Delicious Destinations.

The second best thing to traveling is eating. A pairing of the two is basically my definition of heaven. I also love cooking. It’s my relaxation technique. I love coming home after a long day and settling into the kitchen to create a perfect meal. Last summer I was in Tuscany at one of my favorite restaurants, Malborghetto. It was here, while I was enjoying the most perfect pappa e pomodoro, that I began to contemplate a vacation completely devoted to food. You see, Malborghetto had evolved from the last time I had been there, it was no longer merely a restaurant, it now housed a successful cooking school. This school was filled with people from all over the world who had journeyed to Tuscany to learn to cook. I decided then and there that at some point in my life, I would take a culinary vacation.

Flash forward to now. I have spent the last few weeks researching places to go. Apparently, cooking trips are quite popular. One quick search of the web turned up countless choices to suit a multitude of tastes. Here are some of the most intriguing sites I found devoted to the globetrotting gourmet:

Epitourian

Epitourian is a great website all around. It is easy to use and has an amazing array of “culinary” themed destinations all over the world.This is a great site to start your planning as there are several dozen locations to choose from. Within each location, the good people a Epitourian have organized a bunch of different suggestions that are sure to satisfy foodies of all kinds.

 

Classic Journeys

This website is devoted to planning all types of adventure travel. However, there is a pretty great section on culinary vacations. They offer culinary tours and cooking classes everywhere from France to Italy to Napa Valley. You can buy into a pre-planned tour, or you can customize your own. Click here to see a sample itinerary. Prices start at about 3500 per person for 7 days/all inclusive.

Toscana Saporita

At Toscana Saporita, you will spend six glorious days cooking, eating, drinking and sightseeing. Located outside of beautiful Lucca in the Tuscany region of Italy, this compound boasts a hotel, gorgeous grounds and a fantastic array of cooking classes. Mornings are spent learning how to prepare perfect Tuscan delicacies ranging from Gnocci to Pizza. In the evening, guests are treated to a lavish meal hand prepared by their talented instructors.

The Lavender Inn

For those who’s wallets are not sufficiently padded for Euros, there is a great little bed and breakfast in Ojai, California that offers delightful accommodations and cooking classes. I loved this place so much when I went to Ojai. It is a charming Victorian located right in the heart of town. Rooms and classes are already very reasonable but you can receive a 10% discount on a room when you book into any cooking class. Rooms range from 120-300 and classes generally run about 50 dollars a piece. Click here to see a current course listing.

 

Villa San Michele

This place is retardedly expensive but if you happen to be really rich or you have recently won the lottery, I would highly recommend this experience. Everything about it is amazing, from the beautifully appointed rooms to the diverse culinary class schedule. This is the mother-load of all culinary vacations so make sure to enjoy every last bite, you may never be able to afford to eat again!

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