Your accommodation is just minutes from Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples. The oldest part of the structure is the 13th-century tower, and over the centuries more buildings have been added. Now the property is a country inn that maintains the flavor of Sicily from many centuries ago. The many terraces and gardens are lush with scenery and colorful flowers, all of which overlook the greek temples situated in the valley. The hotel’s restaurant is considered to be one of the best on the island.
Day 1: Your culinary experience begins with an afternoon welcome cocktail in the hotel’s outdoor garden, during which the chef will outline the details of your upcoming cooking course.
Day 2: Your first morning class might include this speciality: grilled fresh tuna or swordfish with aromatic couscous and a delicate sauce prepared with peppers, Pacchino tomatoes, and a hint of mint. There will be an afternoon guided visit to the Valley of the Temples, five Greek temples including the archaeological museum.
Day 3: Today’s morning class, followed by lunch, might include turbot with a sauce prepared with oranges, fresh oregano and Marsala wine. In the afternoon we will take a walking tour of Agrigento, including the historic Arab quarter.
Day 4: Morning visit to a local Sicilian ice cream producer, where you will learn the secrets of how Sicilian specialities such as couscous and pistachio ice cream are made. Sicily is credited with being the first to make ice cream. Later that afternoon there will be a guided wine tasting of bottles from the cantina of local pruducer Cantine Cusumano.
Day 5: Morning cooking class followed by departure by bus for Bagheria close to Palermo. Settle into your accommodation and take some time to relax. Dinner in the center of Bagheria at a traditional Sicilian restaurant. Enjoy the chatter and atmosphere. This restaurant will give you the true flavor of the Sicilian people.
Day 6: Today we will head off to one of Sicily’s finest wineries. The lovely winery property includes the Villa Vallguanera, one the most sumptuous villas in the Bagheria area. Here we will sample the tenuta’s fine wines, the most outstanding of which is the Duca Enrico, a wonderfully mature full-bodied red wine. Excellent among the white wines is the Bianca di Vallguanera.
Day 7: Today our cooking class comes to an end. Our last class will take place in the home of a fabulous Sicilian signora’s home. Enza will teach you how to prepare pasta alla Norma, named for the opera Norma by the Catanian Vincenzo Bellini. It is made with fried eggplant, rich tomato sauce, ricotta salata (a salted ricotta that has been hardened) and fresh basil, tosciusceddu (a delicate souffle-like dish with miniature delicately flavored meatballs). Or you might learn to prepare seppioline (cuttlefish) stuffed with pine nuts, uva passa (semi-dried grapes) and pecorino cheese, or linguine with fresh seafood.
Your final afternoon before departure will be dedicated to a tour of some of Palermo’s most famous sights, including the Piazza dei Quattro Canti in the heart of the old city, the exotic Orto Botanico (Botanical Garden), the streets of the Favorita, which lead to Monte Pellegrino (Pellegrino Hill), providing a spectacular panoramic view of Palermo.
6 nights double room accommodation & breakfast
5 cooking classes
4 lunches, 2 dinners
All tours and visits to wineries and producers.
Course certificate, recipe booklet & commemorative hand-painted ceramic dish