Diane Seed, author of the best-selling "The Top One Hundred Pasta Sauces" and many other books on Italian cooking, has lived in Rome for over 30 years. She has a cooking school in the beautiful Doria Pamphili palace in the centre of Rome. Her apartment is in the part of the palace used to house guests on the Grand Tour, and the small round window looks over Piazza Venezia, down to the Forum and the Colosseum.
Diane also takes people to explore exciting destinations like Sicily, Puglia and the Amalfi Coast, and in the last four years she has started developing gastronomic tours to countries she explored while researching her Mediterranean and Indian books.These tours have some cooking but the emphasis is on finding good food and wine while enjoying the most appealing aspects of these fascinating countries. The Gourmet Adventures feature Greece, Turkey, Morocco and India.
Symi, Greece in June
Marrakech April 2014
Sicily June 2014
Today air travel has become fraught with problems but I still travel a lot, and for me the arrival more than makes up for the 'travelling hopefully'. Certain places make me feel I have known and loved them in another lifetime while others are excitingly alien.Greece has been my summer mecca for many years, demanding a yearly pilgrimage, and in the last few years I have started to add gastronomic tours to those countries I explored while researching my Mediterranean book. I fell in love with India through books, long before my first visit, and the many trips I made while writing my Indian cook book added another perennial pleasure.
These tours have some cooking, usually 2 or 3 lessons, but the emphasis is on finding the good food and enjoying the most appealing aspects of these fascinating countries.
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Learn about Italian life, past and present, as you enjoy incredible, fresh flavours. You don't have to be a passionate. experienced cook to enjoy this experience.
Puglia October/November 2013
Goa and Mysore February 2013
Greece - Symi and Sifnos June , July and September 2013
Sicily April 2013
February 2013 Newsletter
Rome has been alternating wet, grey days with crisp sunny spells. It has not been very cold but there have been biting winds and I have dug out the winter woolens I didn’t use last year when I escaped the worst weather in India. On two occasions when I was catching a train I wore my very heavy Finnish sheepskin coat and my white false-fur hat I bought a few years ago for Russia. I obviously looked the part because as I marched into Rome’s Stazione Termini I was greeted by a fellow traveler from the Ukraine in his own language. His face fell when I looked blank and replied in English.
There have been some interesting exhibitions in Rome: one on the Silk Road and another on Akbar, the famous Indian Moghul emperor. When I wandered round the lovely miniatures I decided too much time had past since my last Rajasthan trip so next year India will be the north rather than the south. I am giving the recipe for ‘Nine-Jewelled Chicken’ named after Akbar’s nine wise counselors. I am leaving for Mysore and Goa on Friday and I am looking forward to delicious dosa and appam breakfasts.
The charge levied for visas depends on the holder’s passport and I have decided that being British is an expensive business. I waited for ages in the queue at the Indian embassy and watched the Italians all handing over their 53 euros. There seemed to be a problem with change so I went out to a bar for a coffee to get some change. When it finally got to my turn and I counted out the exact amount I was told that I needed to pay 155 euros as I had a British passport.
Since Christmas I have given a few lessons in Rome and it has been fun cooking the more substantial dishes. We drink more red wine in cold weather and I have appreciated the electric corkscrew Jane and Dave sent me on their return to the US. It has made my life so much easier. I emerge from hibernation to stock up with some more Nebbiolo or Primitivo.
Easter is early this year so we have been in the throes of Carnivale. The streets are littered with patches of rain-sodden confetti and the more exclusive food shops have piles of frappe and castagnole to offer their customers. I studied Latin for years at school and at the the end of every lesson we had to stand and send the teacher on her way with a hand flourish and a decisive ‘Vale’. I had been in Rome for several years before it dawned on me that the period before Lent got its name from the farewell to eating meat. This year the early calendar means St.Valentine’s day comes straight after Ash Wednesday but I don’t think the young Romans will let that dull their ardour.
Gourmet Adventures in 2013
I still have some places for Istanbul in May and if you are interested you need to move quickly because there will be a new destination in May 2014. There have been two cancellations for private reasons for the lovely Greek island of Symi in June. Please get in touch as soon as possible if you are interested.
There will be classes every month in Rome and in October after several years absence I am returning to Puglia, where I held my first classes many years ago, to hold a school at the lovely Don Ferrante hotel. This will be replaced by Sicily in 2014 so act now if you want to explore Puglia.