What others are saying about our castle courses:
“Silvestro would invite guests for most every dinner, so it became something like a show we were putting on. The castle has a Baron and he and his family came on the final night. It was a great chance to meet some local people in a relaxed atmosphere.
Silvestro keeps it all going and one’s experience of the School will be colored by how you find him. To me, he is a conservative in the best sense of the word: standing athwart the road of “progress” and shouting, “Stop!” He is passionate about preserving the peasant food traditions of the region from a southern ragù to chicory and pureed fava beans, to the local negromaro and primitivo wines.
The other aspect worth mentioning is the region of Puglia itself. If you think you have seen all of Italy but you haven’t been to Puglia, think again. Some travel mags have called it the “new Tuscany” but fortunately it hasn’t happened yet. This is the place for the healthiest food in all of Italy in a region that is still unspoiled, with a strong Greek tradition. Only northern Italian tourists have discovered it and they are only there in July-August.
All in all, a great experience and I hope to get back there soon.”
Thomas Godwyn, London, England
“While I adore Lecce for all its charms- I’ve been to The Awaiting Table Cookery School in Lecce three times now, their castle course was really a pleasant surprise.
With a kitchen larger my own back in my restaurant there was plenty of room for preparing our outrageous dinners. I was a bit jealous. But also beautiful outdoor spaces for dining too. An outdoor wood-fired oven (of that I was very jealous).
Plus, it’s in the town, you know, for a coffee, or people watching.
And how many people can say they have stayed in a castle? I can. And will probably do it again, if they don’t get tired of me coming back so often!”
Shelly Hunsucker Steinhaus, Chef/restaurant owner, Colorado, USA
“The castle was a wonderful venue, graced with great staff and headed by the informative and very professional Silvestro. I loved the course for the simplicity in its ingredients, easy cooking and great kitchen. The week was fun, interesting and would certainly do it again. It was great to walk, shop and see before heading into the kitchen for sessions of preparation and cooking. My knowledge of Southern Italian wine was dismal and I so enjoyed tasting and learning about the wines too. Each mealtime apart from being delicious, was animated with conversation, debate and discussion with all the people from all over the world – just like an Italian meal should be! Would I do another course? Definately.”
Staying at the castle is like being at home, you can go to the kitchen in the morning for coffee in your robe and chat with the other students. Shopping for our food for the day was a pleasure in such an authentic Italian town! And you have the Silvestro and his staff, who handle everything. And they know their wine too!
If you go in the warmer weather you eat most of your meals al fresco in the lovely spaces of the castle, which are amazing. We had a BBQ one night and Silvestro invited his friends from around the area what a fun night that was!!!! If you have a chance to go to the castle, go!
You will love it, I know I will be going back again someday to get my fix.”
Linda Bona , Acount Excutive, Portland, Oregon, USA
A week with Silvestro at the castle, this is really more than a cooking class in the traditional sense – it’s a week of “all inclusive” and “total immersion” in lifestyle, culture and, above all in the wonderful cuisine of Puglia. The interplay of the noble castle and the heart-warming joy of the team of “The Awaiting Table” – a highly professional yet very personal and individual organization – guarantees maximum comfort. A small note for non-native English speakers: This course is taught mainly in English, but do not worry, if need be, everything can be explained in Italian (Silvestro and his staff do not speak German).
Conclusion: While not inexpensive, it was an absolutely “worth the money” event with a high potential for addiction, to the yearning for coming back savouring the ‘the Puglian way of life“. I’ve already booked a return visit, in fact.
Dr. Hans Otto Barth, Internal medicine, Stuttgart, Germany