We’re a year round, hands-on, regional Italian cookery school and Southern Italian wine programme, based in Lecce, Italy!

Our food and wine programmes in Italy stand out for three reasons:

1) All of our programmes are hands-on, by which we mean your hands.

2) We’re lucky enough to be in the best part of Italy, one that is still genuine, unaffected by large scale tourism:  here folks are still tickled to meet you.
3) We teach holistically, teaching you about the relationships between food, wine, culture, history,  geography and climate.  We teach real relationships, not stereotypes or clichès.

Over the last 12 years, 42 countries have come to the school:. No one has been doing it longer. Or to better reviews. (What the international press has to say).

At one of our cookery courses, whether it’s starting with woven basket in hand at our local market each morning, or ordering fish still dripping with the Med from Mimmino our fish monger, you’re interacting with locals in the city centre.  From making pasta by hand back in our dream kitchens, with us you will get your hands dirty. You will cook. You will make friends.  You’ll will eat and drink and laugh, but you won’t ever see Italy or Italian food and wine the same way again.


In 2007 we added our castle courses, which are more festive and often focused, such as the Making of the Annual Tomato Sauce, San Martino and our ‘School’s Birthday’  (we turn  12  in September 2015!), allowing you to cook on a larger scale – you haven’t really cooked until you’ve stirred a cauldron large enough to require a boat oar!

But it’s not just that we are obsessed with the food of the Salento, but with Southern Italian wine as well (Your teacher for your time with us is a nationally-certified sommelier here in Italy). Our wine programme, Terronia: the New Wine School of Southern Italy, using the autochthonous Southern Italian varietals as models to go deeper into wine– how to taste it, how it’s made, how to match it- than you ever thought possible in one week. And it’s  a lot of fun.

We’d love to hear from you: Send us an email just to say hello. Enroll to receive our free newsletter. And when you’re ready to visit, let us know: we’d love  to have you here in the kitchen with us, to keep your glass full, to set a place just for you at The Awaiting Table.