Food & Wine of Catania™

Cooking With Chef Davide – 5 Days

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Join us in our Sicilian kitchen with Chef Davide for a hands-on cooking experience in the heart of historic Catania. Chef Davide will awaken your five senses, both in the kitchen and at the outdoor market ~ as you wander through cobblestone streets and revel in the seaside air. Along with your Chef, shop at La Pescheria, Catania’s famous fish market and choose your ingredients for a four-course Sicilian dinner complete with antipasto, pasta, main and a homemade dessert. Learn how to prepare pasta alla Norma, the famous Catanian dish, just the way Vincenzo Bellini would admire. Choose from the freshest tuna, squid or hand-picked oranges among the local markets as Chef Davide guides you through the rich flavors of the city center. From smoked salmon carpaccio, red tuna fillets, pistachio-crusted black Nebrodi pork, fresh pasta, to cannoli and desserts with almonds of Avola, Chef Davide plays to the tastes, sounds and sights of the moment. Close your eyes, tie on your aprons and take in Sicilian scents as you cook with on the products that grow in the shadow of Mt. Etna.

Catania Cooking Classes

Chef Davide fell in love with the kitchen growing up in Catania. He first followed his passion to Tuscany, where he studied under Carmelo Chiaromante, a prominent Sicilian chef who taught him the value of Sicily’s fine fish selection and its precious almonds and pistachios. After cooking on the international scene in Copenhagen, Chef Davide returned to his beloved Catania with an innovative eye, where he was eager to share his passion for his seaside home and its enviable produce and beautiful climate.

With Chef Davide’s local expertise, you’ll learn how to prepare a four course meal – antipasto of eggplant pie and baked ricotta cheese; followed by fresh pasta making, cooking tagliolini with prawns and squid; a main course of tuna fillet with pistachio crust and hand-selected seasonal vegetables. For the finale, you’ll prepare a traditional Sicilian dolce of spinella pears picked on Mt. Etna cooking then dipped in caramel sauce. Che bello!
During our cooking week we will venture beyond seafood to prepare a homemade pasta or meat dish of your choice. Chef Davide’s own specialties include Ravioli alla Norma, a twist on the traditional Pasta alla Norma originating in Catania, and pork fillet with ragusano cheese and seasonal vegetables – however, Davide is eager to tailor his recipes to your mood and personal tastes, allowing your creativity to flourish as you embrace his knowledge of the Catanian culinary tradition.


The city of Catania has forever fascinated Greek, Roman and Byzantine rulers, as explorers eager to cultivate the fertile soil settled on the seaside land centuries ago. Despite its tumultuous natural history, with earthquakes destroying the city in the 12th century and an equally damaging volcanic eruption 500 years later, Catania was rebuilt into a city of wonder, with cobblestone alleyways opening onto large floral piazzas and majestic buildings constructed of black volcanic rock. Of particular interest is the Duomo di Catania, the Baroque-style cathedral built along Via Vittorio Emanuele, just a short walking distance from your accommodations. For the more adventurous traveler, hike or drive to Etna Park for stunning sunset views of Mt. Etna. The still-active volcano supplies Catania with a plethora of seasonal produce throughout the year. Etna promises a rich soil ideal for growing lemons, oranges, pistachios and of course, grapes, allowing for a host of vineyards that offer wine tastings with local artisan foods and sweeping coastal views.


Your charming hotel is located in the historic district of Catania, nestled on a quiet street just west of the sea. A continental breakfast and freshly-squeezed orange juice are served each morning in the sunny courtyard. Each room is decorated in a traditional Sicilian style with private ensuite bathrooms, free Wi-Fi, SKY satellite TV and daily maid service. There is also a solarium for relaxing. Of particular interest is the hotel’s proximity to La Pescheria, where you will be engaging your senses, choosing from freshly-caught fish, meats, salume, Sicilian oranges piled high, artisan milk cheeses and pistachios, all beneath the gaze of the stunning Mount Etna. There is also an organic herb garden where Chef Davide grows all of the herbs used in the cooking classes.


Day 1 Arrival & Welcome Dinner

  • Arrival transfer from Catania airport to the property
  • Relax and check-in.
  • Chef’s Welcome dinner. Glass of local red or white wine included.

Day 2 Market Tour & Cooking Class 1

  • Continental breakfast featuring fresh squeezed Sicilian orange juice. (American breakfast can be requested for a surcharge).
  • Following breakfast, meet Chef Davide for your morning tour of La Pescheria, the largest fish market in Catania, with an English-speaking guide. Purchase ingredients for a four-course led by our Chef.
  • A city tour of Catania to the Piazza Duomo located a short walk from the market.
  • Return to kitchen for Cooking Class 1. Roll up your sleeves and get busy creating your full traditional Catanian menu with Chef Davide. As you cook, stop and enjoy tastings of typical products prepared by the Chef.
  • Lunch follows with the four courses prepared in class. Glass of local red or white wine included. (Additional wine and beverages may be purchased at a surcharge).
  • Afternoon free. Suggestion – take time out to explore the beautiful piazzas, churches, cafés or ride on a typical horse-drawn carriage or stop in to the Ciminiere musuem. Pull up a chair at any one of colorful cafés and watch the people stroll by.
  • Dinner on your own. Suggestions available on request.

Day 3 Visit to Etna & Winery

  • Continental breakfast is served.
  • Meet your driver and guide for a half-day tour of Mount Etna. Admire sweeping views over Sicily’s plains from Europe’s most active volcano. The driver takes you up to an official point with time for you to walk around. As you walk the slope of Etna, keep your eyes open for loose pieces of black magma and the picturesque views for photo opportunities as well.
  • On Etna, enjoy a Vineyard & Winery Visit at one of Sicily’s most celebrated wine producer’s, with discussion, wine tastings and artisan food tasting.
  • Dinner on your own – suggestions available upon request.

Day 4 Market Tour & Cooking Class 2

  • Continental breakfast is served.
  • After breakfast, meet up for an early morning start for a visit to a smaller local market led by Chef Davide and English-speaking guide. Along with Chef Davide, decide on the day’s menu and purchase ingredients for meat courses or a homemade tagliolini pasta.
  • Return to kitchen for Cooking Class 2. Lunch follows and includes the food prepared in class. Toast of local red or white wine included.
  • Afternoon & evening free.
  • Dinner on your own. Suggestions available on request.

Day 5

  • Continental breakfast is served.
  • Check-out and transfer to Catania Airport.
  • Ciao Catania!

Note: This sample itinerary schedule may vary due to inclement weather, saints days; festivals. All activities, in the event of rescheduling, are always included during the week.

Program Includes:

  • 5 days/4 nights accommodations, based on double occupancy in 4-Star Accommodations. Click to View!
  • Daily breakfast.
  • Chef’s Tasting Dinner on your first night, a toast of wine included.
  • 2 Hands-on cooking classes (antipasto, pasta, second dish & dolce) followed by lunch/dinner with the foods prepared in class.
  • 2 market visits, shopping with the Chef, and with English-speaking guide before your cooking classes
  • Excursion to Etna with private driver & guide. Stop along the way for fabulous photo opportunities.
  • Winery visit with wine tasting with artisan foods.
  • Round trip group transfers from Catania Airport/Train Station.
  • Welcome bag with chef’s apron and recipe booklet.
Program Price:

$1,695 per person, based on double occupancy.
Please contact us for single pricing.

Check Availability

2021 Dates: This program is available throughout the year. You can check in and start your cooking program any day of the week, as this program is offered 12 months per year. Rates are subject to change based on currency exchange. Call for updated rates. Airfare not included. Group transfers for any cooking tour or tours that include transfers, are for the group and are not private. Transfers before, after or to another destination outside of your cooking tour are not included in the program price. If you would like to add on a private transfer or transfers, let us know and we will send you pricing.