Organic cookery holiday in Puglia – Julians review of one of THE best vacations he’s ever had

Cookery holiday guest reviews / Solo traveller reviews

Organic cookery holiday in Puglia – Julians review of one of THE best vacations he’s ever had

Orecchiette pasta with the chefOur Organic cookery holiday in Puglia is not your typical Italian cookery holiday, as food fanatic Julian found out earlier this month. Calling the experience was one of ‘one of THE best vacations I have had’, Julian left the 5* Masseria not only with newfound cookery skills and family recipes, but a great passion for the Masseria’s farmland philosophy and most importantly, fantastic new friends and memories to last a lifetime.

Read some extracts about Julian’s cookery holiday here, or click here to read his full blog post:

Julian’s week in a nutshell: The last 8 days have been a real adventure seeing the sights of Puglia, learning about the food culture, having a pop star as a guide and interpreter, going to an ex-pat birthday party and chilling out with a great bunch of guys at Doppio Passe, Angelo’s private bar.masseria

On being a solo traveller: I was the only guest attending (the cooking course) as its early in the season so I was in for a real treat as they had prepared a bespoke course just for me… My ‘driver’ interpreter Angelo is a really fantastic guy who I now regard as a great friend. I am the only person doing the cookery course this week as it’s early season and he has gone out of his way to make sure I have a fantastic time, being around in the evenings to make sure I have company…

masseria farmland2On the Masseria Montenapoleone’s location: Masseria Montenapoleone – Heaven In the Middle Of Nowhere… OMG, it was an amazing place. This is NOT a tourist destination, it has charm, tranquility, and is set in the middle of nowhere, just what I needed.

The atmosphere at the Masseria: The communial nature of the Masseria enables you to interact with people from other countries in a way that would not happen on a typical holiday, which I really enjoy. Angelo, Julian and Veronica

On the staff at the Masseria: Giuliano is the owner and he joined us for over an hour to explain the history of the Masseria, and answer any questions I had about farming, organic systems and agro-tourism in general… Giuliano is an amazing host, he joined us over dinner for a while later and continued to explain his philosophy and about his love for food and wine.

mozzerellaThe farmland and tasting fresh herbs: Giuliano explained about how the Masseria had been purchased 9 years ago after 45 years of neglect, and pointed out the different areas and their crops. We were stood by a ‘wild area’ which supported the most fragrant thyme, rosemary and wild rocket. We picked some, brushed off the dust and ate some, more bitter than the farmed stuff we get, but just amazing to be able to taste something so fresh and wild.

Dinner at Braceria Fasano, a local butchers and restaurant: On the menu was an aperitif (selection of dishes), which included Beef Carpaccio, Cured Ham, Taralli (little round bakes savory snacks), Polpette (little meat balls made of Pork and Beef) and Olives, they were all delicious. As it was getting late, we had a small taster for mains, some local sausages, Liver, Spicy and Pork all delicious too.  Dessert was a couple of home made cakes slices, one with a vanilla custard the other chocolate. Limoncello finished the meal off nicely.

Making lemon tart and Limoncella: We went into the garden and picked the most amazing lemons fresh of the tree’s for the tart and Limoncello, the skins were quite thick and Giuliano made a simple salad, removing the centre and dressing the skin/pith with Olive Oil, it was just unbelievably tasty… We peeled the skins for the Limoncello, and added some of the leaves from the tree’s which add some colour.

Cornaletti Verdi Fritti finalTypical dishes cooked:
Purea Di Fave
Cornaletti Verdi Fritti
Zucchine Alla Poverella
Strascinate alla Rucola Pesto
Anna-Rita’s Torta al Cioccolate
Polpette Di Carne
Artichoke Risotto
Torta Della Nonna

breakfast spreadSelecting fresh produce during a market visit: Before my next cookery lesson, Angelo was taking me to the fruit and veg wholesale market as he had to pick up produce for his own restaurant. The selection available was the best I have seen with massive peppers, chicory (not the sort we see in the UK) globe cucumbers and a whole host of other ingredients was an eye to behold. This is not on the normal cooking school itinerary but a special treat for me, thanks again Angelo.

On the course instructor Maura and her birthday party: Maura lives on the hills above Fasano and moved over here a view years ago after she fell in love with Puglia, I can understand why. The culture, way of life, and passion for food is something I have not felt a strong as the many wonderful places I have been fortunate to visit over the years. Maura, thank you for a truly wonderful evening (or should I say morning as we finished rather late)!Torta al Cioccolate

Final thoughts: The whole experience was truly amazing… I will be back!

Feeling inspired to learn to cook like a true Italian with new friends in 5* luxury? Email us today at [email protected] or call us on 0845 625 0445 to find out more about our fabulous organic cookery holiday in Puglia

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