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Olive oil and Children, Olive you

 

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In the last few weeks I’ve been involved in teaching local children all about the world of olive oil, from picking, pressing to storing and eating the stuff. Most of the time my face has ached, the fee paid for smiling so much.

Who would have guessed that children’s beach toys would lend themselves so well to little ones gathering olives? Or how large their eyes would become at all the noise in a modern olive mill? Or how fast they can learn the words to poems and songs about olive oil, the ones that their teachers hope will re-enforce the love of olive oil and bread as a snack, versus those proposed by the onslaught of modern and deep-pocketed marketing departments of everyday life.

The early mornings have been worth it too- up at 5 every day- as it’s exactly why our school is different: it’s far too easy to be the pretty model laying on the sports car, taking all the credit for it, when really she’s done nothing. To really influence, to re-enforce, to nurture our local food culture, this is something that sets us apart. It’s what gets us out of bed in the morning, however achingly early that is.IMG_9865

Announcing our 2016 Olive You course. 

A pair of knee-high rubber boots will be waiting for your arrival here in Italy.

Yes, it’s that kind of course.

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For the last 13 years we’ve been talking with students from 46 different countries about Extra Virgin olive oil and it’s nothing if not alarming how much misinformation is still out there (So big the problem, that many of our students still insist that they are buying Italian extra virgin in foreign supermarkets. Or that you shouldn’t cook with the stuff, or that the best comes from Tuscany, etc., none of which is actually true).IMG_9834

So once a year we offer our dream course, a week dedicated to understanding all aspects of one of the world’s greatest foods. Yes, we’ll pick olives- thus the boots (part of the booking process involves giving us your European shoe size, to have your rubber boots waiting for you). But we’ll also learn to critically taste, removing any chance of future swindles. We’ll cook with the stuff, eating dinner in its soft, warm oil lamp candle light and even entering our oil in European competitions.

Each of you will take 5 litres home, on us, and more, as much as you’d like, providing your year’s supply. And a masseuse will be on hand as well, offering olive oil massages, for anyone sore from exhaustive eating, drinking and laughing.

This year is the first year we’re bottling our own extra virgin as a school, working closely with Jolanda, our partner on the course, and one of Southern Italy’s best producers of high quality Extra Virgin. She’ll quickly become one of your favourite people as well.

Olive You. October 2016. Come play your part.

And as always, we’d love to hear from you, even if it’s just to say ‘hello’.

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Silvestro Silvestori
Sommelier / Owner / Director of The Awaiting Table Cookery School, Lecce, Italy

<p>Silvestro Silvestori, the owner, founder and director of The Awaiting Table Cookery School, Lecce, Italy has been teaching the food and wine of Puglia and particular- Italy’s Salentine peninsula since 2003.</p> <p>In addition to his knowledge of Pugliese food and culture, Silvestro is a nationally-certified sommelier in Italy, and a staff writer for Wine & Spirits magazine, covering all their Southern Italian food and wine content. He has also appeared on American, Australian, Belgian, British, Chinese, Dutch and Italian television, and Italy’s most respected newspaper called him, ‘A national treasure’, and ‘THE anthropologist of the traditional cuisine of the Salento’ for his work in preservation and promotion of Salentine’s food and wine.</p>

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What do Insiders Know About Getting the Most Out of Southern Italy?

Find out, with our free 20-page guide to the food, wine, language, extra virgin, as well as insider travel tips. If you want to fall in love with this part of the world, you’ll need to to know a few things first. What’s worth visiting? What isn’t? And what should you be eating and drinking along the way.