Cooking School Vacations
Learning from the local experts
Students interested in learning about international cuisine and cooking techniques are able to take vacations to a number of different destinations and focus their trip on learning to cook. This trend started back in the early 1990s and has since soared in popularity.
Where Will you Go?
While cooking school vacations tend to be on the expensive side (often more than $2000 per person for anywhere from four to ten days), the personalized attention and authentic cooking experience offered is priceless. Some of the most popular destinations for cooking school vacations are found in Europe and include:
- Italy – Sicily, Tuscany, Bologna and a number of small villages throughout the country.
- France – Burgundy, Provence, Champagne and the southwest.
- Spain – Madrid and Barcelona.
These are the most common destinations offered by cooking vacation organizations, but trips to Taiwan, Vietnam and Mexico are also popular.
An Exciting and Unique Adventure
A cooking vacation is unlike any other kind of trip you’ll take. On average, you’re invited to stay in a small villa or inn and will take cooking classes in the kitchen. Some of the more elaborate trips offer luxurious hotel suites and provide cooking classes, workshops and demonstrations in local restaurants or wineries. Depending on the type of trip you choose, you’ll either share a room with another traveler or (for an increased price) reside in a private suite.
The places you’ll stay are quaint and usually represent something of the local flair. You won’t find yourself in a huge tourist hub because the point behind the trip is to experience the local cuisine and learn from the area’s experts. However, your trip will most often include a chance to visit all the tourist spots and shopping locales when you’re not in class. For example, while in Spain you may visit local museums or while in France you might tour the village of the Bories.
The Best Travel Has to Offer
There are a lot of organizations now offering cooking vacations. Since most vacations come at a relatively high price you’ll want to make sure that you’re choosing the right one. Some questions you should ask before you commit to anything include:
- Is the organization approved by a travel advisory board or association? Are travel agents involved in the process? Are the packages guaranteed in any way?
- How does the organization decide which cooking classes to participate in? Who will teach them and what will you learn? Does the organization have a local connection in all of the destinations?
- Is transportation to the destination included? Once there, are transportation / guides available?
- What types of accommodation are available? Are there private suites available? What types of washroom facilities are included?
- Does the cost of the trip include all meals?
- What type of participation is offered once at the destination? Is there a lot of individual time available? Are there accommodations (i.e. tours, day trips, shopping destinations) made for days that aren’t spent cooking?