Welcome to The Awaiting Table in Lecce, Italy!

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

But even from the beginning, our formula couldn’t have been simpler: 1) At all of our programmes, you learn by doing, not by watching and 2) We’re lucky enough to be in the best part of Italy, which remains undiscovered by large scale tourism. Here locals will smile when they meet you. And we started out small too- two of the school’s walls still had wet paint when we opened- but over the last twelve years we’ve been fortunate to have some great international press, with our students coming from 42 different nations, all around the globe.

In our cookery course, whether it’s starting in the local market each morning, woven baskets in hand, ordering fish still dripping with the Med from Mimmino our fish monger and produce from our trusted greengrocer or making pasta by hand back in our dream kitchen, at The Awaiting Table you are an active participant, not just a spectator. You will get your hands dirty. You will meet the locals. You will make friends.  You’ll will eat and drink and laugh, but you won’t ever see Italy or Italian food and wine exactly 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.

So, feel free to check out our site; we’ve been teaching the world about the food and wine of the Salento for the last 12 years (to students from 42 different nations).  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, and to set a place for you at The Awaiting Table.