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WHEN

November 5, 2022 – December 8, 2022

PRICE

€ 8,200

Costs do NOT include

  • flights from the Catania Fontanarossa airport;
  • breakfast, dinner and weekend meals;
  • individual travel and transport on weekends.

What’s Included

  • All scheduled classes and outings (Monday to Friday around 9:30 am – 4:30 pm).
  • All lunches during lesson days (Monday to Friday).
  • Single room with private bathroom (cleaning and laundry included) for the five-week period.
  • Bus transportation to and from daily lessons and for scheduled outings.
  • Initial pick up and final drop off at scheduled times from Catania-Fontanarossa airport.
  • Access to digital content such as guest presentations, recipes, and shared materials

Cook the Farm Meets Arianna Occhipinti

Autumn Session 2022

Cook the Farm encourages students to experience, think and taste what is in front of them. Cook the Farm Meets Arianna Occhipinti takes us out of the kitchen and into the cellar — the wine cellar. This inaugural edition of Cook the Farm will explore many parts of hidden Sicily through the lens of food and wine. While some of the focus for the five weeks will be on wine-making themes and the various characteristics of Sicilian wines, much of the week explores the practices, people, tastes, and traditions of Sicily’s food culture. Lectures, presentations and field work sessions by subject matter experts (agronomists, enologists, professors, food professionals, etc.) are joined with group discussion to further the conversation about food and food systems. Site visits to cheesemakers, flour mills, farms and more allow insight into the cultivation and production of local products. Cooking demos and community cooking classes will share how local ingredients and practices come together in the kitchen.

You will discover many parts of hidden Sicily through the lens of food and wine. The importance here is a keen interest  in food, wine, place, and taste. While Cook the Farm was started by the Anna Tasca Lanza Cooking School, Cook the Farm Meets Arianna Occhipinti is by no means a cooking course nor is it exclusively based on wine. There will be family style cooking lessons, but the main focus will be linking taste to territory. Be ready to engage with local surroundings, gain insight into Sicily’s food and wine history, and explore what role food and wine play in your life, wherever you are in the world.

Participants will be housed in the nearby town of Vittoria and the Occhipinti winery will be central headquarters for the five-weeks.

Why Cook the Farm Meets Arianna Occhipinti?

What started as a friendship between Fabrizia Lanza and Arianna Occhipinti is coming to life as an exploration of Sicily’s role in wine, its unique terroir, and the ways that wine has influenced culture, tradition, and tastes of Sicily. Here is a chance to see another side of Sicily. Starting from grape to glass with a broad view on local Sicilian food systems with input from two women who have helped shape Sicily’s food culture. Join us in exploring Sicily from the ground up! 

Occhipinti_3

Participants

Cook the Farm has always been an international adventure. Past participants have hailed from eleven different countries including the United States, Canada, Egypt, Australia, Brazil, the UK, Italy, Germany, Japan, Singapore, and the Netherlands. Cook the Farm x Occhipinti, being a short, intensive course, is aimed at those who already have a basic familiarity with food and wine. We will be dedicating one day a week specifically to wine, so it’s important that you enjoy this beverage! We are looking for participants who have some experience with and awareness around food systems but are interested in the place-based particularities of Sicilian food and wine: the social, cultural, economic, and environmental impacts of food and beverage. You must be curious, motivated, and willing to engage in this collaborative learning process.

Who is involved?

Fabrizia Lanza, Director of Anna Tasca Lanza Cooking School, and her team will be heading up the organization and facilitation of the five-week program. Wine sessions will be led by Arianna Occhipinti and her team at Azienda Agricola Occhipinti and other wine experts and producers from Sicily and beyond. Guest presenters to speak about all things from pruning, to communicating taste, synergetic gardening and pasta making are invited from around Sicily and Italy to share their knowledge.

Arianna Occhipinti

Azienda Agricola Occhipinti

The winery of Arianna Occhipinti, one of Italy’s most authentic and celebrated women of wine, is located in Vittoria, in the province of Ragusa, on the now famous Strada Provinciale 68. Her story as a winemaker began very early, when, after obtaining a diploma in Agriculture and Enology in Milan, she decided to return to her beloved Sicily, determined to produce high quality wines while respecting ancient traditions. In 2004 she bought a hectare of land at the foot of the Iblei mountains, near Vittoria, and planted her first vineyard. Today the estate has expanded to 22 hectares of vineyards and orchards.

Arianna Occhipinti’s production philosophy is proudly traditionalist and very respectful of the land and nature: the use of green manure in alternate rows, treatments with only copper and sulphur, fermentation carried out in cement tanks with indigenous yeasts, no filtration and ageing in large wood barrels with little or no toasting. This is the work of Arianna Occhipinti, a ‘natural woman’ who draws strength and success from the land, from passion and love for the territory.

Arianna personally manages the entire production cycle, putting her studies in Milan to good use. From the vineyard, as an expert in agriculture, to the winery, as an expert enologist, she has also developed into a skilled administrator and marketing expert. Her wines, known and appreciated all over the world, reflect the characters, aromas and peculiarities of the terroir in which the vineyards are immersed.

From Call Me Wine

Life in Vittoria

Vittoria is the most populated town of the whole southeastern province of Ragusa with a population of 63,092. The town was founded on a very fertile land called Boscopiano and sits on the edge of the Natural Reserve Pino d’Aleppo. Home to the famous Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG wine and to most of Sicily’s hoop-house farming, good food and wine is taken for granted in the area. There are a number of small bars, restaurants, cafes as well as a civic museum and many historic churches. Life is quiet but the town is connected via the Vittoria train station. Catania airport is about 1.5 hours away and the Occhipinti winery is just 15 minutes by car.

Stay

Participants will have their own single rooms and private bathrooms in local Bed & Breakfasts in the center of Vittoria. They will have access to shared kitchens for breakfast and dinner preparations and will be required for daily cleaning of their rooms. Weekly cleaning and changing of linens/towels will be provided by the structures. Wifi is available. Laundry facilities will be available. B&Bs are located in the center of Vittoria and include but are not limited to:

Rooms are assigned randomly and can not be requested and each structure may host from two to six participants.

Apply

Apply here.
Early application deadline: June 15, 2022.
Final application deadline: August 1, 2022.

Sessions

Monday - Friday, 9:30 am to 4:30 pm
(with some exceptions)

Language

English (all lessons will be translated into English if in Italian - course material and group discussions will be in English)

Contact info

email:

Number of students

Maximum 14

Program

Scheduled lessons take place from around 9:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday with some exceptions. Most weeks include outings to visit local producers, one cooking lesson, group conversations or projects. Each Friday will be focused on an area of Sicily and its wine history. Producers or experts will be invited to share in a talk and tasting of wines with Arianna Occhipinti.

All scheduled activities and guest presenters are subject to change, as is the order of events. This program gives a general outline of activities and topics that will be touched upon over the five weeks.

Arrival in Catania on Saturday the 5th of November | Getting settled in Vittoria | Group lunch | Tour of the Occhipinti cellar and vineyard | Welcome from staff and leaders.

Understanding the science of taste | Communicating taste | Traditional pasta making styles: Northern and Southern pasta-making techniques | Visits to a flour mill, pasta maker, and wheat seed bank | Friday wine session.

Production and tasting of olive oil | Cooking with olive oil | Synergetic garden workshop | Friday wine session.

The story of wine | Vineyard pruning | Natural wine making | Extensive Sicilian wine tasting | Tradition Sicilian cooking lesson | Friday wine session.

All about chocolate: visits to Modica chocolate makers | Cooking lesson | Pairing wine + food | How to eat meat? | Vegetable production in southern Sicily | Friday wine session.

Cheesemaking: from pasture to process to taste | Visits to local cheese producer | Wine and tourism | Dinner out: story-telling of Sicily’s cuisine | Departure on Friday the 9th December.

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