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What countries would you go to cooking schools/classes in (on vacation), and any particular favorites?

(Hailing from Los Angeles here.)

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  1. Japan! Every sushi dish is quality and so pristine. Seafood can be so beautiful when artfully cooked, cut, or displayed!

    1 Reply
    1. re: chica

      If anyone knows of a cooking school for foreigners in Japan, I would love to hear about it. Not for sushi, which I really think is best left to professionals (after all, real sushi chefs train for years), but just for simple everyday Japanese cooking.

    2. I too would love to know a good cooking/vacation school abroad - Italy in particular.

      1. I have heard that there's actually gourmet cuisine happening in Ireland now--not just the stereotypical stew and potatoes--so I think I'd like to go check that out (not, mind you, that there was anything wrong with the stew, pub grub and potatoes I encountered there 20 years ago).

        1 Reply
        1. Dh and I have taken "A Cooks Tour" vacations to Italy, Spain, Greece and even Vegas. Great experiences all.

          There are travel agents that specialize in such tours if you are interested, I can post them for you.

          1. Went to a cooking school in Tuscany a couple of years ago.
            Toscano Saporita. It's a terrific place....they make wonderful olive oil. You stay on the premises and cook every morning. Then lunch. A rest...and a day trip if you choose. The chefs/instructors then prepare dinner for you. When I went, there were six students and four chefs. But on any given night, there might be 20-30 people for dinner. Friends, family, people from the village stop by. It's great fun. Run by a wonderful woman named Sandra Lotti. I highly recommend it.

            1. 16 years ago, I had a surfeit of frequent flyer miles due to the merger of two carriers. I looked for the longest trip I could make with my miles, and the destination turned out to be Bangkok.

              My trip was centered around the Thai cooking school at the Oriental Hotel. It was definitely not cheap (even with the free airfare), but it was a wonderful way to learn about Thailand though its food. When I participated in this program, about two-thirds of the time was devoted to classes and group activities, with the remaining third at leisure. That was just the right mix for me.

              Of course, a lot may have changed over the years, but the program does still exist:


              1 Reply
              1. re: silverbear

                I looked into classes at the Oriental Hotel when I was in Bangkok three years ago hoping for a one-day class. That wasn't available, but I did find out that you can take classes there without using their accomodations. It's staying there that's so expensive. I don't recall the numbers, but the cost of the actual cooking classes wasn't unreasonable. Still hope to get back and do that one day. I've heard excellent reports from people who have. I've heard good things about cooking schools in Chang Mai as well, but don't have a specific one to recommend.

              2. Hi,
                Why don't you try France where you can find a solid cooking tradition and where the tourism infrastructure is well developed?
                I would check the following: http://www.francetourism.com/practica...
                Paris with its schools is certainly the best place to get very professionnal lessons. If you'd like to spent more time in the country side, I would choose a wine making region such as Bordeaux, Alsace or Burgundy.

                1. Probably 10 years ago I went to a fantastic program at Villa Michaela in Lucca. (villamichaela.com) The chef/instructor, Valter Roman was the highlight. He is now with Cuisine International and running a similar school in Vorno. I originally booked with a outfit called Rhode School of Cuisine-they still do a similar program.

                  1. I've done week long cooking classes in Mexico with Marilyn Tausend - http://www.marilyntausend.com - and will be doing a week with Diana Kennedy in July 2007. I also did a day class at Susanna Trilling's cooking school just outside Oaxaca, Season's of My heart - http://www.seasonsofmyheart.com . She's got a trip to Veracruz coming up this February focusing on chocolate and vanilla among other things.

                    The CIA at Greystone offers culinary tours to Mexico, Viet Nam and usually Spain or Italy every year. These are extremely well run, but, as you might expect, pricey.