Agata and Salvatore were married and remained employed at Villa Civita through the time my mother was pregnant with my sister Giovanna. Shortly thereafter, Salvatore left Villa Civita to begin a career as a waiter in a hotel restaurant and with much hard work and long hours, he became the Maitre d’hôtel and continued in this business for more than 40 years.

Thankfully for us, Salvatore's expertise enabled him to acquire knowledge that was vital to opening a cooking school, as he taught us the proper way to set a table for every occasion, as well as the proper way to serve our guest and common mistakes to avoid. From day one, he has been the most amazing teacher and he continues to oversee each special occasion we host at the Hidden Treasure.

You'll often see Salvatore walk up from the garden to the house and pass by the terrace and offer his advice on how to make the most of a table setting. We all love Papà Salvatore dearly, and we especially love learning new things from him every day!

What many of you may not know is that Papà Salvatore has a deep passion for nature.

His love of organic food and animals is what provides him with the strength to work long, hard days in any type of weather, just so he can make sure that everything is just perfect for our family and our guests.

In fact, all of the vegetables, including the tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, zucchini, herbs and fruit that Mamma Agata uses during her cooking class or for the special events are produced in the garden and cared for lovingly by Salvatore! His love and experience in growing organic vegetables and maintaining the grounds of the farm is also what helps us to prepare healthy and tasty dishes that are as fresh as you can get.

Every morning before the cooking class Mamma Agata provides Salvatore with a list of her needs for the cooking class, including tomatoes, olive oil, herbs and sweet Salvatore goes and collect everything for her, just as she requested. Mamma Agata is also very sweet but very particular about the ingredients, they must be fresh and tasty and Salvatore does all his best to please her and of course all our students!

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