involtini di zucchini (zucchini stuffed and rolled)

Ballarò market, Palermo

garlic vendor

artichokes cooked on hot coals

fresh produce sold outside a private home

different varities of olives at the markets

unique way of selling eggs at the market

village of Sant'Ambrogio where the cooking course is held

fresh tomatoes

fresh herbs used during the cooking course

sun dried tomatoes

1 Day Cooking Course


Visit to Ballarò Market - Cooking - Wine tasting


The cooking course will provide an authentic experience and an understanding of everyday life of local Sicilians, past and present.  Sicilian cooking is a mix of different cultures brought by invaders of the island throughout its history.   Arabs and Spaniards brought with them ingredients that are still used today. 


The economical possibilities of each family were also a major factor in Sicilian cooking.  The so-called ‘poor cooking’ cucina povera   were dishes using basic ingredients probably picked from the hedgerows, dried pulses or fish and cooked to nourish large families with very little money.   These dishes still exist today.


Food is very much part of Sicilian life and great importance is given to fresh seasonal produce, in some cases these are still grown by the family.
Saint's days and other festivals are still celebrated with specific traditional dishes and desserts, cakes or biscuits.



Meet Mimmo at 09.00, catch the train from Cefalù to Palermo, a train journey of 50 minutes.  A short walk (10 minutes) from the station takes you to the bustling market of Ballarò, where Mimmo was born and grew up.


Whilst shopping for fresh produce to use in your afternoon cooking course,  Mimmo will provide an insight into the history of the food that is typical of Palermo.   You will also have the possibility to taste things as you go along.


Afternoon return to the village of Sant'Ambrogio situated 5 km from the seaside town of Cefalù, where the cooking course will be held in Mimmo's kitchen.


The hands-on cooking course will consist of the preparation of a complete meal based on traditional Sicilian dishes:  an antipasto (entrée), primo (1st course probably of pasta), main course and dessert.  


Time to rest before visiting Mimmo's cellar, where he will describe how he makes his superb homemade wine.   Wine tasting will commence in the cellar with some white wines then continue during dinner.


Enquire now

Cost:    Euro 150 per person

Group size:  minimum of 2 people

The cooking course includes:

  • Street food lunch in the markets of Ballarò
  • Hands-on cooking course
  • Wine tasting at cellar
  • Dinner
  • Wine during dinner

Train trip to Palermo is not included. 


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The cooking course will be hosted by Mimmo Zito

Mimmo Zito  grew up in the heart of Palermo, around the famous Vucciria street more