IF I WENT ON A COOKING HOLIDAY WHAT COULD I EXPECT?

Experiencing the cuisine of a country is an important part of learning about its history, culture and traditions, as well as meeting the locals and gaining an insight into their everyday lives. The entire Campania region of south western Italy is a joy for food lovers from around the world, who come in droves to explore the rich and interesting food culture this area has to offer. Many will incorporate cookery lesson into their itinerary, as Campania has many culinary schools, individual chefs and private home cooks who organise classes to pass on their knowledge and expertise to those who wish to learn the secrets of southern Italian cuisine.

Classes are generally held in English and Italian, with many culinary schools offering basic Italian language lessons, most commonly related to food and its preparation, as part of the curriculum of their courses. Even those students with no knowledge of Italian will be able to follow the hands on instruction given and after just a few hours will have a working knowledge of the names of the various foods being used. There is every variation of tuition available, from just a few hours or a single day to long courses of a week or more. These culinary tutors range from a two Michelin starred chef who has built a custom designed kitchen and has the help of his own staff to tutor the more advanced student, to typical Italian mamas who invite students into their home kitchens to impart their knowledge of the superb local ingredients and ages old techniques handed down from generation to generation.

These schools and private homes often have their own vegetable patches and herb gardens where students pick garden fresh ingredients for the menu of the day that they are to learn. Most of the teachers will take their students to local markets and speciality cheese, meat and wines shops to purchase the products to be used in that day’s food preparation. In most cases instruction will also be given on the wines produced in the region, with emphasis on pairing such wines with the dishes being taught. Students on a cooking holiday in Campania will be instructed on the special utensils needed, for example those needed for pasta making, as well as the specific techniques needed to replicate excellent examples of the culinary delights of the region. At the end of each preparation segment, the students and teachers generally sit down together to eat and discuss the prepared meal; and where all questions are answered.

We offer two types of cooking holidays in Campania – Rustic Regional Cooking or Restaurant Style Italian Cuisine. Rustic Regional Cooking puts an emphasis on home grown food from Southern Italy. You will be taught how to make local dishes from Nicolina and Pepe such as parmigiana (aubergine layered with cheese and tomato sauce), gnocchi (dumplings made with potatoes), pizza and more. Restaurant Style Italian Cuisine focuses on teaching the secrets of a restaurant style taste that you can prepare wherever you are. On the last day a special gala dinner will be prepared and held at the castle, and a fireworks finale will wrap up your extravagant week.

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