Food lovers will flock to Pontassieve for Cookstock on September 8–10, 2017. Now in its fourth edition and following last year’s success (more than 35,000 visitors in three days), the much awaited food festival has become a firm date on Tuscany’s culinary calendar, bringing the region’s foodies to the picturesque Tuscan town, just 30 minutes from Florence and easily reachable by train.
Music in the mix
This year’s Cookstock will set feet tapping as well as tastebuds tingling thanks to an all-new musical dimension. The piazzas of Pontassieve will each vaunt their own genre: piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, home to the picturesque town hall, becomes Rock FOOD, with Tuscany’s finest food trucks such as Chianina burgers by La Toraia, fish and chips by Pescepane, Indian specialities by Nura, Tuscan dishes by DanSi, Southern Italian food by Ape Scottadito, buns and sandwiches by Il Panino Tondo and octopus panini by Da Mama, as well as the Ruffino wine bar; Piazza Boetani turns to Blues FOOD, with traditional produce and local restaurants; piazza XIV Martiri stands for Soul FOOD, featuring a cooking class on Making Custard Great Again in English with Paula Carrier, Chef at the US Consulate Florence, and Helen Farrell, The Florentine’s editor-in-chief, organized by cultural association Cavolo a Merenda.)
Ruffino winery open
As in previous editions, world-famous winery Ruffino will open its doors to the public on September 9 and 10, 11am to 10pm, with guided tours by the friendly staff around its headquarters. New for this year are the actors who will entertain visitors with stories about wine on their way to the striking cellar with its beautifully hand-carved wooden barrels before tasting the internationally renowned wines. No need to book – just turn up.
Piazzale Ruffino will become the Pop FOOD area, with the piazza turned into a pizzeria for the festival starring top Tuscan pizzaiolo Giovanni Santarpia.
Slow food market
“The Ingredients of Cookstock” market adds a new focus to this year’s proceedings, furnishing food lovers with everything they need to recreate local specialties. Stock up on local produce from local producers proudly bearing the Tuscan Slow Food guarantee of quality.
Art and culture
Check out the Massimo Buccioni exhibition in the town hall’s Sala delle Eroine (the room itself is worth the walk up the stairs for its avantgarde depictions of heroic women) as well as the Andrea Martinelli show in the ground-floor vaulted Sala delle Colonne next to the town hall.
For updated information, check out the Facebook page.
The Florentine and related channel The Tuscan Times is a media partner of Cookstock 2017.