COMO Hotels and Resorts has announced a new collection of experiences for 2020, designed to blend the lines between travel and food by combining cooking classes and culinary experiences with relaxing stays at the brand’s luxury portfolio of hotels and resorts.

A portion of the proceeds to be donated to WIRES to support the rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife affected by the Australian fires.

COMO Culinary Journeys, a series of retreats unique to their respective destinations around the world, will use food as a lens to explore the heritage and culture of a destination. Whether through tastings, conversations with chefs or local market visits, the goal of the experiences is to leave each guest with a deeper understanding of how cuisine shapes culture whilst inspiring them to continue their own culinary journey at home.

This February, COMO Culinary Journeys will launch with a five-day culinary retreat at COMO The Treasury in Perth and promises to bring to life the region’s abundant artisanal produce. The inaugural retreat is available to just 10 participants and will offer hands-on cooking classes from Wildflower’s Head Chef Matthew Sartori and visiting chef Giovanni Luca Di Pirro.

Luca Di Pirro joins the retreat from Italy where he leads the kitchen of La Torre ­– the Michelin-starred Italian restaurant at COMO Castello del Nero in Tuscany. Throughout the experience, guests will be immersed in the flavours, cultures and culinary techniques of Western Australian and Italy, inspiring them to explore heritage and community through food.

The experience will also provide funds to support the rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife affected by the Australian bushfire crisis, with 20% of the proceeds donated to WIRES, the Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service.

“This new collection of experiences is distinctly COMO”, said Chris Orlikowski, Global Director of Communications for The COMO Group.

“By combining the seamless service expected of a COMO stay with a flexible, personalised approach to each retreat, the collection is both a journey through COMO as well as a journey through food”.

The arrival of executive chef Giovanni Luca Di Pirro from COMO Castello Del Nero, the latest addition to the COMO portfolio and the company’s first property in continental Europe, will bring a unique perspective to the retreat.

“La Torre’s reputation has been built on our estate-to-table philosophy”, said Luca Di Pirro. “We source the highest quality seasonal produce to create contemporary dishes that exploit the flavours of the raw ingredients through modern cooking techniques, and I look forward to sharing this approach to cooking with our guests."

Guests will also have an opportunity to sample a range of local flavours, including a wine tasting with Australia’s Sommelier of the Year, Emma Farrelly – picking out the nuanced differences between Margaret River and Tuscan wines. These activities are complemented by other immersive experiences, including a visit to Perth’s sustainable garden and a trip to a local fish market.