Lately a popular trend among travel fans, is a rapidly ascending phenomenon called “culinary tourism“. This makes sense, given recent consumer focus on healthy and organic eating, culinary/food pedigrees, and the simple fact that all travelers must eat. Not every visitor goes shopping or visits museums, but all travelers eat. For anyone who doubts, look at the increase in cooking shows featured on The Travel Channel [Anthony Bourdain No Reservations] or travel shows featured on The Food Network [Rachel Ray’s $40 a Day series], as examples. Here’s just a series of 5 beautiful travel destinations worth visiting, not just for their sights, but for their tasty foods as well.
A world renowned travel destination, mainly due to its fine restaurants and wineries, Tuscany is an ideal destination for a culinary vacation. There are quite a few top rated cooking schools, such as the Coselli School of Tuscan Cuisine where you can learn to prepare local Tuscan dishes. You can’t sit around and eat all day, so for some sight seeing and hiking worth visiting is Chocolate Valley (between Pisa and Montecatini) or enjoy olive oil tastings in Badia di Passignano.
Although it Morocco may seem like a unlike choice, when thinking of a culinary trek, I’d advise to think twice. What makes this such a great place is the Morocco people and specific traditional food, that’s among the most unique and delicious kinds of food in the world. There are many opportunities to stay at guesthouses in Fez with wonderful chefs who will show you how to prepare regional specialties like couscous, tagines and chicken pie (b’stila). You’ll also learn about regional spices like turmeric, cardamom and cubeb pepper.
Also see: Top Five Food Markets in Sydney
Closer to home, you have a wonderful opportunity to visit the Heathman Hotel for an amazing farm to table experience. Chef Scheesher is also a farmer who gets the food for his menus from the three-acre garden in Kirkland. Wines are also featured from wineries in California, Washington and Oregon.
You can’t really spell culinary tourism, without mentioning Spain, where the whole thing is huge back there. There are many interesting locales such as the elegant bed and breakfast, Catacurian located in the Priorat wine area. Here, Chef Alicia will dazzle you with her wonderful cooking demonstrations where you can learn everything you wanted to about Catalan cuisine? Also included in her packages is a chance to visit local wineries for private tastings and to learn about the area’s superior olive oils.
Also see: The Best Sea Food in New Zealand
Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico
If you’ve always wanted to learn more about Mexican cooking, consider Chef Ana Garcia’s program? This talented chef has learned the art of Mexican cuisine from traditional family methods passed down through the generations. This package is bound to become very popular as Chef Ana is starring in a national television series starting in 2008.