Meet the Culinary Entrepreneurs: Gina Stipo

Meet the Culinary Entrepreneurs is a unique lecture series where a variety of food professionals come speak with students from ICE’s Culinary Management program. Yesterday, ICE alum Gina Stipo the owner of Ecco La Cucina cooking school in Siena, Italy, came and spoke with students and guests about her experience opening and operating her own culinary tourism business in the heart of Tuscany.

Hosting culinary tours allows her to combine her love of food and experiencing the local culture, as well as share her passions with others. Through hands-on classes, workshops and week-long immersions into the food, wine, and culture of Italy, she shares her knowledge of regional cuisine and history with visitors to the area. Culinary tourism is a very unique business and a great way to experience a culture when traveling.

Stipo said,”I so often have people tell me that a cooking class was the best part of their vacation. And that goes beyond me. It could be any cooking class anywhere.” Stipo advised that one of the keys to her success has been starting small and working up gradually. Her first culinary tour was only two guests. She remembers those first two women fondly and spoke of how it helped to build up her business by focusing in on their experience and seeing what made it special. The advice and insight from Stipo was incredibly valuable as the students set out on their own culinary path.

For info on the next Meet the Culinary Entrepreneurs lectures, including the Mast brothers, David Burke and Mindy Segal, check out our culinary career development class listings.

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