Skip to main content

Back to all

Discovering Local Flavours in Southern Italy

02 February 2017


The owners and managers of 15 restaurants enrolled in TAP’s MENA (Master of Excellence in New Food) programme took part in a discovery tour of the gastronomic flavours that the Puglia region offers. MENA participants learnt more about high-quality local products by visiting a garden, an olive tree grove as well as well-known traditional taverns. One of the tour highlights was a gourmet lunch at Falsopepe, a cosy little restaurant in the heart of the old village of Massafra (Province of Taranto), prepared by the expert hands of Apulian Chef Anna Maria Di Gregorio.


TAP launched MENA, a high-level training programme focused on highlighting the delicious flavours of southern Italy’s food sector, in October 2016. The initiative aims to enhance the quality of service in the tourism sector, and is part of a TAP wide initiative to sponsor projects that support the local economy in the countries in which it operates. 

“The higher quality the products used in the restaurant kitchen, the better the taste of the final dish. So understanding how to recognise, select and supply the best local products was a great outdoor learning experience,” said one of the MENA participants.

MENA courses began in January 2017 and will last about three months, covering the daily management of a restaurant to cooking techniques and transformation of raw ingredients. The top three students will receive the help of an additional dedicated consultancy to revamp the offer of their restaurants, including advice on beefing up the menu and re-training staff.

The high-level training programme was designed together with RP Consulting, an Apulian communications and marketing agency specialising in the food and beverage services sector and in collaboration with important partners, including Slow Food Puglia, the Italian Foundation of Sommelier and H.Q.F. Quality Food.