May 2020 - SOLD OUT
24 Sept - 2 Oct 2020 - AVAILABLE
This is a food-focused journey into a unique part of Italy, and the landscape which has shaped it. For people who are passionate about food & culture (whatever your cooking ability). All profits will go to Bristol charity, Square Food Foundation
Between the Mountains & the Sea
£1350 per person | All Inclusive
What to Expect
BETWEEN THE MOUNTAINS & THE SEA
A revealing culinary and cultural adventure of cooking, markets, wonderful restaurants, walking in the hills with a shepherd, a little foraging, an Abruzzese BBQ, beautiful churches, wine, olive oil, cheese…. All in the company of your host, Steve - and two professional and passionate chefs who have only just recently fallen in love with this amazing and very different part of Italy.
A REGION APART
Arriving in the Abruzzo region for the first time, you might think you were somewhere other than Italy. Separated from the rest of the country by the Apennine mountains, it was not until the 1960s and the building of tunnels connecting the region with Rome and Bologna, that people began to travel there at all. Its economy remains almost entirely agricultural and self-sufficient, geographically defined by the borders of the Gran Sasso, the highest part of the Apennines on one side and the Adriatic sea on the other. Small wonder that Abruzzese food traditions are a reflection of its landscape as well as its people and that, more than other parts of Italy, it has retained its links to traditional produce and cultures.
Abruzzo is also recognised as the greenest region in Europe as almost half of its territory, the largest in Europe, is set aside as national parks and protected nature reserves. These ensure the survival of 75% of Europe's living species, including rare species such as the small wading dotterel, the golden eagle, the Abruzzese chamois, the Apennine wolf and the Marsican brown bear.
You will stay within the regional park, half way between the massive Gran Sasso mountains, that loom 10,000 feet up over the villa, and the sea, both part of the panoramic view from the terrace.
Abruzzo is home to a rich diversity of products and ingredients, unique to the region and all with a story. Some 17 of them, from cheese and apples to lentils and olive oil, are part of the Slow Food Ark of Taste – a measure of their global significance in the world of food traditions . We will be visiting some of these producers, (such as the wonderful Danielle D’Agostini sheep’s milk cheese produced 800metres up in the hills above villa), we will be using many of them to cook with.
We will eat some seafood in a Traboccho, an ancient wooden fishing structure on stilts out in the sea and mugnaia (pasta) and other traditional Abruzzese dishes in a venerable trattoria in the hills near the villa . You will travel up the Gran Sasso mountains - beautiful, wild and un-touristic and a place of ancient pasturelands near the summit and sample some of the produce from local herds, cooking one of the specialties of the region – arrosticini - and visit a medieval mountain village and a 10th century fortress, the highest in the Apennines.
At luxury, 5-bed villa, Casa del Colle
You will stay at Casa del Colle, a recently completed, large, architect-designed villa with incredible panoramic views, encompassing both the mountains and the sea, set in in its own grounds of 2.5 acres with space to relax, either inside or outside by the large salt water pool.
I love what this part of Italy means for me and want to share it. I have a passion for how rural Italy has retained a connection with the land and local food (and food traditions) that I feel we have lost; a connection that isn’t simply a nostalgic backward look at a way of life that most of the western world is loosing, but an approach to food that we need to rediscover. In hosting these tours I want to share that passion and give something back feel to a local economy with traditions that I cherish and the families and farmers who have made such an impact on my life
Rosie Sykes is a chef and food writer who has cooked in the kitchens of some of Britain’s most celebrated chefs, including Joyce Molyneux, Shaun Hill and Alistair Little. She ran her own critically acclaimed gastropub, The Sutton Arms in Smithfield, London.
Rosie has written for several national publications including 2 years as The Kitchen Doctor for the Guardian Weekend Magazine and more recently had a column called Good for you in Guardian Cook. She has worked as a development chef for restaurants scattered across the UK and is still a freelance chef and consultant whilst trying to set up her own food based charity in Cambridge.
Rosie is the author of The Kitchen Revolution (2008) and The Sunday Night Book (2017) and has another book in the pipeline due out in Spring 2020.
Barny Haughton is a chef, restaurateur and cookery teacher. Over the last 25 years, he has run three award-winning restaurants in Bristol (Rocinantes, Quartier Vert and Bordeaux Quay). He is currently Founding Director and lead teacher at Square Food Foundation. Square Food Foundation is Bristol’s community cookery school and the 2018 winner of the Crumbs Award for best Cookery School.
Based in Knowle West, South Bristol, Square Food Foundation teaches people from all backgrounds and of all ages and abilities to cook good food from scratch.
Barny was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the 2013 Bristol Good Food Awards and was named Food Hero by the BBC Radio 4 Food & Farming Awards in 2016.
Square Food Foundation
Square Food offers life-changing cookery courses and classes that promise to inform, encourage and inspire your approach to cooking. Every penny of profit from masterclasses, corporate workshops and private parties supports our work with schools and community groups. Square Food Foundation is a registered charity (no. 1173323)
Every year, we reach around 800 people of all ages, abilities and walks of life, teaching them to cook good food from scratch.
Your support will help us deliver more classes, courses and demonstrations to people of all ages, abilities and all walks of life.
Cooking can change your life!
What it includes
Full board at Casa del Colle based on shared occupancy of a double room
All restaurant meals
Dedicated chefs, Barny and Rosie, for the whole week
Transfer and full touring itinerary
Flights from Bristol. Should you wish to book your own travel to/from Casa del Colle, the price will be £1150 exclusive of flights, allowing you to fly, drive or take a train from a city of your choosing.
What it doesn’t include
Single room supplement. Price per person is based on two adults sharing a room.
Items of personal nature such as telephone calls or gifts to bring back
This is for a group of 8-10 friends/family or 5 individuals/couples, you will have your own luxury, king-size bed (with Egyptian cotton sheets, of course). If you have any questions, please do get in touch with Steve using the contact form below.