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La dieta mediterranea e il salice salentino
The mediterranean diet dinner and salice

This course is an investment that could potentially add years to your life. That the food and wine also happen to be delicious makes all of this ground-breaking.

Salice Salento Cooking Course Italy
Half-day Lunch Cooking Class Puglia, Italy

The Mediterranean Diet Dinner And Salice Salentino Tasting

Yes, this is our plant-based course but you’ll likely soon forget that while cooking and eating. 

Such are the foods of the Mediterranean. 

If you prefer eating plants, this is a course for you. 

If your doctor keeps telling you that you should be eating more plants, this is the course for you. 

If you love learning about the history of the Mediterranean, washed down with a river of great wine, this is the course for you. 


Book now. Or write us for information. Or just to say ‘ciao’!

When: Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights, or upon request. 

Where to meet: Under the column of Sant Oronzo in Piazza Sant Oronzo, Lecce’s main square.


We go to the market first.

Length of course: From 18:00 to around 23:00 or midnight.

Taught in: English

Cost: 145 Euro per person (View Cooking Class Calendar).

Book now on our site or with an email.

We’ll meet in Lecce’s main piazza and start with a fascinating introduction to the culture, cuisine, history and viticulture of the Salento, followed by a city walk through one of Italy’s prettiest cities.

You’ll learn about Italy’s counter-reformation, how Europe almost lost wine and why the Salento was the OPEC of much of the continent.

We’ll visit Lecce’s oldest fruit and vegetable market where you’ll learn how to order everything in Italian, improving your Italian travel skills for the rest of your life.

You’ll learn about ancestral legumes and why you should be eating more of them. 

We’ll head back to the Lecce school and make fresh pasta from scratch. You’ll learn all about vegetable cookery, and why it’s so fundamental for our bodies.

And that they also taste great might end up being a bigger take away.

We’ll move over to the chalkboard and you’ll learn about il negroamaro and Salice Salentino, one of the south’s great wines.

You’ll learn to distinguish and taste critically three wines as we segue way into dinner of an antipasto, primo, secondo, four contorni and dolce, all produced by you, all in family style.

All wines taught are and selected by our owner, a nationally-certified sommelier here in Italy.

After dinner we’ll discuss the history, production and culture of Italian amaro (the bitter after dinner drinks of Italy). You’ll sample four of them from our impressive amaro bar at the school.

Many that are newly interested in eating healthier diets forget that many normal, average people in Southern Europe have been doing it for hundreds of years, without even thinking of it as ‘healthy’. 

Here it’s not that meat and cheese aren’t eaten it’s that they are rare adornments. The Mediterranean Diet focuses on what it loves rather than what it wants to avoid. It’s a celebration of what grows locally in the soil.

Salice Salentino soars as the world’s greatest wine to pair to plant-based cuisines, especially that of Southern Italy, which just adores bitter flavours. What to eat more vegetables, start with a wine that makes them sing.

The key is introducing more pulses into your life is to cook them while you’re cooking other things: soak beans over night, bring them to boil while cooking your breakfast and then let them wait for you to return from work. You’ll have one of the healthiest protein sources in the world, ready and likely less expensive than anything else you’re going to put on the table.


Q: Is this course vegan?

A: This course is plant-based- as is most of the food here- but it’s not strictly vegetarian or vegan. While the course doesn’t contain any meat, we do have grating cheese at the table for anyone that would like some, when the dish dictates it (Ex. no one in Italy would add to cheese to le orecchiette con le cime di rapa, but with summer tomatoes, yes, etc.). 

Q: I’m not on a diet. Why would I attend a diet course?

A: The Mediterranean Diet isn’t about weight loss, although that often does happen as well. ‘Diet’ from Greek for ‘way of life’, or ‘lifestyle’,  as in, ‘way of eating’. It’s the healthiest, most documented way of eating on earth. 

If you followed all your doctor’s advice about your diet, and did so with very simple and delicious dishes, it would look a lot like the historic dishes of the Salento. 

That’s what this course is about. 

Q: Why three versions of the same wine? 

A:  So that you can see how the same grapes can be expressed so differently based on who is making the wine. 

Strictly speaking, this concept would be a ‘flight’, but few here would call it that. 

Q: So why not primitivo?

A:  Most primitivo is exported, with only a small portion of Puglia considering it as their local grape.  Here it’s il negroamaro, which is the grape behind Salice Salentino and many other local DOCs. 

Gluten intolerant: we offer a gluten-free pasta substitute to eat but we make normal pasta as a class. Please remind us about this upon arrival.

Book now on our site or with an email