ladies shopping in town of Castelbuono

wonderful views from the village of Sant'Ambrogio

fresh broad beans with fennel

falconery display

snails found at Ballarò markets in Palermo

tasting of Sicilian oil

pasta making

visit to the local shepherd

Palermo street food "panelle" chick pea fritters

Norman mosaics at Martorana church in Palermo

the old port in Cefalù

medieval town of Petralia Soprana in the Madonie Mountains

porcini mushrooms

cheese that is left to mature

8 Day Cooking Course

During the week's cooking course, Mimmo (our professional chef) will teach you traditional Sicilian cuisine cooked by the locals in everyday life, using fresh ingredients which are readily available in our Mediterranean climate.   Learn how to prepare recipes that have been handed down for generations.  You will also help Maria (83 years old) to make her weekly supply of bread baked in the wood oven.  

 

This course is hands-on where you will be actively participating in all stages of the cooking and preparation.  It’s a real opportunity to interact with the locals and understand their lifestyle and take home a whole load of new experiences to be talked about for a long time to come.

 

The cooking course will be held at Mimmo's restaurant in the village of Sant'Ambrogio.

 

Itinerary: 

 

Day 1:
Transfer from Palermo airport to the apartment style accommodation in the village of Sant ‘Ambrogio, overlooking the sea.
Aperitifs on the terrace at the village bar, where you can enjoy the sunset whilst Mimmo gives you an introduction to Sicilian cuisine and discusses the week's programme with you.
Dinner at Mimmo's restaurant.

 

Day 2:
Morning walk (or drive) to the local shepherd to see the process of cheese making done by traditional method.  Taste various local cheeses made from sheep, goat or cow’s milk.  The different stages of aging the cheeses are very important to the taste and quality.  
Return to the village on foot (or drive).   Total walking time 3 hours.
Late afternoon tasting of Sicilian oil from the various provinces.   Learn to distinguish the difference in the taste due to the climate, soil and type of olives grown in different areas of the island.
Before dinner visit Mimmo's cellar where he will explain the process of how he makes his superb homemade wine.
Dinner with wine tasting.

 

Day 3:
Catch the train from Cefalù to Palermo to visit the bustling street market of Ballarò, where Mimmo was born and grew up.   Whilst shopping for fresh produce to use in the afternoon cooking course, Mimmo will provide an insight into the history of the food that is typical of  Palermo.  There will be plentiful tastings as you go along.
Time to visit the important historical sites of Palermo.
Return to Sant'Ambrogio for late afternoon hands-on cooking class based on antipasti, followed by dinner.

 

Day 4:
Morning  hands-on cooking class is based on the making of homemade pasta and bread. Followed by lunch.  
Early evening visit to Cefalù, time to wander around before our wine tasting at a local Enoteca,(winery) where we will taste some of the lesser known and important Sicilian wines.
Dinner at local seafood restaurant.

 

Day 5:
This morning we venture into the Madonie Mountains stopping in Castlebuono, a pretty little town with lots of local atmosphere.  The Fiasconara family has become one of the most well-known panettone (Italian Christmas cake) producers in the world.  Their panettone was even taken into space on one of the old Shuttles by an Italian astronaut!!   We stop at their caffe for a tasting of all their local products.
Visit to a traditional olive press "frantoio."
Continuing our drive into the mountains we will stop near the town of Geraci to meet the falconer Mimmo who will explain the ancient art of falconry dating back to Frederick II and continued on by the Ventimiglia family of Geraci and still practised today in Arab countries.   
Lunch in one of the medieval towns of the Madonie.
Late afternoon hands-on cooking class based on meat dishes and dessert, followed by dinner.

 

Day 6:
Morning hands-on cooking class based on fish dishes and dessert, followed by lunch.
Early evening visit to the picturesque medieval mountain top village of Pollina.  We will walk to the open air amphitheatre of Pietrarossa, where we can admire the spectacular views of the Madonie Mountains.    The area surrounding Pollina is known for the production of Manna, a substance produced from the Ash trees and collected by local farmers from July to September, which is then sold as a natural remedy for many ailments.
We then drive to a restaurant located in the countryside near Pollina, where we will feast on fine local cuisine, using only fresh produce from the restaurant’s own organic garden. 

 

Day 7:
Morning hands-on cooking class to prepare the evening Gala dinner.
Free afternoon.
Gala dinner.


Day 8:
Transfer to Palermo airport.

 

 

Dates:   7th to 14th June 2016
                (8 days / 7 nights)

                 31st October  to
                 7th November 2016
                 (8 days / 7 nights) 

 

Cost:    Euro 1,450 per person
(two people sharing a double room)
(single supplement for a double room for single use Euro 400 )
(approximately £1,150 / US 1,600 subject to daily exchange rates) 

 

Group size:  7 to 12 people

 

The tour includes:

 

  • All transfers
  • Wine tastings (2)
  • All cooking on-hand cooking courses
  • Accommodation in double room with breakfast
  • Lunches
  • Evening meals are included together with ¼ litre of house wine per person and water 
  • Services of a full-time professional tour guide 

 

The itinerary does not include:

 

  • Air travel to Sicily
  • Travel insurance which is a requirement of the trip

 

Accommodation:

The accommodation in lovely apartment in the village of Sant'Ambrogio

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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 market.....read more