(And Our school’s birthday week). Held early September, Every Year
It all started back in 2003, when most we’d talk locally with still said, ‘Cookery school in Puglia, for international travellers? It will never happen’
But it did.
And it wasn’t easy. And while the food and wine of the Salento have always been better than they need be, it remained a secret, long after we were open. Today, 13 years later, we’ve been in many of the world’s largest newspapers and magazines (3 times in the NY Times, CNN, London Times, Bon Appetit, Travel & Leisure, not to mention the dozens of domestic articles).
We have our castle courses, our wine programme but it’s tomato sauce/birthday week at the castle that really reminds us how much we’ve really grown as a region in such a short amount of time.
We celebrate the week by choosing it as the one that we make our annual tomato sauce. It’s an all day affair, with ice cold beer providing the inspiration and keep stirring the giant cauldrons of simmering tomato sauce. Then we take the bottling stations an form systems, the whole thing producing well over three hundred bottles, enough for the entire year. Then we take to the baron’s pool. We grill out a little more than our other courses and of course we linger over the meal in the baron’s wine cellar, the chill a welcome break from the late summer sun (literally, ‘lion son’, in Italian).
We’ll make fresh pasta from scratch nearly every meal, we’ll lunch on intriguing local summer salads, and take to roasting local DOP potatoes until they perfect little roasted nuggets, perfumed with the local extra virgin. We’ll simmer summer fruits in sweet wine and serve them over impossibly-fresh ricotta, and linger over the local sparkling wine, deep in the refreshing cool stone of the baron’s private underground olive mill. If cooking in a castle and finishing your meals by bobbing in the baron’s pool sounds good to you, this just might be your perfect course.
Price: 1995 Euro
Where to stay: Al castello. 95 Euro per single, 110 for a double.