Calling all travel lovers who also love to cook! This one is just for you, mom. We have compiled a list of several getaways that combine a love of travel with a love of cooking and food.
1. New Orleans, Louisiana
When we think of New Orleans, we immediately think of food. Home to some of the best chefs and best restaurants in the world, New Orleans is a true culinary destination. So why not bring home a little bit of 'Nawlins with some cajun cooking skills? Edible Destinations by Epitourean offers a three day Culinary Escape to the Big Easy complete with a cajun cooking class, Flavors of the French Quarter Culinary History & Tasting Tour, and dinner at one of the best restaurants in New Orleans. We would love to kick our cooking skills up a notch with this getaway.
2. Savannah, Georgia
If charming historic southern towns, iconic boutique hotels and haute southern cuisine is your thing, the Maison on Forsyth Park in Savannah, Georgia just happens to have a full fledged cooking school housed within its hotel restaurant. The 700 Kitchen Cooking School has a full calendar of classes offering instruction on a variety of cuisines, including southern flare, low country cooking, and a ladies night.
3. Napa Valley, California
Home to lush vineyards and top-notch restaurants, it is no wonder that there are many companies offering cooking vacations and tours of the Napa Valley area. One unique tour is a three day Wine Train Culinary Sojourn. This vacation includes dinner at one of the top rated restaurants in Napa, a highly rated tour and lunch on the Napa Valley Wine Train, and a cooking class using local ingredients with master chefs.
4. Oaxaca, Mexico
Margaritas on the beach anyone? A week in a gorgeous eight-room home on a Oaxacan beach learning how to cook Mexican food with the chef from the highly rated La Villa Bonita sounds ideal to us. The itinerary includes four hands-on cooking sessions, visits to small, Oaxcan villages, and relaxing time on the beach.
5. Provence, France
French food, fields of lavender, gorgeous country side and peaceful historic villages side, ooh la la! This seven day Culinary Delights of Provence Cooking Vacation not only promises each of these things, but also includes trips to local markets to source local ingredients, three cooking classes (one takes place in the garden and one focuses on the secrets of French croissants and patisserie), tours of local historic sites and villages, a picnic, a chocolate tasting, a cheese tasting, and more. We don't know about you, but they had us at croissants.
6. Tuscany, Italy
Learn to cook authentic Italian food in the beautiful Tuscan country side in a secluded, luxurious villa. The highly rated Tuskookany offers three day and one week itineraries filled with cooking classes, dining on a unbelievably picturesque terrace, sightseeing, and a taste of other local flavors. Afterwards, relax by the pool overlooking breathtaking views. This is what our dreams are made of.
We can't think of a better way to learn about a local culture than learning how to prepare the food of that region from real chefs who live and work in the area. We say skip the souvenirs and bring home some hot, new culinary skills. Bon appétit!