The Language of Food with Rachel Roddy and Erica Berry
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The Language of Food: Playing with Food Writing

Visit the inspiring beauty of the Sicilian countryside to hone your skills as both a food-writer and a creative writer more broadly in this intensive workshop led by acclaimed writers Erica Berry and Rachel Roddy. Daily excursions and lessons with the school’s chef will allow you to spend time in the best classroom there is: the fields and vineyards of Sicily and the kitchen. We aim to provide an atmosphere of both relaxed creativity and thought-provoking experimentation, and there will be plenty of time for both solitary writing and communal sharing. On the final day, each participant will have time to meet with Erica and Rachel to discuss personal writing projects and goals more specifically.

Texts will range from staples of the genre such as MFK Fisher’s Gastronomical Me, The New Yorker Book of Food and Drink and Laurie Colwin’s Homecooking to excerpts from contemporary authors such as Matthew Gavin Frank and Toni Morrison as well as the excellent Tin House Anthology.

Rachel Roddy was born in Southhampton in 1972 but grew up in London. Trained as an actress she moved to Rome in 2005 where she began writing, mostly about food, on her blog Racheleats. Her first book, Five Quarters was published in 2015 and won both the André Simon Food Book Award and The Guild of Foodwriters First Book Award. Her second book Two Kitchens was published in 2017. She has written for The Financial Times, The Telegraph, Conde Nast Travel, Delicious Magazine and has an award winning weekly column in The Guardian called A Kitchen in Rome. She lives in Rome with her Sicilian partner and son.

Erica Berry feels lucky to have called Case Vecchie home between 2014 and 2015, where she helped to produce Fabrizia’s documentary, Amuri: Sacred Flavors of Sicily. Born in Portland, Oregon, she now lives in Minneapolis, where she is a freelance writer and creative writing instructor at the University of Minnesota, where she is finishing her MFA thesis. Her essays and journalism can be found with publications such as Eating Well, NPR Food, Creative Nonfiction’s “True Story” magazine, The Atlantic, and Pacific Standard magazine, and her Guernica essay on Instagrammed food made Eater’s 21 Best Longform Food Stories of 2015 list. She recently won The Southeast Review’s 2017 Award in Narrative Nonfiction and the 2017 Kurt Brown Prize for Creative Nonfiction. See more of her work here.


Single Room: €2,750

Double Room: €5,000

Costs include accommodation at Case Vecchie or one of the nearby cottages, and indicated lessons, meals and excursions.

Example Program


Monday, July 2nd: Arrival

3:00 to 5:00 pm: Check-in

7:30 pm: Welcome aperitivo and discussion followed by dinner


Tuesday, July 3rd: Looking to Sicily

7:45 am: Visit a local shepherd and cheesemaker Filippo Privitera, to see the ricotta making and enjoy a picnic breakfast. Followed by writing to capture the experience.

1:00 pm: Lunch around the Case Vecchie table.

4:30 pm: Cooking lesson, followed by a writing/reading discussion during aperitivo and then dinner.


Wednesday, July 4th: Looking to Memory

6:00 am: Sunrise walk and observation session

9:00 am: Breakfast followed by an intensive writing workshop based on the work of our set authors followed by lunch.

Afternoon free time for resting, writing, swimming, and exploring around the vineyards.

5:00 pm: A guided garden walk with the gardeners and salad collecting followed by reading/writing discussion then aperitivo and dinner at Case Vecchie.


Thursday, July 5th: Lyric Essays and Poetry

9:00 am: Breakfast followed by an intensive writing workshop on experimenting with new forms of poetry and lyrical essays, then lunch.

1:00 pm: Lunch around the Case Vecchie table with an afternoon free for resting, writing, swimming.

4:30 pm: Reading/writing session before a foraging walk to dinner at Case Grande winery / or cooking lesson and dinner.


Friday, July 6th: Tutorials and Sharing

9:00 am: Breakfast followed by a cooking lesson then lunch.

Individual afternoon tutorials; resting, writing and exploring time.

5:00 pm: Final discussion and shared readings, followed by farewell dinner at Case Vecchie.


Saturday, July 7th: Departure

Breakfast at 9:00 am followed by goodbyes.


Recommended reading before course:

Laurie Colwin’s Homecooking

MFK Fisher’s Gastronomical Me

The New Yorker Book of Food and Drink


*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.


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