What does 2016 have in store for our little food and wine school in Puglia? It’s never easy to predict but we are getting better at it. And with our students coming from 46 different countries (as above, Ursula from Switzerland and Hans from Germany), the trends are bound to be global.
Last year we launched our bicycle / cooking / wine course, to great response, so this year we’re offering it twice, once in June, once in September. Calendario.
For a new course, it went much better than we had even hoped. This year we’ll be going even deeper, using the bicycle trips as a way for you to learn about local food sourcing, by visiting olive groves, open fields to forage spontaneous herbs and the Adriatic, one of mankind’s oldest sources for fresh fish and sea salt reclamation. See the video.
Our course dedicated to extra virgin is also back, Olive You, held in late October. It’s your chance to harvest, press, eat, cook with and learn to understand, the most noble of foods.
The extra virgin of the Salento is especially intriguing, as it is both better than it needs to be, and born out of a recycled industry- most olive trees in the Salento owe their existence to the need for Northern European lamp oil, rather than as a food for human consumption. You’ll learn everything you need to know to never be swindled again. Do it right and you can go home with your year’s supply of world class extra virgin.
And we’re partnering on the course with Jolanda, which many of you met while visiting our Lecce courses. We’re also bottling our own extra virgin for the first time in our 13 year history. It’s available only for sale in Italy but if you’ll be visiting this year consider bringing an empty suitcase. Or buying a cheap one while here. We’re exceedingly proud of it.
Our courses at the castle continue to thrive. Working with the baron we restored the 16th century underground olive mill and if you visit us in 2016 you’ll have dinner underground, the entire mill bathed in candle light.
His pool will be open for all of our May and September courses. You’ll meet Angelo our fish monger, Mario our butcher and Renata, our forager.
Our owner is still writing for Wine & Spirits magazine, covering all their Southern Italian food and wine, photographing the articles as well. Look for his article on Susumaniello, one of Puglia’s recently-recovered ancestral grapes. It’s a little bit of The New World smack in the middle of The Old, a wine without a already determined path forward.
Our tomato sauce week remains loved by those that visit, with many returning each year. It’s also the week we celebrate our birthday. See the video. If you’re interested in understanding what all the fuss is about in regards to Southern Italian tomato sauce, this is your week. We’ll finish cooking and dinning each night by bobbing in the baron’s pool, a glass of bubbly in hand. Read our reviews.
We’re going much deeper into video this year as well, recording a lot more content on both food and wine. Be certain to check out our youtube channel.
But it’s our courses in Lecce of which we’re most proud. Held in the historic centre of one of Europe’s prettiest cities, they go deeper than you might be thinking, looking at all aspects of history, culture, immigration and climate, to really understand how a food system comes together. Yes, you’ll learn new recipes but that is just the part of the iceberg that sticks out of the water.
Couple that with the fact that the Salento is considered the most pristine example of The Mediterranean Diet on the planet and that our world class wine is profoundly under appreciated (it’s hard to find a region that produces more 90 + point wines and then charges so little for them), all beloved and cherished by a population completely unjaded by tourism. The courses close at 7 students, perfect if you’re looking for something deeper that leaves behind all the Italian food clichès.
And as always, say hello on Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. If you can’t come in 2016 be certain to help spread the word about our little corner of the world. We’re eager to share our food and wine with anyone that cares to see different and fascinating part of Italy.
You know that your well-traveled friends that are crazy about food and wine? Tell them about us
Hit ‘return’ to say hello or to register for a class. We’d love to have you come play your integral part.