Collaborating in a cooking system for the duration of my travels is a thing I constantly adore to do. It’s a terrific way to learn about the regional culture and delicacies, and to decide on up a new recipe or two. During my visit to Lecce (map), a historic metropolis in southern Puglia, I experienced the possibility to sign up for a cooking course at the Awaiting Table, the most founded cooking school in Lecce (launched in 2003). The university offers 7 days-lengthy programs, as properly as working day courses, which I opted for as I was only in Lecce for a number of days. I knew I was in for a handle but it turned out to be one particular of the most exciting, educative and immersive issues to do in Lecce!


cooking class puglia


The vibrant kitchen area at the Awaiting Table.





There ended up four of us at the daytime cooking program that working day. We met Silvestro, the founder of the Awaiting Desk, at Lecce’s main sq., future to the city’s iconic amphitheatre.





Our assembly place at the amphitheatre in the Lecce town centre.

Silvestro welcomed us and gave us a limited introduction to Puglian meals and wines right before using us to the fish current market. At the marketplace, he instructed us about the many forms of fish and their origins, and the most effective ways to cook them. For our lunch course, he chosen some fish and squid, which we would later on master to prepare and cook dinner.


fish cooking course puglia


Silvestro conveying the styles of seafood employed in Puglian delicacies.

From the fish market place, Silvestro led us across the historic town centre, with its attractive Baroque façades, to the vegetable current market. The fresh new rocket leaves, artichokes, tomatoes and mushrooms ended up a mouthwatering sight! We gleefully filled our baskets – I wasn’t the only vegetable lover in the team – and continued on our way to Silvestro’s cooking university in the city centre.


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I beloved the vegetable sector!

Found in a historic constructing, the Awaiting Table school, is both equally cosy and colourful. Crammed to the brim with cooking books, pots and pans and all types of kitchen utensils, it certain was a cheery sight!

Making pasta

We donned our aprons and got ready for our very first lesson: pasta! Silvestro discussed the unique sorts of flour employed, and that barley flour is frequently employed in Puglia. As we kneaded the dough, Silvestro gave us the preference of various pastas we could make. We voted for cappalletti (a pasta condition reminiscent of Mexican sombreros).


pasta making class puglia


Earning cappalletti

It was a enjoyment training, employing a glass to minimize out designs from the flattened dough, then folding them in advance of utilising a bottle to build the ‘sombreros’.


pasta cooking course puglia


Me with my cappalletti.

Planning seafood and vegetables

Subsequent up, Silvestro introduced the unique types of seafood and vegetables we were going to try to eat. He then gave us a masterclass in how to get ready artichokes and squid. Gosh, I had no strategy how several techniques have been included in cleaning and getting ready these! Cleaning the squid was particularly tricky. It absolutely sure created me respect the get the job done accomplished by fishmongers every working day to provide them completely ready-to-cook.





I never ever understood there were so numerous methods included in planning artichokes!

seafood cooking class puglia


Silvestro taught us how to clear the squid




Cleaning mussels

A crash study course in Puglia wines

Silvestro invited us into the dining place when we ended up accomplished. He proceeded to inform us about wines in Puglia – just one issue I uncovered is that, contrary to well-liked perception, Primitivo is not the most common grape wide variety in Puglia the most commonly-grown grape range in Puglia is Negroamaro. We then savored a wine-tasting of 3 distinctive rosés. Puglia is well known for its pink wines so it’s no wonder that the most popular chilled wines are rosé and not white (however Puglia also provides, among many others, a stunning white variety termed Verdeca).


the awaiting table lecce


The eating room

Cooking our lunch

Following the wine-tasting, we had been invited, 1 by one, again into the kitchen area to cook dinner the dishes. I volunteered for the pasta dish: cappalletti, cherry tomatoes and squid.





Sautéing the squid




I selected to prepare dinner the pasta dish

When everybody had cooked their dishes, lunch was served. It seemed unquestionably mouthwatering! My favourites had been the grilled fish, which was new and super tasty, and the artichokes and sautéed wild rocket. So mouth watering!





Placing the final contact on my pasta dish




The fish was astounding!

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I looked about and absolutely everyone had appears of pleasure and surprise on their faces ‘wonder’ since we couldn’t very imagine that we’d just ready and cooked anything on the desk!

The Awaiting Table cooking system absolutely sure is a person of the most effective points to do in Lecce! Inspired by what I figured out at this Lecce cooking course, I passed on the lessons to my kids at home just a 7 days afterwards. We used an afternoon producing pasta and experienced a wonderful time!





I taught the little ones to make cappalletti, fusilli and farfalle but they also created other designs (like elephants and angel fish!).

In addition to cooking lessons in Lecce, the Awaiting table also organises week-lengthy cooking lessons (some with yoga and cycling) at a nearby castle. For more info, check out out the Awaiting Desk courses.

Notice: I was invited by the Awaiting Table to take part in this class. As generally, all sights said higher than are mine.