My Autumn Culinary Adventure in Puglia is sold out!
This year the adventure will focus on the region of Puglia (the heel of the Italian boot) from October 14-18, 2012. I'm excited, and thrilled to introduce you to some amazing regional chefs and wines, without too much schlepping. We'll be based at the luxurious hotel Il Melograno for 5 days, where centuries-old olive trees look like sculpture. Owners Camillo Guerra and his daughter Roberta will be our hosts at their restored, amplified masseria farm with citrus groves and a spa. There'll be cooking lessons with my favorite chefs and dinners paired with fantastic local wines by winery owners. There'll be a morning in Bari-with free time for museums, churches, a visit and tasting with an amazing fishmonger, lunch at my favorite trattoria. I've planned an excursion to Grottaglie for pottery shopping at the source-with a special discount. We'll taste burrata at its very greatest, just formed, mind-boggling, as you've never tasted it before. You'll meet the region's finest pasta maker and learn why his pasta is so special and we'll feast on a pasta-centric lunch. We'll taste taralli and see cavatelli and orecchiette crafted by hand, made with local hard wheat and grano arso, burnt wheat, a local specialty found nowhere else in Italy. I've left free time to enjoy Il Melograno's spa.
I've organized cooking lessons with Felice Sgarra (Umami, Andria), Pietro Zito (Antichi Sapori, Montegrosso), Rosario di Donna ('U Vulesce, Cerignola), Franco Ricatti (Bacco, Bari), Antonella Ricci and Vinod Sookar (Al Fornello da Ricci, Ceglie Messapica), and Peppe Zullo (Peppe Zullo, Orsara di Puglia). Pasta lesson from Benedetto Cavalieri's son Andrea. We'll taste wines from Alberto Longo, Amastuola, A Mano, Antica Enotria, Cantina due Palme, Morella, and Le Fabriche with their producers.
Sunday, October 14-Transportation from the Bari airport to Il Melograno in Monopoli. Merenda snack on arrival. Cooking lesson with Rosario di Donna and his mother Pina from the trattoria 'U Vulesce, Cerignola followed by dinner with winemaker Luigi di Tuccio from Antica Enotria.
Monday, October 15- After a relaxing morning with free time to enjoy Il Melograno's beautiful grounds, we'll have lunch with Felice Sgarra of the restaurant Umami in Andria, featuring burnt-wheat taralli and just-made burrata, and wines by Le Fabriche. Late afternoon seafood lesson with Franco Ricatti from Bacco. Wines from Morella with owner-winemaker Lisa Gilbee.
Tuesday, October 16-The morning will start off with an exploration of Bari's Old Town, followed by a late-morning visit to the church of San Nicola, the city's greatest fish monger, and a light trattoria lunch. Late afternoon cooking lesson with Antonella Ricci and Vinod Sookar of Al Fornello da Ricci followed by dinner with winemaker Angelo Maci of Cantina Due Palme.
Wednesday, October 17-Shopping excursion to Grottaglie for pottery from the best artisan, Franco Fasano-with a special discount. Light seafood lunch on the coast. Late afternoon cooking lesson with Pietro Zito of Antichi Sapori followed by dinner with Giuseppe Sportelli from the winery Amastuola.
Thursday, October 18-Relax and enjoy Il Melograno's beautiful gardens before a pasta lesson with Andrea Cavalieri-he'll prepare a pasta-centric lunch. We'll be drinking the wonderful wines of A Mano with owners-winemakers Mark Shannon and Elvezia Sbalchiero. Then, in the late afternoon, we'll have a cooking lesson with Peppe Zullo of Ristorante Peppe Zullo followed by dinner with winery owner Alberto Longo.
Friday, October 19-Departure with transportation to Bari airport.