Karoline Piedra United States
October 2017, BookCulinaryVacations
I won't forget the place and people I met who led the program and ran the villa. Rosario, Ines, Luis and Marta were so hospitable and so kind and engaging! They love what they do and are such people persons that I felt at home and relaxed like hanging out with friends.
The wasps. Apparently global warming is impacting the wasp population this time of the year same as we had problems with ticks on east coast US. Good thing I'm a very bug friendly and fearless person. Obviously nature isn't something they could control, and they did their best to make us happy. Glad me and the two other guests I met there from Australia weren't deterred from enjoying breakfast al fresco!
August 2017, BookCulinaryVacations
loved trips to the market, food was very fresh and delicious, good hands-on experience, loved our hosts, loved the setting for our meals together, loved meeting other guests
sometimes felt bummed not to have a little bit more time to ourselves in the afternoon, trips to the market started mid-morning and lunch usually was mid-afternoon
We booked this before visiting Tavira on the Eastern Algarve last July. We are four mature ladies and our fellow classmates were a Canadian family consisting of mum, her son and his two teenage daughters along with an American couple, an eclectic mix who gelled well. After meeting our host at the local market, which happened to be right behind our hotel, we went with him to buy the fresh fish and vegetables required for our cooking. As we had no transport he arranged for local taxi to Monte do Alamo in the hills outside Tavira (not far). We then helped our hosts prepare a traditional Portugese Cataplana followed by carob truffles, all taking a turn in the preparation. After the demo we enjoyed the fruits of our endeavours plus excellent local wines an al fresco beneath a shady carob tree in the grounds of the beautiful villa. Delicious! The kitchen was well laid out and modern but the building had charm and traditional features. Something different to try on holiday.
Alexandra M. Canada
My husband and I booked a cooking class with Luis and Rosario as a part of our honeymoon in Portugal, and it was easily one of the best experiences of the entire trip. From the moment we arrived, we were welcomed like family to such a warm and inviting home. The day started with a trip to the market to pick out fresh ingredients for our recipes - such a treat, and a wonderful learning experience. Then back to the farm to create delicious dishes that we will never forget (we even got sent home with a recipe booklet so we can recreate these dishes at home!). We truly loved this day and could not imagine visiting Portugal and missing out on this hidden gem. Thank you so much Luis and Rosario for inviting us into your home and creating such a memorable day on our honeymoon.
a traveler United States
We recently took the Wood Fired Oven class and it was the highlight of our 3 weeks in Portugal. Unfortunately we had already booked our lodging before we found the class because it would have been great to actually stay at Monte do Alamo with Rosario and Luis. We loved learning to cook in the wood oven and the items we learned to cook were delicious (especially loved the breads and almond truffles). We're sure we'll use what we learned with our own wood fired oven. Altogether, a perfect day! Thanks, Rosario and Luis. We hope to return sometime.
a traveler Egypt
Our family started our incredible cooking class by meeting Luis at the market to shop for the freshest and finest ingredients to prepare a traditional cataplana seafood meal. In addition, he pointed out and described the salt beds nearby and the salt making process that has been a part of this community for 2000 years. We continued to the hilltop vista of Monte do Alamo, also a B&B with old olive, almond, fig trees, herbs and vegetable gardens which we used in our dinner preparation. Our gracious hosts, Rosario, Luis , and Mariana brought us into a modern kitchen to prepare the cataplana meal and also a desert of truffles of 4 different toppings. We learned a few tips of preparing the food also and finally shared the meal along with bread and wine at the family dining table overlooking the beautiful town of Tavira and the sea below. This is an experience you will never forget as you will be immersed in the authentic Portuguese culture. We've already ordered our cataplana pot and will soon be able to enjoy the Taste of Algarve in Texas!
a traveler United States
I was visiting the Algarves in October and contacted Taste Algarve about taking a cooking class. Mariana went above and beyond to fit me into a class based on my availability and what was on offer during the days of my visit. She also was super helpful with getting me a taxi transfer to the class. (Furthermore, she volunteered to help me find alternate accommodations, and found us something wonderful, when our first place had some flooding issues).I took the market tour and cooking class. Despite some initial confusion with trying to meet up (I was hooking up with a team building group that was booked in), we eventually found each other. The market tour was nice and then the cooking class at the farm was fantastic. The menu was very tasty and the class was very well organized. They have a beautiful facility! The cooking class was much more about the food taste, origins, and culture (i.e., don't expect a technical cooking lesson), which I thought was great, it was what I came for.I highly recommend Taste Algarve to anyone who wants to learn more about the origins and culture of Portuguese food, learn how to make it, and, of course, eat it!
a traveler United Kingdom
This was the highlight of our trip! Ines and her family provided us with a personally selected menu of pulvo (octopus) cataplana style, a starter, and dessert at their beautiful farm / bed and breakfast. Our day started with a trip to the local market to purchase fresh ingredients for us to use. Ines also showed us other local produce and seafood and helped us make selections and purchases for our own use later. Then she showed us the salt basins in Tavira where the flor do sol is harvested. Once back at the farm, we all had a great time taking turns following the recipes (provided to keep) to make the three dishes (starter: fried goats cheese; main: pulvo cataplana; dessert: orange cake). The recipes were selected specifically to meet our family's allergy food restrictions and we were not disappointed! Then we all sat down together for the meal served with wine and coffee. It was a fantastic day and we highly recommend it to everyone. If we are able to visit the area again, we will absolutely take another class!
a traveler United States
I was visiting the Algarves in October and contacted Taste Algarve about taking a cooking class. Mariana went above and beyond to fit me into a class based on my availability and what was on offer during the days of my visit. She also was super helpful with getting me a taxi transfer to the class. (Furthermore, she volunteered to help me find alternate accommodations, and found us something wonderful, when our first place had some flooding issues).I took the market tour and cooking class.Despite some initial confusion with trying to meet up (I was hooking up with a team building group that was booked in), we eventually found each other. The market tour was nice and then the cooking class at the farm was fantastic (I only wish the weather had been better so I could have seen more of the farm). The menu was very tasty and the class was very well organized. They have a beautiful facility! The cooking class was much more about the food taste, origins and culture (i.e., don't expect a technical cooking lesson) which I thought was great, it was what I came for. I highly recommend Taste Algarve to anyone who wants to learn more about the origins and culture of Portuguese food, learn how to make it, and, of course, eat it!
Beverly M. Canada
We loved everything about the time spent, the trip to the market, the other guests, the hosts, the class, the food and wine, the ambience, the hospitality. They made us feel right at home and we will definitely make an effort to return one day. We have ordered a Cataplana pan and will make this dish with friends at home.
Sandy C. and Jen Canada
My wife and I were in Algarve, Portugal for a month. We did the cooking class our second last day. Hosts were fantastic, friendly and very informative. The trip to the market was a bonus and Luis even took the time for a short drive through salt flats and town when I asked a few questions. Without question, this is one of the highlights of our month.
I loved this experience. I purchased this as part of my partners birthday celebration and was not disappointed. Mariana did everything within her power to help the process including organizing transfers for us to the venue. Everyone at Taste Algarve took every step to welcome us to Monte do lamo. The market trip was a great experience. We returned to the markets several times during our stay. The instruction was blended with knowledge and humor, not to mention the Cataplana was divine! I had to source my own Cataplana for home cooking! Thanks Marianna, Luis, Rosario and everyone at Taste Algarve for providing a great experience and making us feel like part of the family!
Renato A. Portugal
We have chosen the "Cataplana Workshop", which included a trip to Tavira's market to buy the products to do the Cataplana, a 2-hour super interesting cooking workshop with very friendly people and a few glasses of local white wine! This is a must-do experience for the food lovers who want to know a bit more about Algarve cuisine.
Katharinya United States
It is one of a kind experience. First of all, you are welcome by the extremely friendly Portuguese hosts who guide you through the local market to buy the ingredients and tell you a lot about local specialties. Then you go on a short boat trip to one of the beautiful isolated islands only surrounded by locals. In a pretty traditional house next to the ocean you start washing the seafood, breathing fresh air and cutting the vegetables. Then you continue to cook different typical Portuguese dishes as well as drinks. At the end you can enjoy an amazingly cooked meal and have a chat together with the hosts and other participants. No worries, it is always a small group. It is such a special and unique experience that I would highly recommend it to everyone who wants to get a real taste of Algarve.
a traveler United States
This is absolutely a must-do during your stay in Algarve. We combined two classes and spent the day with Luis and Rosario. They were great hosts and we enjoyed them and the class. Going to the market for fresh ingredients and seafood was an awesome experience.
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