About the location: Abruzzo is an unspoiled, authentic part of Italy situated due east of Rome on the Adriactic coast. It boasts miles of seaside and pristine beaches, medieval villages perched on hilltops and nestled in valleys, and natural wonders in its famous parks. Indeed, a full third of the region is protected parklands full of lush forests, majestic mountains, and charming towns. Your home for your fabulous cooking vacation is the town of Carunchio, an ancient borgo perched on the top of a hill in southern Abruzzo.
Situated at the top of Carunchio is the recently restored Palazzo Tour d’Eau. Owner Massimo Criscio left a job in corporate America to return to his homeland and provide an authentic and unforgettable culinary vacation for his clients. As a result, Massimo has created a lovely small hotel in the middle of Abruzzo complete with a gourmet restaurant and a charming, separate teaching kitchen for the cooking classes. The hotel has just 6 rooms and boasts amazing panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. The size of the hotel ensures a superior level of personal attention and enables Massimo and his staff to dedicate the week entirely to the guests participating in the cookery holiday. One of Massimo’s passions is wine, and during your stay in Abruzzo you will enjoy that most famous of central Italian wines, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.
About the cooking lessons: Abruzzo combines some of the finest of tradtional Italian products—cured prosciutto and salami, sheep’s milk cheese, homemade pastas—with fresh seasonal produce to create a regional cuisine that is both simple and full of natural flavors. Its natural landscape (mountains to coast) means access to both wonderful meats and fresh seafood. Your cooking lessons will explore healthy Mediterranean cuisine, homemade pastas and sauces, mouth-watering desserts, and the wonderful preserved fruits and vegetables that are such a staple of Italian life. No more going to the store to buy pickled peppers, canned tomatoes or eggplant sott’olio! Soon you will be able to create these scrumptious delicacies on your own. Your cooking lessons will be led by the wonderful chef of the Palazzo Tour d’Eau, Dino Paganelli, and by American Cheryle Molano. After 25 years of restaurant experience and studying cooking in both Europe and America, she has settled with her husband in his native homeland, Abruzzo. She combines her restaurant experience with the traditions of Italian cooking to create a simple approach that will enable you to recreate your experiences and meals when you return home.