One common thread running through every Jonathan’s Journal video story is food. From English coast seafood to Spanish food markets and Italian pastries, food helps tell the story of each destination and is quite often the glue that binds the whole story together.
To date, seven Jonathan’s Journal episodes have been produced. So far Jonathan has journeyed through the Amalfi Coast, Venice, Bilbao, Rye, the Aeolian Islands, Ischia and Sicily. Each journey showcases the best each destination has to offer with a strong focus on visual food experiences.
A weekend in the shadow of Mount Etna
From sea views to mountain landscapes, each unique lodge at Donna Carmela Resort & Lodges is tailored for relaxation and peaceful seclusion.
The Faro family, owners of Donna Carmela, believe there is a synergy between hospitality and horticulture. This is evident in the excellent wine list the menus at La Cucina di Donna Carmela, the hotel’s restaurant. Locally sourced ingredients, hotel grown produce and wines from the Pietradolce Winery enhance the experience that fully embraces the authenticity and flavours of Sicily.
The family invite everyone who visits the hotel to immerse themselves in the culinary world of Sicily from learning to make traditional Sicilian Cannolo to mixing the perfect cocktail.
Sweeping vistas and stunning seascapes
In this issue of Jonathan’s Journal, Jonathan’s journey takes us on a visit to the island of Vulcano in the Aeolian Islands and the beautiful Therasia Resort and Spa. The islands have so much to offer, starting with the incredible views and a relaxing vibe as well as some incredible food and a few Michelin stars.
The gourmet experience at Therasia Resort is very much the life blood of the hotel. In Jonathan’s Journal, Jonathan (glass in hand!) chats to the people that make this element of Therasia what it is. Learn the inspiration behind the one Michelin star Il Cappero restaurant and the new vegetarian Il Tenerumi restaurant. Il Cappero is very much an elegant and refined dining experience where Executive Chef Giuseppe Biuso uses the best quality ingredients to create superb yet simple dishes which are enjoyed alongside enchanting views of the islands. Dining at Il Cappero is definitely a highlight.
The culinary treats at Therasia Resort continue at I Tenerumi Vegetarian Restaurant which is the newest dining experience at the hotel. If you think vegetarian food cannot be gourmet, think again. Incredible flavours, colours and smells are typical of Chef Davide Guidara’s creative Mediterranean cuisine. All ingredients are organic and locally sourced and served in the most beautiful location overlooking the Aeolian Islands.
Wine and seafood on the English coast
Jonathan’s visit to the George in Rye in East Sussex took him on a gourmet tour of the area. In this closer to home episode of Jonathan’s Journal, Jonathan learns more about some of the best English providers of food and wine. Gusbourne Estate produces award winning sparkling wines, giving the Champagne houses a run for their money. This area of Kent and East Sussex is considered to have the perfect climate conditions for production of fine sparkling wines and the conditions of Gusbourne, with the warm winds blowing in from Camber Sands, make it ideal. Rye Fisheries are a larger than life part of the Kent and Sussex fishing community. They fish locally and sustainably with up the minute information at then their fingertips on fishing quotas.
During their stay at The George in Rye, the team were lucky enough to try excellent dishes created from locally sourced produce and wines from the extensive wine list at The George Grill Restaurant.
Island of nature, relaxation and the best of Italian food
The island of Ischia is known for its thermal springs, beautiful beaches, botanical gardens and truly authentic Italian experience. This extends across to the food on the island which is simple and traditional using the freshest of ingredients simply put together to maximise flavour. With over 300 restaurants on the island, visitors are spoilt for choice.
Botania Relais and Spa, Jonathan’s home for the filming of this episode is nestled amongst the most beautiful mature gardens and itself offers two exceptional dining options: Il Corbezzolo and Il Mirto. Il Corbezzolo offers traditional cuisine with a focus on meat and fish and Il Mirto, boasting a Green Michelin Star creates thoughtful and delicious dishes from locally produced produce, much of which is grown in the hotel’s own garden.
A weekend in Bilbao
Bilbao is one of Europe’s most exciting cities supported by a fantastic food scene. In this episode, staying at the 5 star Gran Hotel Domine, Jonathan goes on a culinary tour of the city starting at Mercado de la Ribera. La Ribera market has been offering traditional quality, variety and freshness for centuries. This is the place to shop if you are looking to create traditional Basque dishes and serving many local restaurants, it’s easy to understand why the food experience in Bilbao is so good.
Exploring the charm of Venice
Together with Italian expert Anna Baccanello, Jonathan tours the history and tradition of Venice. Starting with the traditional Cicchetti (meaning ‘small plates’) they tasted several delicious morsels in pretty streets around Venice, accompanied by a glass of Prosecco. The team stayed at Ca’Sagredo, located on the banks of the Grand Canal opposite the Rialto Market. They were taken on a tour of the market by chef Remo. A short gondola trip across the Grand Canal brought them to the market which has been whetting appetites for centuries and where many locals go to shop.
Dinner that evening in the hotel’s Grand Canal Restaurant was a culinary journey, where heritage and pride continue throughout the creative menu which celebrates Italy and the local flavours of Venice.
A visit to the Amalfi Coast and the exquisite Hotel Miramalfi
The Amalfi Coast is all about the view and lunch at Hotel Miramalfi’s restaurant, Restaurant Sauté is the perfect place to a start. This casual fish restaurant offers traditional Neopolitan cuisine accompanied by dreamy views of the coast and the sparkling Mediterranean and is easily accessible from the beach.
Hotel chef Marco Laudato offers masterclasses to guests where he imparts his culinary secrets and teaches guests to cook simple yet exquisite dishes with the freshest local ingredients, so typical of the Amalfi coast. The hotel’s signature restaurant, Donna Emma La Cucina, incorporates fine dining in the form of exceptional traditional and contemporary dishes created with locally sourced ingredients. Located on the terrace of the hotel, Donna Emma La Cucina again takes advantage of the fantastic Amalfi views.
One of the best ways to explore the immediate coast line is to walk the famous Lemon Path between the towns of Maiori and Minori. The historic path takes in the coastline amongst fragrant lemon groves with a backdrop of those fabulous sea views. It’s a must to stop en route at the famous Sal de Riso for a fabulous pastry or cake – Salvatore de Rosi is one of the most renowned pastry chefs in Italy who makes and sells incredible sweet specialities in his Amalfi kitchen.