On Thursday I am flying to Greece for the June adventure on the small Dodecanese island. This will be the first time I am renting a house where we can cook when we feel like it. I have been emailing shopping lists for basic ingredients and lots of white wine and beer to be stacked in the fridge waiting our arrival. We will shop for fresh ingredients on a daily basis on our way home from the sea. It is very exciting.
When I come home I have a few cooking lessons in Rome and then I am driving down to Puglia to firm up the school for October. The first cooking school I ever ran was in Monopoli. Puglia used to be part of Magna Grecia and in many ways it reminds of Greece although I have to say the food is probably more interesting because it has that magic Italian touch. Federico 11, The Holy Roman Emperor who died in 1250, better known as Stupor Mundi, loved Puglia. He called himself ‘puer Apuliae’ and built castles throughout the area. I always visit Castel del Monte, the strange octagonal building dominating the landscape near Andria, and the Romanesque cathedral at Trani, built in on the sea front. I think Puglia is probably one of the most fascinating regions in Italy, and I say this before I even get on to the food ! When I first ran a cooking school in Puglia the region was virtually unknown outside Italy and for people joining me it was unknown territory. Now Puglia has been discovered but it is not yet spoiled by tourism and we are often the only foreigners in the local market. My daughter, Caroline, took one look and fell in love. She now lives there permanently and is establishing herself as THE person if you are looking to buy or rent a holiday property. She like to cook too and her blog says it all.
There is still space in the October Puglia week