Join one of our exclusive culinary retreats in Puglia or Palermo led by Rocco Forte Hotel’s Creative Director of Food, and explore Italy’s delicious local ingredients and vibrant culture.
Immerse yourself in Italy’s fascinating history by listening to anecdotes about different recipes, and contact us to register your interest in our future culinary retreats.
Searching for Gold in Puglia
Olive oil is Puglia’s lifeblood and the varieties pressed here are said to be among the best in the world. For Fulvio, the oil is one of life’s greatest luxuries. “Knowing that there are only 100 of these bottles, knowing the producer who has made it, the scarcity of these olives and the fact that they have not been treated with pesticides is priceless,” he once told the Food & Wine Gazette.
Our four-night experience at Masseria Torre Maizza has the liquid gold at its heart, but it’s time spent with a culinary master that makes it extra special. Puglia is renowned as instrumental in the slow travel movement – a place to absorb the goodness that comes from its abundant land and water. Drawing on the local landscape is also central to Fulvio’s philosophy. “I have a good knowledge of produce and ingredients thanks to the way I’ve always eaten with my family,” he says.
This journey will take you from the sea to the sun-dappled olive groves, via local dairies, vineyards and the region’s famous trulli houses as you explore all of Puglia’s gastronomic delights. There’s the chance to head out on fishing boats in search of the daily catch before turning it into Apulian sushi in the sunshine-filled surrounds of the Citrus Garden. Guests can also make focaccia and mozzarella with local artisans, as well as harvesting olives and tasting the oil they are made into.
Of course, there’s time to explore Puglia’s captivating landscapes too, including unofficial trulli capital Alberobello and the famous caves of Ostuni. Fulvio will be there to guide you along the way, sharing his expertise over long lunches and dinners at the hotel and beyond.
Palermo - The Cuisine of the Gattopardo
“In Sicily, even the cuisine is the sum of various cultures and religions that have followed one another over the centuries,” Fulvio once told Huffman Travel. A capital of art and gastronomy, Palermo is the ideal place to take a four night deep dive into the island’s cosmopolitan history through food and wine. And Villa Igiea, once the centre of the Sicilian social scene, makes the perfect base.
As Fulvio says, “the most important phase in approaching a new location is the discovery of the place itself and the people who live there. They can provide splendid products to feel, fall in love with and cook”. Where better to start than the renowned Teatro Massimo, where opera and ballet often take centre stage but where, on this occasion, food is the star of an exclusive evening experience.
“Before entering the kitchen of a new restaurant, I visit the local markets. I try to understand as much as possible and then I go back there with the Chef. This is where everything begins,” says Fulvio. On this trip, you’ll inhale the intoxicating atmosphere of the Capo and Ballaro markets, buying the finest produce to transform into a delicious meal in the kitchens of Florio, Villa Igiea’s Belle Époque inspired restaurant.
With Fulvio, you will also see what the sea has to offer on a boat trip and get the opportunity to blend your own wine in the opulent surroundings of Villa Tasca, a palatial historic home surrounded by sprawling gardens.
Finally, there is the chance to savour Fulvio’s delicious cooking during a four-hand dinner in the romantic surrounds of Villa Chiaramonte Bordonaro, in collaboration with its chef. Take away a recipe book and a hamper of Sicilian ingredients so you can recreate what you’ve learned at home.
Further adventures in Sicily and Tuscany
Fulvio Pierangelini, Rocco Forte Hotels’ Creative Director of Food, famously earned two Michelin stars at Gambero Rosso for thirty years, elevating a modest Italian port restaurant to widespread acclaim. His passion for simple ingredients, cooked well, has placed him at the forefront of gastronomy.
Feeling inspired? Get in touch by emailing RFInsider@roccofortehotels.com to find out more and be the first to register your interest for Fulvio's latest tours. Discover more about Italy’s intriguing food history, enlivened by Fulvio’s passion for cooking, and contact us to register your interest in his future culinary retreats.