and the work of the school with a wide audience.

Giovanna Di Bella

Head of Housekeeping

Giovanna was born in Vallelunga, where her family is from. She is married to Pompeo, who also works on the estate and they have a daughter and a son who were raised at Case Vecchie. She has been working for ATL since 1994 and was one of the first employees of Anna Tasca Lanza. She is the true queen of Case Vecchie. She knows everything there is to know about the house and its inhabitants, is a tremendous cook, has a deep sweet tooth and is absolutely horrified by mice.

Enza Di Gangi

Pastry Chef

Enza is from Vallelunga. She is Giovanna’s sister-in-law and has two brilliant sons still in school. Alongside Giovanna, she has been working for the school for more than 20 years. She is fearless and the sweetest person one can think of. Her smile is a perpetual sign of optimism and good heart. Enza is an intrepid pastry nerd, driven by curiosity (which in Sicily is rare). She navigates easily the realm of traditional pastry and ventures gracefully into the world of modern sweets with great success.

Deborah Carta

Hospitality & Housekeeping

Debbie is the youngest and the most recent entry to the ATL team. However, she has been running the hospitality and table service with skill and graciousness for six years. She is from Vallelunga and just got married to Angelo, a young barber. Deborah is open, kind, helpful and positive: all the beauties and the ambitions that belong to youth.

Giusi Macaluso

Hospitality & Housekeeping

Giusi is from Vallelunga and has a lovely daughter who works as an aesthetician. She has been working at Regaleali for at least 18 years and she officially joined the ATL team alongside Debora six years ago. She is in charge of room service and is a powerful, smiling lady with a beautifully deep voice.

Soccorsa Raso

Hospitality & Housekeeping

Soccorsa is the only team member from Caltavuturo, a village perched in the Madonie mountains, and a one hour drive from Case Vecchie. She landed in the ATL team in 2014 with Giusi and Debora. Her sister and brother-in-law have been working at Regaleali for over 25 years and manage the hospitality at Case Grandi. She is a lady from the mountains, therefore she is a strong, fearless and a tireless worker. Soccorsa’s stunning blue eyes and beautiful smile are ready to welcome any guest, but don’t get in her way while working!

Giovanni

Beekeeper

Giovanni has been working at Case Vecchie since forever. His father was here before him and started the garden with Anna. Now, Giovanni takes care of the vegetable plots and the bees, which are his true passion. The bees he takes care of are an indigenous breed called the Ape Nera di Sicilia. (Black bees of Sicily).

Arcangelo

Gardener

Arcangelo is the most recent entry to the ATL team. He is a very sweet man with a penchant for flowers, which is perfect as he oversees the care and development of our ornamental garden. From seed saving to propagation, Arcangelo keeps a keen eye on the growth of our plants in the greenhouse and helps Giovanni with the vegetable plots. We always joke that we are an “arm-to-table” place and he is Fabrizia’s right hand arm in the verdant realm of Case Vecchie’s gardens.

Upcoming Travel

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Anna Tasca Lanza &
Tasca d’Almerita winery

Case Vecchie is located on the Regaleali estate, also home to the Tasca d’Almerita winery. It is a magnificent and sweeping 500 hectares of vineyards, olive groves, pastures, vegetable plots and gardens that have been in the Tasca family since 1830. Originally a large wheat producing estate, it was transformed into a winery under the visionary direction of Fabrizia’s grandfather. Now under the leadership of her cousin Alberto, Tasca d’Almerita has evolved into one of the most important Sicilian wineries, leading the way forward on sustainability practices. The winery is a founding member of SOStain, an independently monitored project that outlines strategies to lessen the environmental impact of winemaking. In 2019, Tasca d’Almerita was recognized by Wine Enthusiast as “European Winery of the Year.” Anna Tasca Lanza is proud to partner with Tasca d’Almerita.

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