Monday, January 6, 2014

New Tours by Yle in Puglia: Eat, cook, learn

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Join acclaimed chef Rachel Woolcott and her local Puglia foodie experts

on an 8 night culinary immersion program that will leave you feeling like a local.


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         This amazing journey will give you an unforgettable week of wine and food tasting, cooking lessons, demonstrations and learning the culinary secrets of this beautiful Italian region.
        As one of the oldest settled parts of Italy, Puglia’s flat, fertile land is ideal for farming and ranching and is also known to produce over 50% of the worlds olive oil.   Miles of coast lends to the freshest seafood while the land provides some of the best wine, vegetables, cured meats, whole grains, fish, burrata and ricotta cheese; all of which you will get a chance to explore. 
       You will shop at local markets, meet the winemakers and farmers of the region and fall in love  with the warmth of the land.   You will meet the most charming local people who are passionate about their lifestyle and produce 
       In addition to cooking, traveling and exploring with chef Rachel, your group will be led daily by professional guides who are experts in the Puglia lifestyle of food and wine.


Day One
            Welcome friends! You’ll arrive at Bari airport and be whisked away by a private transfer.        We will stroll the streets of Bari acclimating ourselves in the old city where women still make orecchietta pasta right there in the streets.
           Our first tasting of the trip will be lunch featuring delicious focaccia in a setting that will acquaint you with the unique Puglia lifestyle.
           Next you will settle in to your accommodations.   Relax and get ready for your welcome wine tasting and a traditional Puglia dinner.


Day Two
           Wake up refreshed and after breakfast we will head to Gioia del Colle, the most famous village in Puglia for mozzarella making.   We will explore this tiny old town to see first hand how mozzarella and burrata are made. Of course we will be tasting too!
            Next stop we drop in on a famous local winery for a special lunch where we will drink in the landscape AND the wine.
            We will make a foodie visit to Polignano a Mare where the small, coved beaches are often tangled with travelers and the fisherman sell their catch right off the boats. We explore the charming old port and famous fishing village followed by a traditional dinner.
 

 Day Three
            After breakfast we will make our way to the town of Altamura, exploring the old city and stopping by a local DOP bread producer (Denominazione d' Origine Protetta "protected designation of origin").

    Here we will have a traditional bread making lesson and learn how to make the most delicious “Focaccia Puliese”.    Next, we go to Matera for lunch followed by an afternoon guided walk of the ancient Sassi Caves .
    We will go back to our accommodations and that evening we will enjoy dinner together and overnight.
     
    Day Four

    After breakfast, we will drive to the Itria Valley to explore the Trulli area, well known for the dry stone huts with conical roofs.    We will stop for a cured meat tastings like Capocollo di Martina Franca and other local food traditions.              We will lunch in a  traditional butcherie serving “Carne al Fornello”.                        In the evening we will enjoy our first cooking class together  where we discuss ingredients and show you how to prepare local specialties. 
Day Five

         After breakfast, we will drive to the Salento area, known as the 'heel' of the Italian 'boot'.  This area is considered one of the magical beauties of Puglia with stunning landscapes, colors and flavors.    Along our journey, we will stop in Alberobello for cheese and bread tasting and a visit to a traditional Trulli Farm complete with all the farm animals. 
        We continue our drive to Lecce, one of the largest towns in Salento and over 2,000 years old.  The Baroque architecture is captivating and after a well deserved lunch we walk it off with a guided tour of the old city.
After such a fulfilling day we will be ready to check into a beautifully restored farmhouse nestled in the countryside just outside of Lecce.    Enjoy the property and relax with a private tasting of the local rose wines before our cooking class and demonstration with Chef Rachel.
           
Day Six
 
It’s all about the wine today! We will learn the delicate nuances of Puglia
wine that distinguish it from others. We finish up breakfast and head out to
taste and explore two exceptional local wineries settled in the Negroamaro
region. We will do extensive wine tastings and learn about the local wine
directly from the winemakers.
There is also a very special lunch planned with the passionate owner of a
well known olive grove. We’ll dine in a private room overlooking the groves
and later head back to the farmhouse for a fun pasta making class accompanied               by dinner.
  
Day Seven
 
       This morning, after breakfast, we hit the Lecce farmer’s market with our guide and enjoy several food tastings. Next up, we head to Gallipoli, the Salento fishermen’s village on the Ionian coast which is surround by high walls which were built to protect it against attacks from the sea.
We will savor a delicious seafood meal followed by a walking tour of the old city. Our afternoon will be spent with a prominent local pastry chef where we will get a hands-on pastry making class.

We head back to our accommodations for a cooking demonstration led by Chef Rachel, then dinner.

Day Eight
 
       After breakfast we will head down the coast a little to the Salento sea village of Otranto, located on the Adriatic coast. On our way we will visit a local food artisan for a tasting.     Lunch will be based on the local dishes we’ve come to know as “cucina povera”, and depending on the weather, we may have our lunch aboard a sailboat, fingers crossed!
      Later that afternoon we’ll stroll through Lecce and have some free time for shopping and independent sight-seeing. We will meet later for a bittersweet ‘arrivederci’ dinner in a very special Lecce restaurant.
 
Day 9.
 
After breakfast you will have a private transfer to Brindisi or Bari airport for your travels home. Safe travels and we look forward to your next visit to Puglia!

RESERVE NOW AT: rachelwoolcott@gmail.com
       

• For further information and a full view of the itinerary please CLICK HERE •

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