Food Miles: Holidays that allow you to hone those culinary skills
Sunday 11 March 2012
In its Travel Trends Report 2012 Abta, the travel association, predicted that holidaymakers would seek destinations with an "authentic sense of location" reflected in, among other things, local food. It's certainly true that including a cookery class in your trip is a good way to pick up skills and help you get under the skin of your chosen destination.
w The recently launched Cooking and Hospitality School at Karen Blixen Camp, Nairobi (00 254 20 3524 215; karenblixencamp.com), trains local Masai youths as chefs and waiters to work in safari camps. Guests and visitors can join in a cooking class, bookable through Enchanting Africa (0800 098 8486; enchanting-africa.com).
w In the far south east of Germany, Bavarian Forest Holidays (00 49 9925 90 32 04; bavarian-forest-holidays.com) is based in Bayerisch Eisenstein, close to the Czech border. The company runs "cross-border" cookery courses at its self-catering apartments. Under expert guidance, you can prepare a family meal of traditional Bavarian and Czech dishes.
w Learn how to cook the specialities of Ladin cuisine from the south Tyrol at the Maso Sotciastel Farmhouse, Badia (00 39 047 183 6176; altabadia.org), in the Italian Dolomites with a local expert.
w The Cooking, Culture and Sherry course at Annie B's Spanish Kitchen, Vejer de la Frontera (00 34 620 560 649; anniebspain.com), offers an insight into Andalucian cuisine. The programme also includes tutored sherry tastings and a market visit.
The one-day Home Cooked Delhi Urban Adventure (00 91 9560 849 444; urbanadventures.com) is an initiative from Intrepid Travel. It offers the chance to visit an Indian family in their home and see how a traditional meal is prepared. You then eat with the family.
w A Vietnamese cookery class at the Park Hyatt, Saigon (00 84 8 3824 1234; saigon.park.hyatt.com), begins with a Vespa ride to the Ben Thanh Market to buy ingredients to make local specialities. In addition to the regular classes, the hotel's Masters of Food and Wine events on selected dates throughout the year will highlight regional Vietnamese cuisines (22-24 June).
There are plenty of options in the UK too. The recently relaunched Le Cordon Bleu, London (020-7400 3900; lcblondon.com), has a programme of one-day courses including "A Feast for All Seasons: Spring" that teaches the art of cooking a menu to match the season. Meanwhile, the School of Artisan Food, Welbeck (01909 532171: schoolofartisan food.org), has launched a one-day introduction to artisan cider-making.
For more inspiration, Looking to Cook (lookingtocook.co.uk) has a searchable database of UK and Ireland cookery schools and courses.
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