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Review Highlights
An amazing Italian cooking experience

Hosted in an idyllic location in a small sure in Squizano, the atmosphere felt authentic. Although... read more

Reviewed September 21, 2018
Roger E
Great place to learn and enjoy Italian cooking

We took the cooking class with our daughter of 15 and we all enjoyed it. The location it really... read more

Reviewed August 11, 2018
IwanBanens
,
The Hague, The Netherlands
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All reviews focaccia orecchiette pasta the kitchen cooking class my husband and i italian cooking puglia wine experience school mamas dessert dishes location knowledge pugliese hall
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Reviewed August 29, 2017 via mobile

Our family did a half day cooking class and it was so fun. The Palazzo is so light and welcoming and we were introduced to the Mamas in the kitchen right away. We made Foccacia, fresh pasta, a fish dish, melanzane parmigianna, and even dessert - all of which were yummy and paired with local wines presented at each course. They served a wonderful antipasti at the start. We are doing this every time we come to Puglia and would recommend this for anyone with an interest in regional food and wine and the strong connection Pugliese people have with food.

Date of experience: August 2017
Thank Michael C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2017

My boyfriend and I were on our way to Lecce from Monopoli, and wanted to do a cooking lesson en route, so we booked with Ylenia. This was truly a lovely experience - we rolled up into this small town on a Sunday, so the shops were all closed and the town's old men were all gathered playing cards in the piazza where the school it...seemed like out of a movie. Ylenia, the founder of the school, welcomed us upstairs to the spacious cooking school, where she has taken pains to decorate the school in a way that celebrates the town's agricultural and wine-making history. The cooking lesson was ostensibly why we were there (and the food was divine), but Ylenia made it a more culturally significant experience - playing opera as we worked, talking about the importance of nutritious but simple, locally grown foods in Salentine cuisine, and generally sharing her passion for the region with us - in addition to introducing us to the neighbor and the "mamas" from the town, who work in the kitchen and help prep out the food the students work with - with a generous and delicious snack / wine-tasting as well. I really can't thank Ylenia enough, it was a special experience and I wish her and the school all the success in the world.

Date of experience: July 2017
1  Thank janetalawrence
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 29, 2017

I booked this venue for a family celebration of my husband's 60th birthday. We arrived in a beautiful Italian square in the centre of Squinzano, which looked like it was lost in time. We were welcomed into a lovely old building and told to treat it as our casa during our time there. Ylenia is fantastically passionate and engaging, and speaks excellent English. The two mamas speak less English but this adds to the charm of the experience, and their culinary knowledge is brilliant. Our food and wine was incredible and we learned so much about Puglian food, wine and culture. Ylenia looked genuinely pained when we asked her why we hadn't put any garlic in the focaccia - food means that much to her. I cannot recommend the day highly enough.

Date of experience: May 2017
Thank davidgN9061EC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 21, 2016 via mobile

We booked a half day cookery session while away in Puglia. We were looking for something to do due to unexpected inclement weather. I contacted Ylenia by e-mail with only 36 hours notice but she responded promptly and we were accommodated. In fact we got a personal class to ourselves.! It says they will accommodate only 2 people on the website - I can attest to the truthfulness of that claim.
We went to the school in Squinzano (parking a cinch c.f. Lecce & free). The school is held in the former town hall now the Museum of Oil & Wine. The building has been lovingly restored as an impressive venue and like much we saw and enjoyed in Puglia it has clearly been a labour of love. The ethos of care and attention to quality very evident. The course had much of the same flavour.
Inspired by our surroundings and warmly welcomed by Ylenia we got our pinnies on and got stuck in. The menu you prepare is dictated by what's locally available. We prepared focaccia, delicious aubergine rolls stuffed with mozzarella, basil, tomato, ham and Parmesan cheese, homemade pasta (orecchiette), chicken in a wine sauce and chocolate truffles!
Throughout the preparation the tuition was attentive, the conversation fascinating and fun. Then, just to make things even better Ylenia produced nibbles and local wines to try!
We were never rushed, even though they were expecting a large group later in the afternoon. We sat and chatted about anything and everything.
The course was a bargain for the price. The experience great fun and utterly memorable. I'd repeat it in an instant. Treat yourselves - it'll be one of the best things you do on your trip.

Date of experience: September 2016
Thank Q2928SGpeterr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2016

Cook in Puglia offers one of the best cooking experiences in Italy. Ylenia answered my emails promptly and catered to food allergies and preferences. She is a lot of fun and provides a great cooking class. We made several delicious dishes including focaccia, orecchiette pasta, involtini de melanzane, zucchini and potatoe bites, white parmigiana and chicken with herbs using local products while tasting some lovely wines, snacking and listening to opera. The class is very hands-on and informative. Recipes and an apron were provided and techniques were demonstrated so that the dishes could be repeated in your own home. We began our class at 10:30 and left after several hours, an incredible meal, dessert and coffee. Squinzano and the Puglia Wine School is an easy drive from Lecce and an absolutely gorgeous place to take a lesson. I highly recommend Cook in Puglia. Thank you Ylenia for a memorable and truly fun day.

Date of experience: July 2016
1  Thank foodies123456
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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