Sketching a Pig – Course Details

Further to Nathan C. Gilmour’s article about this fascinating, intensive, residential charcuterie course in Umbria, please see further details set out below. 

Sketching a Pig is a hands-on exploration of traditional butchery and charcuterie methods, flavors, and foodways of central Italy, centered around the full utilization of the animal – nose to tail!

During the 10-day workshop, participants will delve into traditional processes and recipes of the region, tasting everything along the way. Group leaders Nathan Colello Gilmour and Rece Hogerheide will impart authentic stories of food, time, and place of the region of Umbria and in particular, the village of Monte Castello di Vibio – certainly with a few secrets thrown in around the cookfire.

Instruction will focus around creating a personal sketchbook (hence, “Sketching a Pig”) for note taking, drawing and diagram-making, recording recipes and procedures, observations, and ideas. As a result, participants will create a “living” learning object that forms a record of the experience. For those not skilled, trained in drawing or who may not yet feel comfortable with pencil in hand, rest assured, the idea is to create a hand-made record that will have value to you as a note book and record of the experience – a kind of “cookbook of Umbrian salumi.” We propose to exhibit these “cookbooks” in our Bocca al Lupo Gallery, along with samples of our production in a gallery reception before our final meal.

Participants should be ready to assist in the butchering of a thoughtfully sourced pig and wild boar as well as with many traditional preparations that come with the early spring harvest. Additionally, there will be two off-site excursions: one to a local weekly market for supplies (and the experience), and the other to the renowned Italian charcuterie capital, Norcia, where since the middle ages (and before), the legendary local butchers – the Norcino – became inseparably a part of Italian food culture (so much so, that even today, butchers in Italy are referred to by the name “Norcino” and butcher shops sometimes as “Norceria”).

During your stay, you will be housed in the remarkably well-preserved Umbrian hill town of Monte Castello di Vibio. Your workshop package is all-inclusive, providing welcome and departure services and airport transfer from the Rome Fiumicino, Leonardo Da Vinci Airport (FCO) aboard our comfortable private bus. Also included in the course fee are single occupancy accommodations with shared bath (a wide range of upgrades with private bath are available), 3 meals per day Monday-Thursday, Prosecco brunch and dinner on Saturday and Sunday (no meals are served on Friday, our excursion day. Your workshop includes one excursion per week and many additional options are available on weekends for an additional fee. Of course, 24/7 access to facilities and 24/7 bi-lingual support are provided.

All materials and fees for the course are included, except international airfare and meals on excursion days unless otherwise stated. Course fee also includes a high quality butcher knife, apron, and sketchbook.

About Instructors

Nathan Colello Gilmour

Nathan is a traveling charcutier, live fire chef, and business strategy consultant based in Berlin, Germany. He brings deep experience in the charcuterie and butchery world in the French, Spanish and Italian traditions. He is currently the Editor and Chief and General Manager of Berlin Food Stories, Founder of, and most recently, as the Expansion Manager for in-house brands at DeliveryHero in Western Europe.

Nathan offers his insider’s experiences of Italy from his time spent as a stagisti with Dario Cecchinni’s Marcelleria, in Panzano, Italy near Florence and with Alice Waters’ Sustainable Food Project in Rome. Having spent years working with Kate Hill and the Chapolard Family in Southwest France, Nathan serves as an international authority on all things meat. He’s judged national charcuterie competitions on both sides of the Atlantic and has taught his methods in locales around the world.

Rece Hogerheide

Chef Hogerheide oversees all culinary programming for the Daxton Hotel in Detroit and leads the team at the hotel’s signature restaurant Madam, which was recently recognized by the Detroit Free Press as one of the best new restaurants in Detroit.

A native Michigander, Chef Hogerheide strongly advocates for the use of locally sourced, seasonal ingredients and has spent the past few years further sharpening his skills in niche areas such as butchery and fermentation. Chef Hogerheide masterfully marries the worldly influences of fine dining with a rustic New American feel to create a unique offering for the Detroit metro area market.

Prior to his work at Daxton Hotel, Chef Hogerheide held positions at local Michigan restaurants such as Gather and is also one of the Founding Chefs of Felony Provisions which is known for its fermentation; butchery; cheesemaking and charcuterie products and pop-up dining events throughout Michigan. Felony Provisions received local acclaim after members of the group were invited to cook alongside Chef Danielle Leoni at the James Beard Award Gala in May of 2019 in Chicago.

Book your place or find out more HERE