A Southern Sojourn - an Italian food safari

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Highlights

  • Hosted by chef Christine Manfield
  • Exquisite regional produce
  • Sumptuous feasts & fine dining
  • The vitality of the locals and the goodness of rural life
  • Post-tour extension through Puglia - read more

Key Facts

  •   Italy

  •   Great for foodies and luxury lovers

  •   12 days

  •   Hosted by Christine Mandfield

 

This handcrafted journey through Italy explores the prettiest and most productive culinary regions of the south from the baroque beauty of Sicily’s Val di Noto to the rocky peaks of Ragusa, the rural idyll of Ostuni and the fruitful Adriatic and Ionian Seas along the coastline of Puglia. Throughout, you’ll meet small scale farmers and traditional artisanal producers alongside internationally renowned chefs, passionate home cooks and world class winemakers. You’ll begin to understand the influence of Italy’s fascinating history upon its cuisine and dig beneath the surface of its ubiquitous cultural heritage.

Beginning your journey in Sicily you’ll visit a historical produce market, cook at a chef’s private home and master the art of Sicilian pastry, before heading to Ragusa to experience the life of a traditional farming community. You’ll dine on produce fresh from the earth and taste the chocolate of a family who have been producing confectionary since the 1800s. Heading across to Puglia, the ‘heel of the boot’, you’ll stay in Ostuni on the Adriatic coast where you’ll sample Mediterranean red prawns, mussels and sea urchins plucked fresh from the ocean, then travel inland to sample some of the region’s finest cheese, meats, wine, olives, pasta and gelato.

Travelling by road you’ll pass through pretty whitewashed villages and areas of traditional cone‐roofed trulli housing, take in splendid ocean views and explore remote villages and farmland. Along the way you’ll stay in a hand picked selection of historical private residences and elegant masserias (traditional stone farmhouses) all offering exceptional dining experiences.

Travelling with Christine on this bespoke culinary safari you’ll immerse yourself in rural Italian life and share the locals’ sense of joyful vitality while deepening your appreciation of Italy’s many gastronomic delights.

 

Itinerary Details

Day 1 | Val di Noto | 3 nights        

Arrive at Catania airport this morning,  transfer to your hotel, check‐in and have some time to rest and freshen up. A relaxed hosted welcome dinner is scheduled for this evening at your hotel.

Day 2 | Val di Noto                          

After breakfast visit the historical food market of Ortigia and purchase fresh ingredients for lunch which you will prepare at a local chef's home. Drive to Noto and explore the town, stopping at Caffe Sicilia to meet Corrado Assenza, the master of all Sicilian pastry chefs ‐ sample his gelato jams and creams. This evening dinner is at a local restaurant in Noto.

Day 3 | Val di Noto

Visit and meet Signor Agosto, a man devoted to bees who makes spectacular honey. Visit the beautiful fishing village of Marzememi and enjoy amazingly fresh and simple seafood. A private dining experience is scheduled at Masseria Delle Volpe this evening.

Day 4 | Ragusa | 2 nights

Check out and head to the fishing village of Donna Lucata to meet a local food expert and cookbook author Roberta, who has devoted her life to Sicilian cuisine. Enjoy lunch with Roberta and her husband, who is also a local chef. Stop at a donkey farm for a chance to gain a full understanding of the history and farming culture. A hosted dinner will be scheduled back at the hotel this evening.

Day 5 | Ragusa

Visit an 'Aromi Farm' this morning, a farm that cultivates more than 120 varietes of plants and aromatic herbs ‐ sample the herbs and learn all about their uses. Lunch is at the farm before heading to Modica, the chocolate capital of Siciliy to enjoy a chocolate tasting by the Bonajuto family who has been making chocolate since 1880. Dinner tonight is with Katia, a self‐made home cook and expert in all Sicilian cuisine.

Day 6 | Ostuni | 3 nights                     

An early breakfast prior to check‐out and departure transfer this morning for your flight to Brindisi. On arrival drive to a local seaside town for a late afternoon cocktail. Dinner this evening is at Osteria Tempo del Perso.

Day 7 | Ostuni

Morning visit to the local market in Noci and at Locorotondo. Sample burrata and enjoy lunch at a local dairy farm. Head out late this afternoon and explore the town of Ostuni on a walking tour ‐ enjoy those sunset views! Dinner this evening is at a butcher's shop in the hilltop town of Cisternino.         

Day 8 | Ostuni                                         

Get stuck into a hands‐on cooking experience including lunch at Montenapoleone, centering around focaccia and pasta using flour grown on the estate. In the afternoon visit and participate in an olive oil tasting at Masseria Brancati. Dinner tonight is at the hotel at Il Cielo Restaurant, with a one‐star Michelin rating.

Day 9 | Lecce | 3 nights                                  

A late morning check out and some free time for shopping and relaxing befroe transferring by road (approx 1 hr) to Lecce. Lunch is at Cibus in Ceglie Messapica and you will head out on a 45 minute walking tour of the town known for its gastronomy while in the area. This afternoon enjoy a wine tasting at Masseria Li Veli before checking in to Masseria Trapana and dinner in their fabulous on‐site restaurant.

Day 10 | Lecce                                                                                                                                             

This morning head out on a walking tour of Lecce. Participate in a cooking class today with Chef Gianna and savour your creations for lunch. A hosted dinner is included this evening at local restaurant Bros.

Day 11 | Lecce                                                                                                                                                          

Drive to Otranto and explore the town, ramparts and the cathedral. Lunch is served at Le Stanzie before heading back to your masseria hotel for some leisure time. Enjoy a final farewell dinner this evening with your group at Masseria Trapana ‐ pizza making!

Day 12 | Day of departure                                                                                                                                                           

Today marks the end of the itinerary. A morning at leisure before being transferred to the airport.

 

Please note: a post-tour extension through Puglia has been designed to dovetail with this itinerary. Read more.

 

Please contact us for a full itinerary with details of all experiences and accommodation



About Christine Manfield

Christine Manfield is undoubtedly one of Australia’s most celebrated chefs. Curious in her endeavours and unparalleled in her culinary executions, she draws on impressive tastes and flavours from her travels around the globe. A renowned chef, Manfield is also a food and travel writer, food manufacturer, presenter, teacher and gastronomic traveller. As an award‐winning author, her books – A Personal Guide to India & Bhutan, Dessert Divas, Tasting India, Fire, Spice, Stir, Paramount Cooking and Paramount Desserts are testament to her ability to bring innovation and excitement into the lives of eager cooks everywhere.

Manfield was a restaurateur with three highly successful restaurants: Paramount in Sydney 1993 to 2000, East@West in London 2003 to 2005 and Universal 2007 to 2013. Her diverse work portfolio includes mentoring and collaborating with chefs and industry colleagues, hosting pop‐up events in Australia and overseas, working as a national judge for the Delicious Produce Awards and the Electrolux Appetite for Excellence Young Restaurateur Awards and Brand Ambassador for Byron Bay Cookies. She is also Food Director at Pearl Catering in Sydney.

A constant adventurer, Christine continues to broaden her global interests with custom gastronomic tours to alluring destinations including India, Africa, Bhutan, France, South East Asia, Italy, South America and Tasmania. With the grace, humour and experience that Christine brings, this delicious safari promises nothing less than an exceptional gastronomical adventure in one of the most delicious parts of the world.

For more information, please head to www.christinemanfield.com


Key Facts

  • Hosted by Chef Christine Manfield
  • 12 days
  • 20 to 31 May 2020
  • Begins: Val di Noto, Sicily & ends: Lecce, Puglia
  • Euro 10,890 per person, twin share
  • For further details and a full itinerary please contact us
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