Are you a food lover looking to combine your passion for cooking with travel? In search of some culinary travel tips? A culinary holiday program might just be the perfect experience for you! Immersing yourself in the local cuisine and culture of a new place is a fantastic way to explore the world and expand your culinary knowledge. But with so many programs to choose from, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together a list of 10 tips for anyone looking to sign up for a culinary holiday program. From researching the cuisine to checking for hands-on experience, these tips will help you find the perfect program for your needs and preferences. So, let’s dive in and explore how to have an unforgettable culinary adventure on your next vacation!
1. Research the cuisine:
Before you sign up, research the cuisine that will be the focus of the program. This will give you an idea of what to expect and what ingredients, dishes, and cooking styles you’ll be learning about. Maybe this is an opportunity (or a good excuse), for you to try something new at a destination that you have been curious about. Is it French, Spanish, Italian, Georgian . . .
2. Look for programs led by local experts:
A program led by local experts will give you an authentic and in-depth look into the local cuisine. Find programs that use tap into the resources available in the cities, towns, & villages in which they take place. You want an opportunity to mingle with the locals so you can get that real behind-the-scenes experience with all the tips, and anecdotes included 😉. You are here to sample the local ingredients and traditional and contemporary dishes the region has to offer.
3. Check for hands-on experience:
Who wants to sit on the sidelines and be a spectator? Sure, sometimes you want to relax and let someone else do the “dirty” work, but if you are looking to improve your skills or just pick up a few techniques and cooking tips, you want your experience to be hands-on. Look for a program that offers hands-on experience, such as cooking classes or market visits, so you can truly immerse yourself in the local cuisine.
4. Ask about the accommodation:
Not all of our Let’s Eat The World culinary programs include accommodations but we make that very clear from the start. If we do offer accommodations we are more than happy to share the details with you including photos. We inspect all our accommodations to ensure that they are of high standing. So I encourage you when selecting your program to (as best as you can), make sure the accommodation offered by the program is comfortable and clean. You have to put a bit of trust into your requests but most professionals are not out there to deceive you. If you’re staying in a local homestay, ask about the family’s cooking and dining habits, as this can provide a unique insight into the local cuisine.
5. Look for cultural activities:
A well-rounded tour offers just the right balance. Look for programs that offer cultural activities, such as visits to local festivals or markets, to give you a more well-rounded experience of the local culture and cuisine. If we take the example of our Week in Paris – culinary holiday in Paris, France, you will discover when reviewing the program that we don’t spend all our time in the kitchen. We are out visiting markets, exploring the Champagne region, and getting to know local producers with visits to their production sites.
6. Consider the size of the group:
The size of the group can have a big impact on your experience. Consider whether you’d prefer a small, intimate group or a larger group with more people to interact with. Our tours are designed for small groups and by a small group, I mean quite small. We don’t run tours for more than 8 people max. This ensures a more hands-on experience with more personalized attention.
7. Check for language support:
It’s important to take note of the language in which the tour is offered. If it is not in a language you are comfortable using, make sure the program offers language support or has English-speaking instructors. All our tours are provided in English or are in the company of English-speaking guides to ensure that language is not the barrier that stops you from enjoying your holiday.
8. Consider the level of experience:
Imagine arriving at a culinary holiday program and realizing you are out of your league or if you are already an expert, that the tour is so basic that you find yourself feeling disappointed. Look for a program that caters to your level of experience, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced cook. The majority of our tours are for cooks of all levels. There is always something to learn. Whether we focus on knife skills making you more efficient in the kitchen or dive into elaborate dishes that are easy enough to master with practice but challenging enough to feel rewarded in the experience.
9. Look at the itinerary:
Make sure the itinerary is well-planned and covers all of the local cuisine and cultural experiences you’re interested in. We have provided a sample program so you can have a general idea of how the tours run. While our samples are just that, samples, you can count on them reflecting exactly what you will experience with only some small modifications due to the availability of collaborators or the season you will be visiting.
10. Read reviews:
Read reviews from past participants to get a better understanding of what the program is like and what to expect. I always say to read reviews diagonally. By that I mean, don’t just read the best review or even the worst ones, get a mix but also look at how the company has responded to both positive and less positive reviews. If a reasonable point was raised by a participant, you want to be sure that the company has addressed the issue. You can read reviews of our tours and view video testimonials to let you know what they thought of their culinary holiday.
When we built the culinary tours at Let’s Eat The World, we are just as demanding as you are when it comes to the quality of the experience. We really wanted to focus these immersive cultural experiences on the food, the people, and the vibrations of the locations where each tour is held. These are the kind of tours I could easily see myself enjoying. A tour that keeps food and wine lovers at the heart of discovering delicious recipes and wonderful locations.
By following these tips, you’ll be able to find the perfect culinary holiday program that offers a rich and authentic experience and hopefully, that will be with Let’s Eat The World. Come discover our locations today!
For more culinary travel tips on planning your perfect culinary experience, download our free guide when you sign up for our mailing list, here.