Meet Our Owner / Director / Sommelier
‘If I have anything new to say on the subjects of Italian food and wine, it’s because my background was an odd one. On one hand, I have a lot of very pragmatic, ‘blue collar’ work experience in the food and wine industry – I baked bread, cut meat, decorated wedding cakes, made wine, picked olives, cooked in restaurants, waited tables and picked artichokes – not because I romanticised it , but because I needed to earn a living.
‘And while I worked these jobs I studied the humanities well into my 30’s – both abroad and in Italy – all of it together helped me to grasp both the ‘how’ that a cook would ask, and the ‘why’, of an academic researcher would, which has been a real asset in teaching’.
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.
‘I couldn’t be prouder of my staff, each an exceptional person, each has lived away but has moved back for the life here in the Salento. In a week you’ll begin to love them as much as I do’.
Silvestro is currently at work on series of books on the food and wine of the Salento. Click here here to read excerpts.