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GK_SicilyImage_Event&ToursJoin us in Sicily April 26 – May 3, 2014

Save the Date: Sicily Information Night. Wednesday January 29th from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Good Keuken Kitchen at 5031 NE 42nd Ave. →RSVP 


Food cultures of the Old World have much to imbue upon the new. Sicily holds the synchronicity of land, sea, ingredient and tradition. Travel with us to the eastern coast of Catania, resting in the shadow of Mt. Etna to see, understand and taste for ourselves the fruits of one of the world’s richest culinary regions.

Sicily is a confluence; the Greeks, the Moors, and the Spaniards all held sway to the land in eras of past. What has ensued is an Italian cuisine which is a cousin to the Boot, yet unique unto it’s own. The list is long from the spoils of invasions – cinnamon, saffron, rice, citrus, couscous, cacao, maize, peppers and more. Greek colonists settled in our home base of the east bringing broad beans, pistachios, olives and the cuisine of the sea.

Our focus is food. Daily excursions will take us to the people, producers and artisans who shape the cuisine of today in Sicily, rooted in over a millennium of tradition. We will shop at markets, visit farms, travel to wineries and walk through orchards. At the close of each day we come together in our kitchen, cook a meal, and share the table.


The Course

Students develop culinary technique and skill in the context of learning the lessons of Italian food culture. From soil to table, what is the story of those that grow and produce the food we will be cooking with? The course is equally apropos to those in the culinary industry as it is to a very broad range of other professionals.

The course is appropriate for students from a wide range of experience levels and backgrounds.


The Lodging

Our group, of no more than 7 students, will settle in a villa along the eastern coast of Sicily, outside of Catania. We will meet on Saturday, April 26th in Catania and travel together to the villa.


Tuition & Enrollment

  • Early Enrollment is $4800. Deadline is 2/14/14.
  • Standard Enrollment is $5800. Deadline is 3/17/14.

A double occupancy discount of $1000 is offered. Also, a discount is available to students who enroll in the Spring Culinary Program at Good Keuken.

Students are encouraged to inquire about enrollment as early as possible. 

What does the tour cost cover?

From 4/26 to the morning of 5/3, we cover everything – your lodging, transportation, meals, instruction and any costs related to our daily excursions. The tour does not cover your airfare or any travel you do prior to or after our week together.

The Students

  • Both Good Keuken students and those new to Good Keuken may enroll. Those from outside of Portland can easily join us, as we meet up in Catania, where the course commences.
  • Only seven students are accepted, for a distinctly low student/teacher ratio of two to one.
  • The course is appropriate for a wide range of students of varying experience, ages, and backgrounds. The very low student/teacher ratio allows each student to receive personalized instruction tailored to their cooking level, whether you’re new to cooking or are an experienced professional. The course teaches lessons of authenticity of place that are applicable to many levels of experience and various backgrounds. Those who have joined us in the past include 20-some year old industry line cooks with ambitions of a culinary career, professionals in their 40s and 50s curious about cooking and looking for a cultural experience, and a wide variety of both home cooks and seasoned chefs.
  • It is not necessary to speak Italian. Classes are conducted in English and translation will be provided during tours.


The Teachers

Fabio Patane – While a student at The Chef Studio in Portland, Oregon, Fabio was many times invited to share his Sicilian food and dishes. He brings the best of his native Catania into the kitchen; when you cook a giant squid it will indeed have the name of Etna (and be delicious). Fabio fluently straddles both his Italian and American homes and exudes a patience, confidence and love of food in his kitchen. When Fabio is not cooking for his most important clients, his wife, Raven, and their two year-old, Agatha, he brings his Italian Chef Services to his community in Corvallis, OR.

Brenda Crow – What happens when a gourmet food importer, chef and national sales manager for Olympic Provisions is fluent in Italian? She comes to Sicily. Not only does Brenda bring her global food connections, sleuthing the best of the best food artisans, but she also shares her passion and humor with the people she meets and the food she cooks.

Blake Van Roekel – As Director of Good Keuken, Blake finds that traveling and eating are truly la dolce vita. She has co-led culinary tours for the last four years. For her, trips abroad are certainly about learning of culture, cuisine and techniques in the kitchen, but they also hold saturated moments of friendship, laughter and adventure at the shared table.


A footnote on the story of the tour:

Blake and Fabio have been talking about going to Sicily for years. It was a conversation that began at the table in The Chef Studio when Fabio was a student. Robert would say every time the topic arose, “Do it!” – with a firm air that absolutely everything is plausible; to think otherwise only sits with those who lack imagination. Why not go to Sicily? Why not . . .