Chef Rosario leads you in the kitchen for your Sicilian cooking class week. Tie on your apron and get ready to cook Sicilian food while sipping local wine. This five-night and six-day program will introduce you to western Sicilian cooking near Palermo. The food and cooking style of Sicily has influence from Spanish, Arabic and Norman flavors in recipes such as Pollo Marsala, Caponata, eggplant and caper salad, pasta with fennel and sardines, red mullet in sweet onion sauce, fresh calamari stewed in sweet tomato sauce, Coniglio con salsa di mandorle, lots of artichokes – served roasted on an open grill, stuffed or sautéed – Sicilian orange salad, and zabaglione.
Chef Rosario prepares fresh, healthy pasta with local garden herbs and spices, baked or grilled Mediterranean fish such as swordfish, tuna, sardines and mackerel, and shares his tricks for traditional local classics like cassata, cannoli and pistachio biscotti.
The region from Palermo to Trapani is famous for its history and natural beauty, boasting such landmarks as the Zingaro Nature Reserve, the magnificent castle and churches of Alcamo, the Byzantine beauty and Arab symmetry of Monreale’s cathedral. Also nearby are the salt pans of Trapani and the ancient Greek monuments of Segesta, all a reflection of the extraordinary heritage of this corner of Sicily. For the food, art or history lover, there is something for everyone in Sicily.
Sicily Cooking Classes
Sicilian cooking is seasonal and staple ingredients include tomatoes, eggplants, bell peppers, artichokes, along with freshly made ricotta cheese, almonds, pistachios and an infinite variety of fresh fish. These ingredients make up the basis of your cooking classes with Chef Rosario, who will have you creating a variety of his specialties such as pasta finocchio e sarde, with wild fennel and fresh baby sardines, pesce spade in agrodolce, sweet and sour swordfish, ending with cassatelle di ricotta, fresh ricotta pastry. You can also learn how to make pasta al pesto Trapanese, and timbales of artichoke and scampi along with rustic Sicilian Antipasti, a variety of local meats grilled, roasted and stuffed, and always ending with a delicious dolce such as cassata siciliana.
Classes and menus vary with the seasons and the availability of fresh produce, and can be tailored to accommodate all food allergies and dietary needs.
Trapani & Alcamo
Trapani offers the enchanting panorama of the most important salt pans of Europe, and Sicilian sea salt is known throughout the world. Located in a sickle-shaped peninsula, Trapani is a city whose origins are surrounded in myths.
Alcamo is a small city in the province of Trapani, situated in the center of the Gulf of Castellammare. Rising at the foot of Monte Bonifato, it represents one of the most important locations in Sicily for wine production. Historically, Alcamo became famous for the writings of poet Cielo d’Alcamo, and had a boom in its cultural and artistic growth with the construction of churches and buildings at first in Baroque style, then Renaissance style. This was followed by an influx of numerous international painters, sculptors and artists who have helped this small city gain international recognition.
“I have searched Calabria, Tuscany and Lombardy, Puglia, Constantinople, Genoa, Pisa, Syria, Germany, and Babylon, and all Barbary: I have not found a woman so gracious. I have taken you to be my queen.”
~ Cielo d’Alcamo
Set on the beach of the coastal road of Castellammare del Golfo, your accommodation offers breathtaking views over a crystalline sea. The 23 rooms, which include 3 suites and 2 rooms with disabled access, are infused with Mediterranean colors and attractively furnished, and are equipped with modern amenities: Satellite TV, telephone, Wi-Fi internet connection, mini bar, in-room safe, and air conditioning. The private ensuite bathrooms come with shower or bathtub with hydro-massage, hairdryer and a complimentary beauty kit.
Naturally, all other areas of the hotel are equally comfortable: a beautiful terrace that comes with a gorgeous pool complete with lounge chairs and umbrellas, and a lounge bar and restaurant where guests can sample the delicious local cuisine. The daily Continental breakfast is served in the breakfast room and also on the terrace, and the buffet comes with the added bonus of typical Sicilian sweets. In this little corner of paradise, you will find a relaxing and welcoming ambiance where you will be taken care of by warm Sicilian hospitality, at your service for anything you may need.
Add On Extra Days And Experience Sicily!
Excursions to Segesta and Erice – touring to the towns of Segesta and Erice with delicious tasting of traditional sweets.
Marsala Wine Tour and a visit to Saline – A guided tour of an historic winery with a wine tasting included. Also included is a walking tour in Saline between the windmills.
Mini Cruise to the Egadi Islands with transfers by a luxury minibus from Castellammare del Golfo.
Mini Cruise of Castellammare del Golfo, Tonnara di Scopello and Zingaro Nature Reserve.
Full day excursion to Agrigento with driver included.
Full excursion to San Vito lo Capo with driver included.
Prices vary depending on group size. Call us for pricing.
Itinerary: 6 Days, 5 Nights
Day 1: Arrival & Check-In
- Arrival transfer from Palermo Airport or Train Station to property.
- Welcome aperitivo and introduction to your cooking program.
- Chef’s Welcome dinner featuring a full course tasting menu featuring Sicilian fare. (Wine, beverages, after-dinner liqueurs and caffè available at a surcharge.)
Day 2: Cooking Class 1
- Breakfast is served.
- In the morning, head to the kitchen for your Cooking Class 1 with Chef Rosario. Learn the tradition of selecting and preparing fish with seasonal local ingredients and preparing an antipasto, pasta and dessert with a toast of local wine.
- Afternoon free to explore the area or relax by the beach.
- Dinner on your own.
Day 3: Cooking Class 2 and Wine Tour & Tasting
- Breakfast is served.
- In the morning, tie on your apron and head into the kitchen for Cooking Class 2 Learn the tradition of selecting and preparing seasonal local ingredients and preparing a full menu featuring Sicilian fare with a toast of wine included.
- In the afternoon, meet your driver for an excursion to a Sicilian winery with visit and wine tasting included. Sicilian wines are traditionally full-bodied blessed by the sun and volcanic soil.
- Dinner on your own.
Day 4: Cooking Class 3
- Breakfast is served.
- In the morning, head to the kitchen for your Cooking Class 3 with Chef Rosario and learn more about the delights of Sicilian pasta and sauces and Sicilian desserts. Alongside our chef you will prepare four recipes including an antipasto, pasta, main course and dessert. Learn how to prepare Cassata Siciliana, prepared with layers of sponge cake, Sicilian liqueur, fresh Ricotta and canditi and marzipan. Enjoy tastings during your class at an open table with your chef and including a toast of wine.
- Afternoon free. Explore on your own or relax on the beach.
- Dinner on your own. (Suggestions available on request.)
Day 5: Excursion to Palermo-Monreale & Chef’s Tasting Dinner
- Breakfast served.
- After breakfast, enjoy an excursion to Palermo. Palermo, the capital city of Sicily, is bustling with markets and street vendors, with the Vucceria market perhaps the most famous of them all. The word Vucceria translates to voices or babble in Sicilian dialect, and once you’re there you’ll realize why! Stroll the city streets and discover the incredible churches – almost always with architectural styles like a colorful collage – Roman, Baroque, Byzantine and Norman blend together- very much like Sicilian culture.
- Enjoy Palermo’s famous street food – a deep fried arancino, rice ball, crocché, potato croquettes, panelle, chickpea fritters or brioche filled gelato. Following your tour, return to property.
- Chef’s Farewell dinner featuring a full course tasting menu featuring Sicilian fare.
Day 6: Departure & Arrivederci
- Breakfast is served.
- Check out and transfer to Palermo Airport or Train Station.
*Note: This schedule may vary due to inclement weather, saint days or festivals. All activities, in the event of rescheduling, are always included during the program.
- 6 days, 5 nights accommodations in a sea-view room, based on 2 guests.
- Daily breakfast and maid service.
- Chef’s Welcome dinner featuring a full course tasting menu featuring local fare. (Wine, beverages, after-dinner liqueurs and caffè available at a surcharge).
- Chef’s Farwell dinner featuring a full course tasting menu featuring local fare with a toast of wine included.
- 3 hands-on cooking classes with 3- or 4-course menu with Chef Rosario, with lunch/dinner following on the foods prepared in class with a toast of wine included.
- Visit to local Sicilian winery – visit and wine tasting included.
- Excursion to Palermo with driver and discover its many beautiful cathedrals, bustling markets and colorful street food stands.
- Arrival and departure transfers from and to Palermo Airport or Train Station.
- Cooking Vacations welcome bag with chef’s apron, Prosecco and recipe booklet.
- A copy of Lauren’s book, It’s A Dream Place – Stories & Recipes of Food, Love and the Amalfi Coast.
Low Season: $1,995 per person, based on 2 guests, in sea-view room. September 1 to June 30
High Season: $2,795 per person, based on 2 guests, in sea-view room. July 1 to August 31.
For Single Guests: If you are traveling on your own, please call us for the best group price. We are happy to welcome you into an already scheduled group.
*Prices start at an additional $300 per person per program for a suite or jr. suite. Call for availability and pricing.