Food Miles: Breaks where the heat isn’t just in the kitchen

 

The season of eating, drinking and making merry is upon us and that might even apply if you’ve jetted off on a sun-drenched winter break. Travellers are particularly well served by the rise of food-themed breaks, tours and packages, celebrity chef hotel residencies and cookery courses. 

The season of eating, drinking and making merry is upon us and that might even apply if you’ve jetted off on a sun-drenched winter break. Travellers are particularly well served by the rise of food-themed breaks, tours and packages, celebrity chef hotel residencies and cookery courses. 

* This winter, one of London’s top haute-cuisine chefs will be swapping the heat of the kitchen for the balmy climes of Barbados. Michel Roux Junior, of Le Gavroche, will decamp to Cobblers Cove on the Platinum Coast from 9-18 January (001 246 422 2291; cobblerscove.com). He will cook a series of meals, hold cookery demonstrations and sign books. Tropical Sky (0843 770 6313; tropicalsky.co.uk) offers a week from £2,349pp including Gatwick flights, transfers and B&B.

* If you’ve only ever drunk cheap tequila, a shot of the real stuff (made from 100 per cent agave) from Mexico is a revelation. At the CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa in Jalisco (00 52 322 226 0000; marriott.com), the plant is grown on site on the Bay of Banderas and is turned into the hotel’s own-brand tequila. The Secretos del Tequila programme runs weekly and costs 15 pesos (£8); it allows guests to get hands-on with the agave harvest and offers tastings where you can sample some of the hotel’s 114 tequilas.

* The cuisine of India is one of the most fascinating, diverse and mouth-watering in the world. Ampersand Travel (020 7819 9770; ampersand travel.com) has a new 13-night tour, “The Art of Living to Eat”, with Indian food historian Jonty Rajagopalan. The first departure is 7 January 2014, then throughout the year. It takes in Ahmedabad , Amritsar, Calcutta and Hyderabad. You’ll discover street food and be welcomed into local village homes for traditional feasts. The price of £5,860 includes international and domestic flights, full board, activities, entrances and transport.

* Big-name chefs such as Alex Atala of DOM in Sao Paulo have been drawing global attention to the food of Brazil in recent years. Bahia is one of the country’s most important culinary regions, where food comes with an Afro-Brazilian flavour. You can discover more on the four-night “Essence of Bahian Cooking” package at Uxua Casa Hotel (00 55 73 3668 2277; uxua.com) in the laid-back beach resort of Trancoso. You’ll learn how to prepare such regional specialities as moqueca (a coconut-based fish stew), coconut cocada sweets and spicy pimenta dressing, as well as how to mix the perfect caipirinha. The price of £816pp includes four cookery sessions, board and airport transfers.

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