When it comes to travelling, planning a culinary adventure is just as important as scoring cheap flight deals. After all, it is the local people and food/flavours that truly let you experience a new place. The ultimate treat is if you can combine the two and book yourself a cooking class with a local.
Here are seven all-time favourite travel cooking classes to take in Asia, Europe, America and Australia:
1. Sushi rolling in Tokyo
When visiting Tokyo, you can’t miss the chance to learn how to roll your own sushi – it does, after all, taste best when fresh. If you’ve ever been to Japan you’ll know that the hospitality is unlike any other place you will experience. A cooking class is no different as the instructors will be soft-spoken, helpful and welcome your cooking group with warmth and smiles throughout the lesson. You will get the opportunity to learn about traditional Japanese ingredients and prepare everything from seasonal sushi rolls to miso soup and avocado salad plus spinach and fish cake salad – what an absolute feast!
2. A Thai cooking class in Phuket
If the lady-boys and dance strips of Phuket aren't really your cup of tea, hit up the daily massages and a cooking class instead. In a traditional Thai cooking class, you will get to learn about techniques and ingredients you may have never even heard of. The best part - a class like this will be a total culinary experience. You will get the opportunity to visit a traditional Thai market where you will pick out the freshest ingredients and transform them into dishes of strong and unusual flavours – all of which will be absolutely delicious! Dishes will include green and red curry, pad Thai, chicken cashew nut stir fry and mango sticky rice. Is your mouth watering yet?
3. A pizza and gelato cooking class on a Tuscan farmhouse
Let’s be honest, if you are in Italy, pizza and gelato will be a regular staple in your diet throughout your travels (nothing to complain about). Imagine if there was a way for you to bring a slice of these Italian favourites back home. Well, a cooking class is the perfect way to do just that! You can come back home with a memory and recipes that you will cherish for many years to come.
Spend a wonderful summer afternoon on a Tuscan estate with local Italians who will run a fun hands-on cooking lesson. Your instructors will be energetic and will make sure you have plenty of wine to drink while they teach you the Italian way of making gelato and preparing pizza dough. To add to the magic of this fun afternoon will be the beauty of the farm and surrounding views which are breathtaking.
4. Making macarons in Paris
Could there be anything more Parisian than perfectly piping France’s most popular confection in the heart of the capital? You will love this class because it is intimate and held in a beautiful kitchen space – like being on the set of a grand food-related movie. Your teacher will not only be informative but immaculate with their cooking techniques. Watch with excitement as your macarons turn out to be pristine little works of art. You will not only devour these beauties with a delicious cup of tea, but each participant will also get to take home a box full of macarons just to make the experience last a little longer.
5. Cooking in the Santorini sun
Picture a stunning open-air cooking class where the music is playing and wine flowing. This will surely turn into one of your favourite overseas culinary adventures. What could be better than a sunny Santorini backdrop where you will get the chance to produce delicious traditional island recipes including Greek salad, fried tomato fritters, split pea face, and pork tenderloins in a wine reduction. A true treat for your taste buds!
6. Cocktail making in New York City
Chances are, if you are in the city that never sleeps you will at some point need a nightcap. Why not learn how to become an expert mixologist, who can perfect the balance between sweet, sour, tangy and fruity? Shake, stir, and pour your way to a killer cosmopolitan and come home serving up drinks like an NYC bartender!
7. Chuck a shrimp on the Barbie when Down Under
Be sure to book yourself a BBQ cooking class when in Australia. You'll be able to throw back a few beers and learn how to grill meat to perfection. What could be a better way to enjoy the laid-back Aussie lifestyle? With a range of classes on offer, you can learn the art of cooking steak, seafood, tapas and even Mexican. Classes are hands-on and all you need to bring is a big appetite!
So, there you have it, seven culinary adventures for your next overseas trip! Surely hearing about these will make you want to grab a cheap flight so that you get started on new cooking and eating adventures.