Credited with helping to transform Copenhagen into the foodie capital it is today, renowned chef Christian Puglisi is returning to the exquisite villa Rocca delle Tre Contrade in Sicily this Autumn to host a week-long immersive cooking course for gastronomes and amateur cooks alike.
For the Sicilian-born chef, the opportunity to cook professionally in the land of culinary heritage is something he holds dear. Having left Italy for Denmark as a child in 1990, Puglisi’s glittering career was carved out very much on Danish soil. The 39-year-old chef worked in the kitchen of Copenhagen’s celebrated eatery Noma, before setting up his own restaurant, Relæ, in the capital in 2010, becoming the world’s first Michelin-starred restaurant to be certified organic.
Italian-born Puglisi is one of a group of chefs credited with putting Copenhagen on the global food map. Puglisi delivered the week-long course at the villa in 2019 and will return this Autumn / ©P A Jorgensen
Villa Rocca delle Tre Contrade features an impressive demonstration kitchen / ©The Thinking Traveller
The week-long course — which will run from October 16-23, 2021, and again from April 23-30, 2022 — will afford up to 16 guest guests the unique chance to dive into the diverse and delicious world of Sicilian food culture. Through a series of dedicated hands-on workshops under the guidance of Puglisi, his team from Relæ, and the in-house villa cucina team, participants will master everything from the art of cheese-making to baking the perfect sourdough as well as masterclasses on shellfish, charcuterie, traditional Sicilian cookery and low-intervention wines.
The learning will not however be kept to the confines of the kitchen as guests will be invited to sample the bountiful culinary landscape of the Mediterranean’s largest island through an itinerary of unique experiences. Highlights include meeting the pioneering farmer who saved the native Nebrodi black pig from extinction, partaking in Sicily’s famed lemon harvest, foraging for ingredients and of course sampling the delights of Sicily’s ancient street foods.
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Home for the week will be the 12-bedroomed Rocca delle Tre Contrade, which occupies an unparalleled panoramic position on Sicily’s east coast flanked by the lava peak of Mount Etna and the Ionian Sea. The grounds of the former aristocratic estate feature an abundance of fresh produce in the form of lemon groves, fruit orchards and vegetable gardens as well as a spectacular 25-meter, south-facing heated infinity pool. The perfect spot to unwind after a day of cooking (and eating).
The villa is located 15-miles north of Catania on Sicily’s northeast coast / ©The Thinking Traveler
Rocca delle Tre Contrade offers an elegant blend of old and new with authentic antique pieces, reclaimed furniture and original features hinting at the villa’s 19th-century noble origins / ©The Thinking Traveler
“We are extremely proud to have Christian with us here in Sicily for this extraordinary and unique week-long workshop. We have a shared vision about authentic, local ingredients and pure flavors, and are looking forward to experiencing it first-hand,” says Jon Moslet, owner of Rocca delle Tre Contrade.
Puglisi is however not the only chef set to grace the kitchen of Rocca delle Tre Contrade which has enjoyed somewhat of a glittering gastronomic line-up since launching its Culinary Week series. Following on from Puglisi will be the legendary Michael Tusk, owner of San Francisco’s three-Michelin-starred-restaurant Quince, who is set to host an immersive week-long course at the villa in May 2022.
Christian Puglisi’s one-week cooking course at Rocca delle Tre Contrade in Sicily is bookable exclusively through The Thinking Traveller and costs from $6,975 per person (based on two sharing) including all meals, accommodation and transfers, thethinkingtraveller.com/puglisi
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