Join us by the pool for a special summer themed week looking at dishes and preparations ideal for accompanying a hot day or cocktail party, along with some typical Sicilian summer meals.
Chef Michael Sampson was born in Belfast close to an area which quite appropriately used to be called Little Italy. His love affair with Italian cuisine started there as he cut his teeth making pizzas and squeezing pasta dishes into bistrot menus. Soon destiny had its part to play as Michael met the love of his life, Marta (a Sicilian girl) while flying from South America to Spain. Not long after, he found himself in his new adopted home and falling in love for a second time, with Sicily and of course, its cuisine. Unfortunately it’s hard to be taken seriously as a foreign chef in Sicily so Michael realised that action had to be taken, he then put himself through the paces of what is largely considered as the greatest institute of Italian cuisine, Alma, presided over by the revered Chef Gualtiero Marchesi. Michael appreciated the challenge and the opportunity to take in so much about Italian identity and culture through its cuisine. Now qualified as a pseudo-Italian, Michael started working his way through a string of restaurants of different types and sizes, trying to soak up every bit of information along the way. He then went on to work as a private chef, flying all around Europe, but as exciting and extravagant as that may seem Michael found his heart more and more in the simple and honest countryside traditions, the stories that they told and their inherent connection to the history of a place. So it is at this point that Michael made the move into the Sicilian countryside to dedicate himself to keeping traditions alive whilst always learning.
Single Room: €2,400
Double Room: €4,250
Monday, July 9th: Welcome
3:00 to 5:00 pm: Check-in
7:30 pm: Welcome aperitivo and dinner
Tuesday, July 10th: Arm to Table
9:00 am: Breakfast followed by a tour of the garden to source your ingredients for a cooking lesson before lunch.
Chill out by the pool or relax in the garden after lunch.
5:00 pm: Visit the Tasca D’Almerita winery for a wine tour and tasting, followed by dinner.
Wednesday, July 11th: Cocktails
9:00 am: Breakfast followed by a cooking lesson on granite and ice cream.
Enjoy a cheese tasting of Sicilian cheese with lunch.
5:00 pm: Poolside lesson looking at different greens from all around the Mediterranean and accompanying cocktails, all prepared from produce picked from the vegetable garden.
Thursday, July 12th: Wine and Dine
9:00 am: Breakfast followed by a cooking lesson for a typical Sicilian fish barbecue using fresh Mediterranean fish.
2:30 pm: Depart for Agrigento for sunset at the Valley of the Temples and dinner facing the temple of Juno at Hotel Villa Athena.
Friday, July 13th: Pasta, Pesce and Pool
9:00 am: Breakfast followed by a cooking lesson on fresh pasta and some typical tomato preparations.
Enjoy a leisurely afternoon resting, reading or relaxing by the pool.
5:00 pm: Join us at the pool for a demonstration on some raw fish and crudités preparations followed by a poolside banquet.
Saturday, July 14th: Goodbyes
Breakfast at 9:00 am followed by check out and goodbyes.
*Airfare and transportation to and from Case Vecchie are not included in the price. Please request transportation arrangements at the time of booking if you would like us to book a car to and from the estate.
**Please note, due to the seasonal rhythm of life and agriculture in Sicily, planned activities and schedules may change at short notice. If this is the case, an equally engaging activity will be arranged.