Delectable Portugal in Historic Evora - NEW
About the location: The Alentejo Region stretches from the Tagus River at Lisbon south to the Algarve. Its terracotta earth is covered in wheat fields and bordered by rows of olive trees marching up and down the rolling hills like Roman centurions. Dotting the hillsides, white washed villages and towns appear, crowned by castles. The ancients left their megaliths, the Romans their aqueducts, the Portuguese a wealth of architecture from Gothic to Baroque. Some of the ancient arts and crafts are still practiced in this region today.
In the Alentejo region, the cooking and wine-making reflect the region’s rich culinary traditions. In the spring, the Alentejo is carpeted in wildflowers. In the summer, wheat, oats, and sunflowers blanket the fields, and in the autumn, the air is filled with the smell of grapes and olives ripening. This stunning area covers a third of Portugal, but yet is home to only seven percent of the country's population. And in the heart of this unspoiled countryside is the charming capital town of Evora, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The elegant town is considered a museum city, shaped as it is by more than 20 centuries of history. It was once the residence of Portuguese kings in the 15th century, the beginning of the town's golden age.
About the cooking lessons: Portuguese cuisine is simple, characterized by a rich variety of regional dishes. Gathering herbs and produce from the local markets and pairing them with timeless recipes, cooks of all levels can roll up their sleeves in the kitchen and prepare a variety of succulent Mediterranean dishes influenced by this historic region. Olive oil, garlic, cilantro, parsley, onions, bayleaf, paprika, pepper, rosemary, leek, spinach, lamb, pork, codfish, seabass and dogfish are some of our main ingredients. Most of the vegetables com from our own vegetable garden, and local producers provide us organic food. Learning about the region’s wine is also a very important part of this program. Every class starts with a different magical tasting, and there are a number of excursions to local wineries. The chef leads all levels of cooks, who can roll up their sleeves in the kitchen and prepare a variety of succulent Mediterranean dishes influenced by this rich region.