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    Accommodation, Fine Dining, Lifestyle

    Rocco Forte’s Culinary Secrets of Italy

    Exploring Italy’s regions through seasonal cuisine
    18 January, 2024

    Since its inception in 1996, the Rocco Forte Hotels group has operated with the prevailing concept of creating a sense of place in all of its locations, ensuring guests truly experience local authenticities in a completely tailored manner. Much like Blend Group, Rocco Forte champions bespoke and that’s why we love them so much.

    Their latest venture is the Culinary Secrets of Italy, which sees gastronomic maestro and Creative Director of Food, Fulvio Pierangelini, launch a series of culinary retreats which celebrate his passion for Italy’s exquisite cuisine. Best known as a visionary who transformed a sleepy Tuscan fishing port venue into a two-Michelin-star restaurant, Pierangelini’s passion for this seasonal and regional project is clear to see.

    Spring: Palermo, history through food

    Taking guests on a journey of cuisine and culture through the markets of Sicily’s Palermo, this four-night excursion takes a deep dive into the island’s history through its food, wine and art. Staying at the 19th-century Pallazo and former centre of Sicily’s social scene, Villa Igiea, means guests have unparalleled access to all the island has to offer.

    The experience takes in the intoxicating atmosphere of Palermo’s local markets, where fresh ingredients are bought and transformed into restaurant-quality meals in the kitchens of Florio, the Pallazo’s on-site restaurant. Exquisite cuisine is complemented by a selection of local wines and enjoyed in the historic, palatial surroundings.

    Autumn: Puglia’s golden harvest

    This autumn, Rocco Forte invites you to take a four-night culinary journey through centuries of olive oil production in Puglia. Regarded as a child of Puglia, olive oil is the region’s heartbeat and guests of this experience are plunged straight into its epicentre.

    Guests spend time on land and sea, immersing themselves into the local landscape and culture, taking in vineyards and dairy farms, as well as the plentiful sun-kissed olive groves. The time spent with Fulvio Pierangelini himself is what makes the experience so unique, as local customs and techniques are learned and food is enjoyed in the style of la dolce vita.

    October: Savouring southern Sicily

    The Culinary Secrets return to Sicily in late October, celebrating the region’s gastronomic heritage by touring the local flavours, farmers and produce. Guests stay in Rocco Forte’s 5-star Verdura Resort, which comprises 230 hectares of Mediterranean coast and countryside, boasting olive trees, orange groves and white-sand beaches.

    It’s within the organic gardens of the resort that the experience really comes to life, however, as learnings are amplified through hands-on cooking classes and dining. From mastering a fine pesto to creating unique blends of olive oil, guests turn local produce into culinary delights, before enjoying ultimate relaxation in the spa.

    Culinary experiences at The Balmoral

    It’s not just on the continent that the Rocco Forte Group is paving the way in culinary tourism. The iconic Balmoral in Edinburgh houses a prestigious whisky bar with over 500 varieties of Scottish whisky and its Rare and Ghosted tasting experience allows guests to sample some of its most exclusive drams.

    For those who feel a little more adventurous, the hotel’s Journey Around Scotland visits several regions, including Speyside, the Highlands, the Lowlands and Campbelltown, providing an immersive way for whisky lovers to experience Scotland’s delightful delicacy.

    If you like the sound of a luxury gastronomy-based getaway, feel free to contact us here. At Blend Group, we’re specialists in curating bespoke, once-in-a-lifetime experiences for our clients and can take care of everything from travel and accommodation to extra special experiences.

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