Do you map out the top local restaurants before going on vacation? Is your Yelp phone app always running? Foodie travelers know that culinary tourism isn’t just about making reservations at the latest celebrity hotspot – it’s about heating things up in the kitchen. Here are four hotels that cater to food lovers.
Sharpen your kitchen skills with a lesson from Michelin-rated chef Eric Vernice of Parallel23, the award-winning restaurant at the Regent Palms Turks and Caicos. Chef Vernice and the area’s only professional sommelier team up for an exclusive hands-on cooking course that combines a live demonstration on preparing specialty dishes with creative wine pairings. If you’re staying in one of the Regent Palms’ suites or penthouses, the duo will stage a private class in your room’s state-of-the-art kitchen. Restaurants at Regent Palms feature an array of locally inspired and international tastes from countries like India and Morocco.
Hidden in Phuket, Thailand’s tropical hideaway, Paresa Resort has its own on-site Thai cooking school called Recipe. In a classroom featuring fantastic panoramic views of the Andaman Sea, chef Ryan Arboleda uses local ingredients and the latest kitchen gadgets to lead you through a Southeast Asian culinary adventure. You’ll visit a local market, pick herbs from Paresa’s on-site garden and learn via an interactive, market-to-table Thai cooking lesson. You can even show off your newly acquired skills by hosting your own dinner party at the resort for up to 12 guests.
Lake Placid Lodge in New York state has a new teaching kitchen that’s geared to all skill levels, from new-to-the-scene foodies to slice-and-dice professionals. Sign up for a one-on-one demonstration or group classes that accommodate up to 12 people. Led by executive chef Nathan Rich, Lake Placid Lodge’s culinary school for guests includes a la carte classes, themed food-focused weekends, and a weeklong master class. Rich offers insight into kitchen fundamentals, stocks and sauces, selecting and preparing seafood and more. You’ll even go home with a personalized apron to commemorate the experience.
The Essex is a culinary resort on 18 acres of forest in Vermont’s Green Mountains. Here, you’ll find a full-service spa and fitness center, two on-site restaurants that make good use of local produce, and the hands-on Cook Academy. The low-pressure, experiential courses are your chance to work alongside the Essex’s chefs to prepare a meal using Vermont ingredients. Classes generally include a three- or four-course meal paired with a glass of wine. Kids 10 and up can get in on the fun with Camp Cook, week-long seminars that focus on topics like food preparation and nutrition. Worried your little one will lose interest? Don’t! Camp Cook also integrates field trips to local farms and outdoor activities like swimming and zip-lining.
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