Engage the senses and 'Dine with the Stars' at Grand Hotel Timeo — Photo courtesy of Orient-ExpressIt’s no secret that Italians have an ongoing love affair with food; family events and get-togethers often take place around a sociable dining table. Accordingly, Orient-Express’ Italian hotels have announced an incredibly enticing event entitled ‘Dining with the Stars.’ Taking place over a series of five weekends, this appetizing affair will celebrate the art of Italian cookery.
Exclusively for hotel guests, ‘Dining with the Stars’ will take place from March to November. Over the course of the five weekends, Michelin-starred chefs, who have been awarded a combined total of 21 stars, will compose their best cuisine in the form of two gourmet dinners. Additionally, guests will enjoy luxury accommodations and a trip to a nearby site of interest; it will undoubtedly be the experience of a lifetime for travelers who are gastronomically inclined.
Enjoy views of Venice as you dine at Hotel Cipriani — Photo courtesy of Orient-Express
From March 17th to 19th, the iconic Hotel Cipriani in Venice will have the privilege of hosting the first event of the series. Three Michelin-starred Chef Massimo Bottura, of Antica Osteria del Teatro in Piacenza, will be present to produce signature cuisine. As a special treat, guests will be taken to the Fortuny atelier on Giudecca Island for a guided tour. Guests will also take in a little piece of history at Bevilacqua weaving mill, where hand-operated looms and techniques dating back to the Renaissance are still in use.
Al fresco dining at Hotel Splendido — Photo courtesy of Orient-Express
Hotel Splendido in Portofino will have the honor of presenting chefs Chicco and Bobo Cerea, and Pino Cuttaia, on April 14th and 15th. With a shared total of five Michelin stars, Pino will prepare a culinary experience of Sicilian cuisine, while Chicco and Bobo will infuse their love of tradition-inspired modern fare into avant-garde desserts. The sensory journey continues as guests make their way to an exclusive harp and violin concert at the private gardens of the historical Cervara Abbey in Portofino.
The beautiful restaurant at Villa Sant'Andrea — Photo courtesy of Orient-Express
On September 29th, Pietro Leemann, chef and owner of the first Michelin-starred vegetarian restaurant, will be at Grand Hotel Timeo and Villa Sant’Andrea in Taormina, where he will craft a vegetarian tasting menu. On September 30th, world-renowned Chef Heinz Beck will utilize Taormina’s tomato, one of their best crops. The lucky guests who choose to visit Taormina will have an educational experience at a puppet-making workshop, where they can absorb this fundamental part of Sicilian culture. A visit to Catania fish market will enlighten as guests learn about different types of fish found in local waters.
The Amalfi Coast is a gorgeous backdrop to any dining experience at Hotel Caruso — Photo courtesy of Orient-Express
Hotel Caruso, in temperate and sunny Ravello, will play host to Norbert Niederkofler, famous for founding the Chef’s Cup in Italy, and Niko Romito, who works wonders with extra virgin olive oil and cheeses from the Abruzzi region. On October 20th and 21st, the two chefs will combine their skills to produce tantalizing cuisine. And, as guests waltz to their hearts’ content, they will have the opportunity to enjoy some of Wagner’s best music, which he composed after an inspirational visit to historic Ravello.
Exquisite surroundings at the Villa San Michele restaurant — Photo courtesy of Orient-Express
The final culinary weekend of the ‘Dining with the Stars’ series will take place at Villa San Michele in Florence, which is also the site of the internationally famous cooking school. On November 3rd and 4th, Mauro Uliassi, famous for signature seafood dishes, and Gennaro Esposito, who is responsible for organizing the Feast of Vico (a food festival that brings 150 chefs to the Amalfi Coast and lasts 3 days) will create Michelin-starred cuisine. Additionally, guests will be taken to the San Miniato region for an exciting and rare experience: truffle hunting with a specially trained dog.
‘Dining with the Stars’ weekends include two nights in a luxury Junior suite, two dinners prepared by Michelin-starred chefs, daily breakfast, and a visit to a local point of interest. Rates for one weekend begin at $5,258 (approximately €3,910) per couple. These amazing weekends are sure to excite, so don’t delay in booking your reservation for an unforgettable trip that will engage all five senses.