Dominique Rizzo announces her new range of exclusive gastronomical food, wine, culture and cooking tours in Australia and Europe. Dominique Rizzo shares her passion for Italian food and culture through her picturesque eat-and-discover trips both locally and internationally.

putia-croppedThese tours are unparalleled due to the personal selection of each dining experience by Dominique. Dominique’s commitment to capturing the authentic feel of each destination is what makes Pure Food Wine & Cooking Tours so very special. Known for her popular appearances on Australian Channel 10’s Ready Steady Cook and as host on Yes Chef, Dominique’s talents extend beyond the world of TV. She hosts corporate food and wine events throughout Australia.

Her latest venture is Putia Pure Foods – a restaurant, pantry and school in Banyo, Brisbane. Putia, meaning corner store in Sicilian, has a charming rustic character, where Dominique focuses on creating taste sensations in the open kitchen using fresh, quality locally sourced and sustainable produce. At Putia School, Dominique presents her bespoke range of cooking classes.

2015 – Hampton Festival, City to Country Tour on 17th May 2015 Join Dominique on her delicious foodie tour to south east Queensland, starting with a special “Putia” breakfast before heading off to the food and wine festival where Dominique will be presenting a cooking demonstration.

Dom-and-RobynRSZ2015 – Norfolk Island Tour, 21st November to 28 November 2015 Dominique showcases the uniqueness of Norfolk Island in the first real culinary journey to the island in line with the second year of the island’s Food Festival. Under the shade of stately Norfolk Pines on the edge of the cliffs, enjoy the taste of fresh food direct from paddock to plate, featuring the island’s organic beef and pork and goats’ cheeses and locally grown produce. For itinerary and booking details go to visit here first.

2016 – “Beautiful Sicily and the Aeolian Islands” Tour, 11th June to 3rd July 2016 Just as Dominique’s cookbook, “My Taste of Sicily” is a window into the world of her Italian heritage; her tours to Sicily immerse you into life with the ever colorful, always charming locals in the enchanting world of Southern Italy.

rsz-randazzoOn the “Beautiful Sicily and the Aeolian Islands” tour, Dominique will take you on a gastronomic ride tasting the best in seasonal foods, from the famous very old fish markets of Catania to the center of Palermo’s food scene, to country olive and grape orchards, sipping full bodied Sicilian wines, nibbling on regional prosciuttos and salamis, cheeses, almonds. Sicily is a small island with a rich cultural history, a landscape that is dominated in the east by Mt. Etna. Senses are stimulated at every point from colorful Palermo in the west to Cefalu in the south, the enchanting Siracusa and picturesque Taormina in the east and the laid back island life in the Aeolian Islands.
The best thing? That’s 23 days and 22 nights of bliss, from 11th June to 3rd July 2016. The “Beautiful Sicily and the Aeolian Islands” tour schedule is at Where do we sign up?

To make a booking, either contact us by phone or email along with payment details. Putia office: ph. 07 3267 8247 or email





A beautiful cultural symbol you will find repeated throughout the region when you travel to Sicily, is the Carretto. These carts, with their beautiful bright colours are seen across Sicily . So how did Sicilians come to have the Carretto as such a rich part of their culture? Find out a little bit about the origins, the craftsmanship and the subtle differences of the Carretto.


The original idea of carts was introduced to the island by the ancient Greeks. However, the history of the now highly-recognised traditional Sicilian cart is relatively new. It dates back to the early 19th century and the need for transportation on the poorly-developed roads. It was thanks to the decree of 1830 that major routes, called “royal trazzere”, were opened. This is where the first appearance of the original type of wagon, the “stràscinu”, appears in history. This was a four-wheeled wagon whose front wheels are smaller than the rear, as in a type of carriage or cart.

The Sicilian carts reached the height of their popularity in the 1920’s, when many thousands were on the island. The carts were mainly drawn by horses in the city and on flat plains. Donkeys or mules were more often used in rough terrain for hauling heavy loads. The carts commonly used for pulling light loads, such as produce, wood, wine, and people, were called “Carretto del Lavoro” (cart for work). They were also used for ceremonies and festive occasions such as weddings and parades, where they were called “Carretto de Gara”. The Carretto was almost like the taxi or truck of today.


The cart has two wheels and is primarily hand-made out of wood built by woodcarvers, metal workers, and painters. The woodcarvers carved the many panels that were often historic reliefs. The metal workers worked the iron in a “ferro battuto” style, which included highly-decorated metal undercarriages with iron metal components. The painters had great skill depicting brightly painted scenes from Sicilian history and folklore, as well as intricate geometrical designs. These scenes also served the purpose of conveying historical information and important historic events in Sicily. Originally meant to keep in memory the turning points of local history for those who couldn’t read.

The colours of Palermo’s flag, yellow and red, feature prominently on the carts, along with details in bright blues and greens. Many of the carts showcase, in intricate details, religious scenes. They may depict the story of Jesus or that of his mother, and patron saints in Sicily, such as St. John the Baptist, Santa Rosalia, the patron saint of Palermo, or Sant’Agata, the patron saint of Catania. Some have been found to have scenes or visions of the saints, Charlemagne, operatic scenes, and the histories of Napoleon, Columbus, Cortez, and even Mussolini.

Provincial differences

The Sicilian Carretto is still made in several provinces in Sicily, each with its own style. Carretti made in the province of Palermo have more of a square box design. Those made in Catania are made with more elaborate “keys.” Then, there are the carts made in Agrigento which have their own distinctive style. The craft of making the carts is handed down from generation to generation through the training of apprentices. The animals pulling the carts are often elaborately adorned as well, with a decorated plume covering their head and a headband decorated with plaques of leather and gilt nails and bells. They also wear another elaborately decorated piece in the middle of their back.

Today the Sicilian Carretto can be found available for tourists to enjoy in some museums, while smaller Carretti can be bought as souvenirs. They are often depicted in artworks, postcards and pieces of the old Carretto can now be found on the walls of hotels and homes.

See it for yourself

Just one of the fascinating aspects of Sicilian life. Learn more about this beautiful region by visiting it yourself. Join Australian Chef Dominique Rizzo on a gastronomic and cultural food, wine and cooking tour of Sicily. Click here for more information about touring this amazing region.


Norfolk Island Culinary Experience

8 day culinary delight – 15 to 22 November 2014

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Join me on this gourmet journey to one of the loveliest places in the South Pacific. You’ll be spoiled on this culinary journey where you’ll not only sample the island’s best restaurants and tours but enjoy produce bursting with home-grown goodness, good wines and great company. Best of all I hope to inspire you with cooking demonstrations of dishes you can try when you return home.

rszLocal-gardnerAlmost every fresh food served on the Island is gathered from the Norfolk soil or sea. With the paddock to plate approach to local dining means food tastes just as it should, full of flavour grown in it’s natural seasons and rich with nutrients. This tour will cover the must see destinations and culinary experiences unique to Norfolk Island.

Join me on this gourmet tour of Norfolk Island as we not only experience the food, but the rich history, artisan products and the natural wonders of this unspoiled Island.

This trip is organised by my friends at Go See Touring who will look after your booking and any travel arrangements from anywhere in Australia to join the tour departing Brisbane on 15 November 2014.

To find out more click here or book your place on this tour with Go See Touring.


Departing 13 December 2013 – Brisbane to New Zealand

Sailing from Brisbane, Orion will cruise some of the most beautiful seascapes in the world. On this itinerary, we’ll not only sample the sights of the South Pacific but the tastes as well with a sensational onboard program of fine food and wine created by our guest chef, wine and cheese makers. As we cruise to the colonial attractions of Norfolk Island and on through New Zealand’s magnificent Bay of Islands Orion’s guests will enjoy stunning signature dishes featuring the best South Pacific produce. Tasman Discoverer is a delight for those who enjoy fine food and wine as well as photographers and walkers all sharing a sense of adventure. I will be a Guest Lecturer along side Cheese Makers – Markus & Sara Bucher, Maleny Cheese; Wine Maker – Tony Bish, Sacred Hill Wines.

rzsTasman-cruise-2013The Tour includes

  • 7 night cruise aboard “Orion” in selected accommodation
  • Including all meals, wine package, wine and food workshops with tastings and demonstrations – departing Brisbane – 13th December 2013
  • 1 night accommodation in Auckland with breakfast
  • Lunch and tastings at Artisan Wines, Auckland, vineyard and food market
  • Coach transfers in Auckland – ship, hotel, vineyard, airport
  • Economy flight from Auckland to Brisbane with Emirates on 21 Dec13
  • Port charges, air taxes
  • Terms & conditions apply

To join me or to find out more on this 7 day Cruise or to find out more visit The Cruise Centre or email The Cruise Centre click here.

Join me for a unique experience offering a gastronomic affair in Queenslander Class onboard The Sunlander. Discover the breathtaking scenery and crystal blue waters of the Whitsundays while you indulge your senses.

Whitsunday Gourmet MasterClass
4 days from only $1795* per adult
On this gastronomic getaway to the Whitsundays you’ll enjoy exquisite cuisine, crisp Queensland wines, fascinating touring and picturesque surroundings. *Conditions apply. Departs 14 November 2013 (ex Brisbane)



Inclusions & highlights

  • Air-conditioned coach touring from Brisbane to Gympie via the food and wine trails of the Sunshine Coast
  • Hinterland with Stone Streets Coaches
  • One-way Queenslander Class Twin Sleeper from Gympie North to Proserpine onboard The Sunlander
  • One-way Economy Seat from Hamilton Island to Brisbane with Virgin Australia
  • Return island ferry transfers with Cruise Whitsundays
  • 2 nights in a Garden Balcony Room at Daydream Island Resort and Spa
  • Tour Whitsunday Gold Coffee Plantation with Whitsunday Transit
  • Half day Whitsunday Islands and Whitehaven Beach Cruise tour with Cruise Whitsundays
  • Onboard degustation dinner prepared by Dominique Rizzo
  • MasterClass interactive cooking demonstration and dinner at Daydream Island Resort and Spa accompanied by matching Symphony Hill Wines
  • Selected meals included Hosted by celebrity chef Dominique Rizzo

Book now Call 1300 131 722 Visit your nearest Queensland Rail Travel centre Conditions *

Prices are per person twin share, subject to availability at time of booking. Celebrity host is subject to change. Minimum numbers are required for this package to operate. Valid for travel for set departure only. Deposit of $165 per person is required within 7 days of booking confirmation. Final payment is required 45 days prior to travel. Queensland Rail Travel’s standard booking terms and conditions apply and can be viewed at