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By Bitesee Team

A Culinary Adventure Through Western Sicily

This May you could be on this unforgettable, week-long, culinary adventure in the Sicilian countryside.

For more than a decade Montecastelli Selections has been fantasizing, designing, and executing once-in-a-lifetime experiences for food-savvy travelers. Especially, those food travelers who also love all things Italian. Each of their bespoke experiences is led by passionate, respected chefs and leading food experts. While most culinary weeks are hosted on the Villa Montecastello property in Tuscany, they have veered off the boot to Sicily where they are teaming up with Di Giovanna Winery and Linda Sarris (a.k.a. the Cheeky Chef). Join them this May for an unforgettable, week-long culinary adventure for Italian food lovers in the Sicilian countryside.

the cheeky chef sicily culinary trip bitesee montecastelli

What to Expect :
During this impeccably curated hands-on week of cooking, eating, and exploring, Linda will share her deep culinary knowledge and top discoveries on this journey of a lifetime. She’ll guide guests through the simple, beautiful and flavorful experience of life in Sicily.

Spring is the ideal time to travel to Sicily, when the rolling hillsides are colored with a variety of wildflowers, sheep graze the fields producing the most flavorful milk for fresh ricotta and fresh sheep’s milk cheeses.  The vineyards are green and the temperature is mild and pleasant. Spring is also a beautiful time for local produce, think fava beans, artichokes, peas and many different greens that grow wildly in the hillsides, and the widest variety of fish is available including fresh tuna and swordfish.

The charming and authentic hotel Don Giovanni will be your home base during this week long retreat. Tastefully appointed rooms with private bathrooms, wifi and a/c, connect to a center courtyard with private sitting areas throughout where you can enjoy a view of the Sicilian countryside. Cooking classes will take place in the beautiful professional kitchen of the hotel. And a group concierge will make sure every aspect of your trip is seamless. All food for cooking classes will be local and seasonal and chosen from the highest quality purveyors. All wines served with your meals will be hand selected by local winemakers and sommeliers. Basically every detail of your week will be taken care of so all you have to do is arrive and be ready to have the time of your life.

Sample Itinerary :
Saturday: Arrival to Sicily. Welcome to hotel Don Giovanni. Settle into your beautiful surroundings and enjoy a glass of wine and light buffet-style lunch in the courtyard. Free time to freshen up, unpack and explore the grounds. Welcome dinner reception at Cantina Di Giovanna in Sambuca di Sicilia.

Sunday: Breakfast. Optional morning yoga class. Take an all-day trip to Marsala. Visit Marco DeBartoli for a Marsala tasting. Enjoy lunch, shopping, and exploring before heading to visit the local salt pans. Sunset aperitif before dinner at a local seafood restaurant in Marsala.

Monday: Breakfast. Morning walk in the vineyards inside Monte Genuardo Nature Reserve followed by a tour, tasting and lunch at the Di Giovanna winery. Back to the kitchen for an afternoon cooking class with game and local seasonal produce. Cooking class dinner in the courtyard of Don Giovanni, with a Sicilian amaro flight to end the night.

Tuesday: Breakfast. Optional morning yoga class. Morning trip to Castelvetrano to visit the local fl our mill and ancient olive grove, with lunch in Castelvetrano. Back to the kitchen for a cooking class creating recipes with Sicilian flour and Sicilian extra virgin olive oil, followed by a dinner of our own creation in the courtyard.

Wednesday: Breakfast. Morning visit to a local cheese producer in Sambuca, see how fresh ricotta is made followed by a cooking class focusing on cheese, with lunch to follow at Don Giovanni. Afternoon tour of historic Sambuca di Sicilia followed by dinner at a local wood oven pizzeria.

Thursday: Breakfast. All-day trip to the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, with a picnic lunch. Dinner at Chef Pino Cuttaia’s 2-star Michelin restaurant, La Madia in Licata.

Friday: Breakfast. Morning visit to the port of Sciacca, with free time for ceramic shopping. Lunch in Sciacca at Porto San Paolo. Back to the kitchen for an afternoon cooking class using the fresh catch of the day. We’ll keep the wine flowing through the night with a farewell dinner and live music in the courtyard at Don Giovanni.

Saturday: Breakfast. Depart for the airport.

Where You’ll Explore :
Western Sicily is the perfect place to experience true Sicilian life as a local and to immerse yourself in its rich culture. This less developed side of Sicily has a long history of agriculture and a diversity of cultures from Greeks to Arabs that influenced its cuisine and way of life.

About Your Guide:

linda sarris sicily cheeky chef biteseePrivate chef and food writer Linda Sarris splits her time between Brooklyn and Sicily where she worked at a farm-to-table cooking school and wine estate after graduating from the French Culinary Institute. She’s visited 25 countries, but it is Italy that won her heart. Her unparalleled love for Sicily combined with her local’s status and insider access to Sicily’s best food and wine producers and artisans, make her the perfect leader for exploring all the best things about Sicilian life, culture and cuisine.

What’s Included :
All-inclusive. The week includes 7 overnight accommodations at Don Giovanni, 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners, all local transportation as described in the itinerary including airport pickup and drop off at Palermo airport. Daily breakfast buffet includes locally baked goods and produce, fruit, coffee, tea and juice. Also included are all of the materials for cooking classes, wine tours and tasting, yoga and off site visits. Bottled water (sparkling and flat or naturale) and house wine with lunch and dinners from our expertly curated selection, plus all wine for tastings and winery tours.

Not included:
Airfare, all extra beverages and food outside of itinerary, additional transportation outside of itinerary.

Need to Know :
50% deposit is required to secure your booking, 50% balance is due two weeks before departure. Deposit payment can be made by Credit Card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Discover) or Personal Check made payable to Montecastelli Selections.

Who This Tour is For :
Anyone who has dreamed of spending a week eating their way through Sicily and who enjoys both hands-on cooking classes and visiting artisans. The hotel offers nicely appointed rooms and a über charming atmosphere. The hospitality is five-star, the surroundings are lovely, but if you prefer big, luxury hotels, and require all that that comes with—this trip is not for you.

Location: Western Sicily
Cost: $4,000 double occupancy / $4,200 single occupancy – $200 discount with code BITESEE
Dates: May 5-12, 2018
Phone: Call Amie for more info at (973) 327-2336

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