One week Cookery Course al Castello
Anatomy of a week-long cookery course at the Castle
Held in a 16th century castello 40 minutes south of Lecce, our week long cookery courses at the castle are larger than life celebrations – imagine yourself at a long table enjoying extravagant country lunches, overflowing with Southern Italian familial tradition. Each meal, you’ll learn the history and culture of the region and how that drives our cuisine, then we move into the kitchen and using your own hands, turn theory into practise. Whether it’s making fresh pasta from scratch nearly every meal, grilling sea bass over olive wood embers or covering impossibly ripe fruit with impossibly fresh ricotta, it’s always hands on, all the learning re-enforced by doing.
And because we’re staying in a working castle, these courses represent a rare, first-hand glimpse into the life of former European aristocracy. You’ll cook in the baron’s impressive stone kitchen, dine on his Buganvillea sprayed loggia and drink a cascade of local but world-class wine from oversized goblets in his underground olive mill – each lunch going well into the afternoon, each dinner late into the evening. In the warmer months, we’ll finish our evenings bobbing in the castle’s impressive pool with local bubbly in our glasses. If it’s cooler, we’ll gather around the baron’s stone fireplace with freshly split firewood from recently felled fruit trees.
Daily, you’ll visit the herb garden, and depending on the season, fill your cradling apron with rosemary, lavender, bay, sage and basil. You’ll pick fruit from the baron’s hundreds of fruit trees and we’ll burn off lunch by walking the stone walls among the nearby olive groves, a neighbour’s overly-friendly dog tagging along with us.
What often surprises our guests is that the castle grounds make up a quarter of the historic centre of a small Southern Italian town – exit the kitchen door and you’re at the fountain in the main piazza. You’ll get to know Serena our greengrocer, Armando the butcher, and we’ll visit our local olive oil producer in her gorgeous palazzo, giving you a chance to take some extra virgin olive oil home with you.
But it will be your time around the chalkboard learning about wine, in the kitchen putting your knowledge to work, and at the table on the baron’s stone loggia that you’ll cherish most. You’re likely to find your next favourite grape here. You’ll make friends from foreign countries. And Southern Italy will never be the same for you again.
We’d love to have you in the kitchen with us, and around The Awaiting Table at the castle.
Festive. Over the top. Inclusive. Gregarious. More fun that we should be having as adults.
Cost: 1995 Euro
Courses are held throughout the year, see our calendar to find a date for your visit.
Where to stay
During the course, you’ll stay at the castle. Rooms are 95 euro for a single, 110 euro for a double. Once the course is booked, we will provide you with the castle booking information in our password protected Student Services. And once booked, our Guest Services coordinator will be in touch to help with each aspect of your arrival, departure and comfort while here.