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Spring in Sicily

A CULINARY WEEK WITH CHEF SKYE GYNGELL AT ROCCA DELLE TRE CONTRADE


The prolifically fertile slopes of Mount Etna, the fish-rich waters of the Ionian Sea, Sicily’s multi-dimensional culinary traditions, and a chef of the calibre of Spring’s Skye Gyngell: this is our inspiring recipe for anyone interested in honing their culinary skills, dining in style and tasting extraordinary wines produced on Europe’s highest active volcano.

Luxury villa Rocca delle Tre Contrade has joined forces with acclaimed chef Skye Gyngell for two week-long culinary experiences exploring the gastronomic bounty and mouthwatering cuisine of the Mediterranean’s largest and most diverse island.


Your chef, inspiration and hostess

Skye Gyngell is one of the most respected chefs working in the UK. After earning her spurs in a variety of high level restaurants, including La Varenne in Paris and The Dorchester in London, Skye became head chef at Petersham Nurseries, where, during her eight-year tenure, she received critical acclaim and a Michelin Star. In 2014, Skye opened Spring, in Somerset House, London. It quickly became regarded as one of the capital's top restaurants and Skye's culinary philosophy imbues every detail, from the interior design to the menu.

A quick glance at Skye’s menus or recipe books will reveal her culinary predilection for bringing the very best out of seasonal ingredients. One might also notice her great passion for Italian cuisine. Put these two elements together, not to mention the name of her restaurant, and it seems entirely fitting that this unique culinary experience is taking place in Sicily during that most bountiful of seasons, Spring.


Your accommodation - Rocca delle Tre Contrade

Rocca delle Tre Contrade occupies a stunningly panoramic position atop its own hill on Sicily’s east coast. Uninterrupted 360-degree views take in the sparkling Ionian Sea to one side and the fertile flanks and lava peak of Mount Etna to the other. The views of this former aristocratic estate are further enhanced by the intense greens and citrus flashes of the villa’s grounds, which feature lemon groves, fruit orchards and vegetable gardens. The magnificence of Mother Nature is rivalled only by the spectacular 25-metre, south-facing infinity pool and the delightful interiors, which have been renovated and refurbished to exactingly high standards. Skye Gyngell is no stranger to the charms of Rocca delle Tre Contrade, having stayed and cooked there with family and friends for a week last year. Her sojourn resulted in a feature article with recipes for Bon Appétit Magazine.

Dinner in a Sicilian villa is pretty much our dream vacation.” 
Bon Appetit Magazine, July 2016

The culinary and gastronomic experience

During her previous visit to Rocca delle Tre Contrade, Skye enjoyed exploring the differences (and similarities) between her own cuisine and the more traditional Sicilian dishes produced by the villa’s resident cook. As a consequence of this culinary exchange, Skye’s tenure at Rocca delle Tre Contrade will revolve around a combination of traditional local recipes, led by the villa’s cook, and chef-interpreted dishes, led by Skye and her team of chefs.

Guests will spend several hours a day (from Sunday-Thursday) in the villa’s superb kitchen, participating in a mix of differently themed cooking demonstrations and hands-on sessions. The fruits of your (and your chefs’) labours will provide the basis for some of the meals at the villa.

Outside the kitchen, participants will be invited to discover some of the area’s multifarious gastronomic traditions, with visits to markets, a vineyard tour with wine-tasting on Mount Etna, a meal or two in traditional trattorie, a street food tour in Catania’s old town centre and a Baroque Sicily excursion.

Guests will also have time to enjoy the infinite, luxurious charms of Rocca delle Tre Contrade, relaxing in the gardens, strolling through the lemon orchards, swimming in the pool or even playing a set or two of tennis.

"The dinner back at Rocca delle Tre Contrade is as good as any food I have ever eaten in Italy." 
Marina O'Loughlin for BBC Good Food Magazine, September 2016

As seen in the press:

Olive Magazine
Bon Appétit
Ingredients, Inc

Dates

Saturday 25 March 2017 – Saturday 1 April 2017
Saturday 22 April 2017 – Saturday 29 April 2017


Prices

CLICK FOR A DETAILED ITINERARY, PRICES AND ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS


Prices include

  • Six days immersed in a full food and wine programme with Skye Gyngell, including cookery demo sessions and ‘hands on’ lessons with Skye Gyngell and her team
  • Seven hands-on sessions in the villa's large demonstration kitchen (each work station shared by two participants)
  • Seven nights’ accommodation at the private luxury villa Rocca delle Tre Contrade in double rooms (single occupancy also available)
  • The presence of Jon Moslet, co-owner of Rocca delle Tre Contrade and expert in Sicilian wine and gastronomic traditions
  • A programme of guided tours with English-speaking guide and related ground transportation
  • All meals including wine and beverages (7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners)
  • Transfers between Catania Fontanarossa Airport and Rocca delle Tre Contrade on the first and last days of the week
  • Complimentary in-house laundry service (dry-cleaning not included)


Prices exclude

  • Flights
  • Optional medical or cancellation insurance
  • Any meals and attractions not specified in the itinerary
  • Tips and gratuities for guides, drivers and villa staff
  • Any additional travel expenses associated with extended stays
  • Anything not mentioned in the Prices Include section


Number of participants

  • Maximum 16


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A culinary week with chef Skye Gyngell at Rocca delle Tre Contrade

ITINERARY

Saturday (25 March 2017 or 22 April 2017)

Greeting at Catania (CTA) airport and transfer to Rocca delle Tre Contrade.

Arrival and check-in for the guests (lunch for early arrivals at extra cost).

Welcome aperitif and gourmet dinner prepared by Skye Gyngell and the visiting chef team.


Sunday

Morning excursion to Mount Etna wine country including a visit of a winery, a guided tour with a producer to learn about the fertile soils of the volcano and, of course, some wine-tasting.

Lunch at local trattoria to sample some traditional Sicilian flavours.

Afternoon: hands-on cannoli demonstration followed by dinner prepared by the villa's in-house cooks.


Monday

Early morning visit to local fish and vegetable markets.

Early light lunch at Rocca delle Tre Contrade. Brief introduction to wine-tasting techniques by the owner of Rocca delle Tre Contrade.

Afternoon: hands-on demonstration with Chef Skye Gyngell, followed by dinner (guests cook with the guidance of the visiting chef team).
Focus: sea food dish with ingredients bought earlier in the market.  
An introduction to the Sicilian wines chosen to accompany the meal by the owner of Rocca delle Tre Contrade.


Tuesday

Morning: free time to explore Rocca delle Tre Contrade, its lemon grove and gardens.

Early light lunch at villa.

Afternoon: hands-on demonstration with Chef Skye Gyngell, followed by dinner (guests cook with the guidance of Skye and the visiting chef team).
Focus: desserts/gelato/patisserie made using Sicilian ingredients.


Wednesday

Morning: guests cook with the guidance of Skye and the visiting chef team, followed by lunch.
Focus: Mediterranean vegetables (foraged or locally grown) used in pasta and salads.

Afternoon: hands-on arancini demonstration led by the in-house villa cooks.

Free time.

Evening: visit to see the 16th century baroque city of Catania and guided street food tour.


Thursday

Morning: guests cook with the guidance of Skye and the visiting chef team, followed by lunch.
Focus: bread and wild Sicilian flour varieties (using the Dutch oven technique).

Afternoon: guests cook with the guidance of the visiting chef team before sitting down for the last dinner in the company of Chef Skye Gyngell and her team.
Introduction to the wines chosen to accompany the meal by the owner of Rocca delle Tre Contrade.


Friday

Breakfast and departure of the visiting chef team.

Full-day guided excursion - “Baroque Sicily” - taking in the UNESCO Heritage Site towns of Syracuse, Noto, Scicli and Modica. Lunch at a gourmet restaurant.

Farewell dinner at a local restaurant.


Saturday

Breakfast and 10am check-out.

The programme is subject to slight variations based on weather conditions and the availability of seasonal produce.

PRICES (EUR) AND ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS

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