Ari's Picks

Bernardo Conticelli Comes to Town

A taste of Zingerman’s Food Tours here in the ZCoB!

A taste of Zingerman’s Food Tours here in the ZCoB!

If you’ve ever found yourself considering the idea of signing up for one of those amaZing Zingerman’s Food Tours, but haven’t yet decided to do it, here are a couple of chances to have a taste locally! While managing partner Kristie Brablec is the maestro who makes the tours happen, each trip is actually a collective coming together of great people who put their heads, their hearts, and their souls into making the week of tasting, learning, laughing, and connecting into the super special event it always ends up being. Next month, one of the key contributors to our Italian and French food tours will be right here in Ann Arbor to do two Zingerman’s events.

Bernardo Conticelli is coming into town the third week of June! On Thursday evening, June 20, he’ll be doing a class at BAKE! that features a pair of much-loved culinary treats—pizza from the wood-burning oven at the Bakehouse and champagne from some of the finest sparkling wine houses in France! That class has, unfortunately, already sold out, but the following night, June 21, Bernardo will be at Cornman Farms to do a very special, one-time-only Tuscan wine dinner with co-managing partner and chef Kieron Hales. The menu includes a whole range of amazing dishes that will bring some serious tastes of the Tuscan countryside to Cornman.

Antipasti include an array of Italian cheeses and cured meats, housemade grissini and crostini, pickled vegetables, and more! Panzanella salad with roasted tomatoes and mozzarella comes next And that in turn will be followed by a trio of marvelous main courses:

Anatra Alla Scappi: slow-cooked duck with plums, ham, nutmeg, cinnamon, and plenty of red wine

Beef Braciole: thin beef rolled with prosciutto and slow-cooked with tomatoes

Zuppa Di Valpelline: savory Savoy cabbage stew with Fontina cheese, bacon, and marjoram

Add in artisan polenta, roasted leeks, tiramisu, and a great talk by Bernardo, and you’re pretty much assured of an amazing evening, the likes of which are hard to find around here, but are replicated regularly on the other side of the Atlantic for folks who come on one of the tours.

To give you a bit more background, Bernardo was born and raised in Florence. He has degrees in Political Science and Wine Marketing. He’s also the official Champagne [France] region Ambassador to Italy, and he teaches wine classes in English, Italian, and French. Making marvelous olive oil is his passion project. Or maybe they’re all his passion projects. Quality and care very clearly mark them all! He has a small farm outside Florence, too. Bernardo brings a rare and wonderful combination of expertise, humility, passion, and purpose to everything he undertakes—all accompanied by an exceptional palate! He sums up his life up to this point like this: “I work in wine for passion, I produce olive oil for love, I grow vegetables for fun, I eat and drink for pleasure.”

Coming to one of these two events will give you a little taste of Food Tours’ terrific work. You won’t need a passport to join and you don’t have to clear customs. Come meet Bernardo and Kristie! Eat, drink, and enjoy. We feel fortunate to have him here in town next month!

If you’re intrigued, sign up soon—spots will almost certainly sell out!

Snag your seat

To keep up with the buzz on all of the latest happenings in the Zingerman’s Community, follow us on social media: @zingermanscommunity on Instagram and Facebook, and @zingermans on X (formerly Twitter).