For nearly 20 years, Silvestro Silvestori has been teaching international visitors about food and wine at his culinary school in Puglia, a fascinating region on Italy's heel.
Silvestro has welcomed students from 59 countries to The Awaiting Table, and I was one of them. What makes his approach unique, both from an international and local perspective, is Silvestro's passionate commitment to inspiring a different kind of tourism.
"I love teaching the relationships between disciplines, because in wine you can understand everything here in southern Europe." Silvestro explains how wine allows us to understand history, geography, cuisine, cultural identity, even economics. "I wish someone would have taught like this when I was growing up."
Silvestro's different classes immerse visitors into authentic experiences, such as shopping for fresh ingredients and local wine at small grocers, making regional dishes from scratch, picking olives and learning about olive oil, making and bottling homemade tomato sauce. But underlying each of these experiences is Silvestro's main goal: to highlight what makes lesser-known places in southern Italy special, while reinforcing tourism in an authentic way that allows regional industries to thrive long-term.
I can't wait to see where his Terronia episodes will take us, how they will enchant us and make us yearn to discover these unique regions in a meaningful, sustainable way.
Silvestro: I wish you the best in this passionate endeavor!
From my heart to yours,