The art of cooking has evolved beyond a hobby and into a passion for many foodies these days. Knowledge about what people are putting into their bodies, how it is being prepared, finding the best way to add the most nutrients and having it taste impeccable are topics of interest for many travelers.
These vacation destinations offer interactive cooking classes that inspire aspiring chefs to take their kitchen skills to new heights, and guests leave with an enhanced culinary confidence. So beware Wolfgang Puck. A new breed of chefs is on the horizon.
Chef’s Garden, The Lodge at Woodloch, Hawley, Pennsylvania
The Lodge at Woodloch, a luxurious destination spa in the Pocono Mountains, embraces a philosophy that food that is good for you can be artfully presented and graciously served. The Lodge’s intimate kitchen allows guests to enjoy special cooking demos with a talented team of chefs. Discover new cooking techniques, healthy and surprising ingredient alternatives, and elegant presentation skills. You’ll learn how to plan a menu around seasonal produce and herbs from the Chef’s Garden.
Country Walkers, Sicily, Italy
A Country Walkers adventure includes a visit to the Abazzia Santa Anastasia — a vineyard and hotel located in a former Benedictine abbey – where travelers participate in a lesson with Chef Antonio Bonadonna. Starting with flour, eggs, and water, guests learn to make pasta from scratch, including how to cut it and shape it to make a wide range of varieties. After taking a break at the winery for a glass of Rosé and some bruschetta, travelers sit down to a delicious dinner.
The Joy of Thai Cooking, The Peninsula Bangkok Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand
Your intro to Thai Cuisine starts by visiting the fresh market to select the ingredients via a Tuk Tuk, a three-wheeled taxi. Zip through streets of Bangkok to local markets where you will purchase fresh ingredients for your cooking class. Guests will then choose from a variety of dishes to create a four-course meal such as a Tom Yum Goong soup (spicy and sour prawns soup with lemongrass), Phad Thai (thai rice noodles and prawns, bean sprout and chive) or Nua Sa-Doong (grilled beef sirloin with kale, chili and lime dip).
Indigenous Cooking Classes, Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, Mexico
A new series of historically-inspired cooking classes will educate guests on the region’s culinary traditions with a focus on pre-Hispanic cooking techniques and ingredients. In the new Iku Garden outdoor kitchen guests will learn to prepare dishes using indigenous ingredients such as grasshoppers, ant eggs and agave worms along with cactus, banana leaves, agave leaves, huitlacotche and epazote. The chef will also guide guests through the preparation of signature dishes using the catch of the day.
Customized Dining Experiences, Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain, Scottsdale, Arizona
The “Mi Casa, Mi Chef” package takes the relationship between diner and chef to new dimensions. From the arresting vantage point of Sanctuary’s Mountainside Estates, guests work hand-in-hand with a Sanctuary chef (like Food Network star Beau MacMillan) to plan and execute their customized dining experience, letting the day’s freshest fruits, vegetables, fish and meat dictate the menu. They join the chef in the kitchen of their private rental home, working side-by-side to prepare the feast.
Versatility of Shellfish, Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort, Maui, Hawaii
Situated on Maui’s premier southwestern coastline along Mokapu Beach, the 15-acre beachfront Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort offers a monthly cooking-class series dubbed Ka’ana Kupboard. Led by Chef de Cuisine Ben Marquez, guests have the opportunity to cook alongside Chef Ben, learn new skills and perfect culinary techniques. The incredible versatility of shellfish is truly a food marvel, but all too often home chefs simply end up steaming the different varieties. In this class guests learn a series of preparations for shellfish.