Master of Italian Cuisine, 3 Months Full Immersion with 10 Culinary Masters covering all areas of Italian Regional and Mediterranean Haute Cuisine, Patissier, Baking, Artisan Gelato, Sommelier, Curing, Gastronomic Travel throughout Italy and much more!
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The Mediterranean Dream
May 25 - June 4, 2018


It is with great pleasure and pride that we invite you to join us to enjoy and savor the The Mediterranean Dream!

During this special travel program, you'll live Italy, not as a tourist, but as an Italian, as you travel and dine with food and wine connoisseurs from the real Italy: Magna Grecia, Calabria and Sicily, the places that existed a thousand years before Rome...

Calabria, the birthplace of wine in mainland Europe, with its breathtaking pristine seas, and Sicily, the land of colors, will show you an Italy that visitors rarely see, and once seen, never forgotten...

Created for the most discerning Epicureans, The Mediterranean Dream is the most impressive leisure tour available in Italy and is the only one that is presented and hosted by Frans and Jennifer Weits, proprietors of Jack Sprat Restaurant and the Italian Culinary Institute (ICI). Our excursion has been planned by people who love fabulous wine and dining, culture and fun as much as you do...

Join us for a colorful gastronomic and cultural journey through the "old country" where so many wonder about but so few venture..


Day 1 – Calabria – Arrival & Welcome Dinner

  • Arrival at Lamezia Terme International Airport (CODE: SUF), transfer to the hotel Baia dell’Est.
  • Welcome dinner with Frans and Jennifer Weits, proprietors of Jack Sprat Restaurant and ICI president chef John Nocita.
  • Overnight at the hotel, Calabria

Day 2 - Visit and Wine Tasting in an Enoteca; Artisan Gelato Tasting, Master Chef's Dinner

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Transfer to the seaside town of Soverato, the "Pearl of the Ionian Sea" to its most renown enoteca for a tasting of Cirò wines.
    • Cirò means "Cyprus" in Italian and is the place where the Ancient Greeks named as its capital for what once was Magna Grecia or Great Greece. Here, participants will taste the same wines that opened the ceremonies at the 2004 Olympic Ceremonies in Athens. The Cirò D.O.C. red wines are the oldest wines in Europe and have recently been dubbed as "Super Southerns" by the world's most authoritative wine publications.
Seaside town of Soverato on the Ionian Sea.In the last 20 years, the region has become renown for a limited selection of super whites as well. We'll taste them alongside typical cured meats and cheeses from the area's top producers.
  • Artisan Gelato Tasting
    • Gelato is now the world's fastest growing sector of patisserie In Italy, it even exceeds pizza in sales volume. A chef must know everything about gastronomy. This knowledge not only comes from studying but from tasting as well.
  • Lunch
  • The rest of the afternoon is free for a swim in the pristine waters of the Ionian sea, walking amongst the incredible beauty that surrounds the hotel or for rest for the week ahead.
  • Master Chef's Dinner.
  • Overnight at the hotel, Calabria

Day 3 - Cheese, Cured Meats, Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar Class and Tasting; Visit and Dinner Feast at an Organic Farm

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Experience a cheese, cured meats, Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar Class and Tasting conducted by master chef John Nocita that will open your mind and educate your pallet.
  • Lunch
  • Afternoon departure for a visit to an “agriturismo.”
  • An agriturismo is an organic farm that is owned and operated by farmers both of livestock and vegetation. Here we dine on truly local delicacies that are ALL produced on site by the proprietors. Every item on the menu including extra virgin olive oil, cheese, cured meats, breads, and of course, wines are made on the premises offering a unique insight to Italian artisan gastronomy and flavor.
  • Overnight at the hotel, Calabria

Day 4 – Calabria – Hands-on Cooking Lesson; Evening Pasta Party

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Hands-on Cooking Lesson with ICI chefs: Pasta, pasta, pasta!
  • In Italy, Pasta represents a healthy, tasty colorful dish. For chefs and homecooks, pasta represents unlimited creativity… In addition to hands-on preparation, participants learn Regionalism: understanding where each pasta comes from in Italy enables epicurians to identify the appropriate sauces or condiments for that dish. It also gives a clear idea of how to pair that dish with the perfect wine and, most importantly, create an entire healthy and natural menu with pasta as the starter.
  • In this lesson, participants will work hands-on alongside ICI chefs preparing over 50 types of pasta in just one day!
  • Chef’s style kitchen lunch.
  • Dinner: Pasta Party paired with three Super Southern wines.
  • Overnight at the hotel, Calabria

Day 5 - Neither Meat nor Fish; Mediterranean and Alternative Cuisine; Cucina Espressa; Dessert Dinner & Wine Pairing

Roasted pheasant in pistachio crust, grilled zucchini and game demi.

'Neither Meat nor Fish', 'Mediterranean and Alternative Cuisine' and 'Cucina Espressa' are where modern Mediterranean and vegetarian cuisine are combined and presented with a thoroughness and clarity unique to the industry even in Italy...

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Tradition Vs Innovation
    • A side by side preparation of inter-regional Italian cuisine where dishes are prepared in the traditional manner and then elevated to the standards of modern cuisine, aesthetics and health standards clearly demonstrating the evolution of Italian cuisine.
  • LBluefin tuna rolleunch
  • "La Cucina Espressa" Mediterranean Cooking in under 10 minutes.
    • The techniques used in these preparations give participants the ability to create literally hundreds of unique, healthy and colorful "express" dishes. Our dishes will be seasonal and change accordingly.
  • Risotto
    • Choosing the best rice.
    • Preparation and execution of perfect risotto.
  • Cooking with Truffles
    • Several delicacies are prepared using one of the world's most precious ingredients.
  • End of lesson.
  • Dessert Dinner: Three desserts paired with three obscure dessert wines.
  • Overnight at the hotel, Calabria

Day 6 - Focaccia, Pizza and Specialty Breads: Tradition and Evolution According to ICI; Dinner at a Hearth Oven Pizzeria

IClick here to see the work of l Maestro Nicola StratotiThis full day hands-on program features a master baker bringing even the most experienced chefs to new levels. During this entertaining day, participants work hands-on alongside the master preparing traditional Italian regional baked specialties.

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Lesson begins with Colazione Italiana alla Artigiana. In the age of frozen breakfast pastries, packaged breads and industrially made condiments, the classic Italian breakfast has become as exclusive as fine dining is at any other time of day. Assorted hearth breads, freshly prepared creams of nuts and chocolate mass and jams made with seasonal fruit highlight this "colazione" or first meal. So rare, even in Italy, an artisan breakfast can only be found at select cafés at triple the price of a common continental breakfast. A brief explanation of the meal and its importance to your clients is followed by a tasting.
  • Hands-on preparation of specialty rolls for restaurant and banquet service includes a series of breads for restaurant and volume catering service that are prepared using both natural and fast rising procedures with dry, fresh and liquid flavor options:
    • Dry: Cracked pepper, sesame, oregano
    • Fresh: Sundried tomatoes, olives, dill
    • Liquid: pureed and emulsified vegetables
  • Hands-on preparation of traditional Italian Regional and international leavened breads and "sfizioisi" using mixed yeast combinations
    • Ciabatta
    • Ciabattina
    • Baguette
    • Grissini
  • Lunch
  • Preparation of classic Regional focaccia and pizza followed by their innovative counterparts.
  • Participants prepare several types of pizza and focaccia utilizing various doughs and ingredients while changing cooking methods for each item revealing vastly diverse results for each with simple modifications in technique.
  • End of lessonPizza Paradise!
  • Dinner at a classic hearth oven pizzeria. Pizzerias in Italy are divided into several two categories: electric and hearth. Pizza from a wood burning oven is a delicacy enjoyed in a unique festive atmosphere, especially amongst colleagues. After a day of pizza production, participants are ready to make the comparison...
  • Overnight at the hotel, Calabria

Day 7 - Market Visit; Visit to Roccelletta di Borgia: Archaeological Site; Visit Squillace: The City of Terracotta; Mediterranean Feast

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Morning departure for mercatino. Free time at mercatino.
  • Departure for Roccelletta di Borgia, considered the most important Ancient World archaeological sites in Italy today, these well preserved ruins span over 2 millenniums and 3 distinct time periods, showcasing ruins including of a Greek Theater, Roman Market and Byzantine cathedral in an unbelievable display of integrated architectural and cultural history.
  • Lunch at a local restaurant.
  • After Roccelletta di Borgia we proceed to Squillace, a medieval walled town perched on a hill overlooking the Ionian Sea so famous for its terracotta that Flavius Magnus Aurelias Cassiodorus, ancient Roman statesman and writer, mentions the terracotta of Squillace in his writings about two thousand years ago!
  • In Squillace we will see how an artisan terracotta Maker assembles a pignata, an earthenware pot which became famous in Italy, and is still used today.
  • Free time is perfect for exploring this amazing village.
  • Early evening return to the hotel.
  • Dinner: Authentic Mediterranean Feast
  • Overnight at the hotel, Calabria

Day 8– Sicily – Giardini-Naxos; Taormina

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Early Morning departure to cross the Straights of Messina for Sicily. Those who have read The Odyssey, will remember what a terrible time Ulysses had getting past Scylla and Charybdis, which flank what is now known as the Straits of Messina. We’ll have an easier time on one of Italy’s traghettos. A special tradition that we follow on the boat is to eat an arancino. Aficionados throughout Italy actually travel to the ferry only for a taste of this delicacy.
  • After crossing with the ferry, we continue and arrive in Giardini-Naxos at Taormina to check into the hotel and for a special lunch at a local restaurant.
  • Following lunch we continue to the main drag of Taormina, Established in 358 BC and “free time” begins. The city is surrounded by incredible beauty and is situated on a bluff overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and Europe’s most active volcano, Mt. Etna. Shopping and historical sites are a sogno siciliano…a Sicilian Dream!
  • Free evening in Taormina.
  • Dinner open.
  • Overnight at the hotel in Sicily

Day 9– Sicily – Taormina; Free Day

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Free time to explore some of the most precious and intact Roman and Ancient Greek ruins outside of Greece. Taormina stands 200 meters above sea level and looks down onto the Ionian Sea like a terrace, the prettiest you have ever seen. Over the centuries, this place has fascinated wretched poets and writers and restless painters who decided to put down roots here, maybe so they could purify themselves by being in contact with Nature or perhaps they were attracted by the unique, refreshing climate that makes it seem like it is always springtime.
  • A visit to the Greek-Roman Theater will take your breath away, as this unbelievable work by mankind is perched on the mountain, from where one’s gaze drops down to the deep blue sea and up to Etna's peak, an overwhelming presence in harmony with the landscape.
  • Also a short hike or bus ride can take you to and from Castelmola with beautiful views of Mt. Etna. After you have fulfilled your cultural fix, shop in some of the hundreds of stores and stop for cannoli, aperitifs and gelato everywhere!
  • Lunch and dinner open.
  • Overnight at the hotel in Sicily

Day 10 – Sicily; Calabria; Artisan Cannoli Tasting

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Late morning departure for Messina where we stop at a Pasticceria and taste the famous Cannoli.
  • Ferry transport from Messina to Calabria
  • Farewell Dinner at the Italian Culinary Institute (Risotto Tris)
  • Overnight at the hotel, Calabria

Day 11 – Departure

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Departure and transfer to Lamezia Terme Airport.
  • Arriverderci!!!
  • 10 nights of accommodations at 3 star hotels in Calabria & Sicily
  • Transfers from and to the airport
  • Breakfast every day
  • 7 lunches
  • Wine tasting at an Enoteca accompanied with traditional meats and cheeses from the region.
  • Chef’s-style kitchen lunch
  • Lunch at a local restaurant in Squillace
  • Dinner Feast at an organic farm including wine
  • Lunch at a restaurant in Giardini-Naxos, Sicily
  • Cannoli in Messina
  • 7 Dinners
  • Welcome dinner paired with wine
  • Dessert dinner paired with wine
  • Authentic Mediterranean Feast
  • Farewell dinner paired with wine
  • Master Chef's Dinner
  • All ground Transportation including airport transfers, all visits and dining, ferry for Sicily and more
  • English/Italian speaking guides
  • Cooking lessons
  • Olive oil & balsamic vinegar class and tasting
  • Tax and VAT included
  • All gratuities are included
  • Pasta Party paired with wine
  • Risotto Tris paired with wine
$3800 per person (dbl.occ.) •Price does not include airfare

Payment Information:
Wire Transfer, Visa, Mastercard & American Express are accepted for full payment.
Payment due by 90 days prior to departure date.
Payments are refundable minus a $150 administration fee until 90 days prior to start date.





Italian Culinary Exploration, Professional Culinary and Baking Program, 1 WEEK FULL IMMERSION & ALL INCLUSIVE, Italian Culinary Institutes, The Italian Institute for Advanced Culinary and Pastry Arts, Cooking Schools, Cookery Schools, Professional Italian Cuisine, CAST Alimenti, Calabria, Italy, Brescia, Italy, Venice, Italy, Badolato, Italy, Soverato, Italy, Italian Haute Cuisine, World Class Culinary Competitions, Culinary World Cup, Pastry World Cup, Coupe du Monde, John Nocita, Gualtiero Marchesi, Iginio Massari, Pierre Herme


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