The Thinking Traveller has teamed up with chef Emilia Strazzanti for an exclusive, week-long culinary experience at villa Angheli near Menfi, Sicily, from Saturday 18th to Saturday 25th April 2020. Designed to immerse guests in the Sicilian way of life with a series of cookery classes, wine tastings, curated tours and meals in hidden hotspots, this retreat has been especially designed for a closed group of friends or a family – maximum 12 guests in total – who have a love for gastronomic adventures.
Born in the UK to Sicilian-Neapolitan parents, Emilia has honed her culinary skills in the kitchens of 5* hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants around Europe, including The Dorchester, Mosimann’s and Le Meurice. Inspired by Sicily’s ingredients and the flavour combinations of its cuisine, Emilia returned to the UK to set up Strazzanti with her sisters. A multi-faceted culinary enterprise, Strazzanti produces a range of Sicilian patisserie (sold at Fenwicks and Selfridges) and organises Sicilian food events, including supper clubs.
The week includes an introduction to Sicilian food and its key ingredients, daily hands-on cooking classes in the villa kitchen, a private tour of archaeological site Selinunte, an excursion to Mazara del Vallo’s food market, a guided Marsala wine tour and daily breakfasts, lunches and dinners.
Cooking classes will focus on a number of traditional Sicilian dishes including home-made busiata pasta with pesto alla Trapanese (a tomato and almond-based pesto), involtini di melanzane (aubergine roulades) a ragù-making master class to create the renowned Arancini, pasta con ricotta, basilico, gamberi e pesto di pistacchi (pasta with ricotta cheese, basil, prawns and pistachio pesto), desserts and pastries including cannoli, perfect with Marsala wine.
Guests will stay at the refined villa Angheli in the south west of Sicily, which occupies a panoramic position overlooking a carpet of vineyards, the beach of the Belice Nature Reserve, and the sparkling sea. Generously proportioned, lovingly crafted interiors spill out onto terraces, walled gardens offer orange and lemon blossom-scented seclusion, and an irresistible heatable infinity pool provides a perfect spot for a little R&R after all the cooking.