By Amanda Vallis
Today is a momentous day. It’s the official launch of Cookingbooking.com, my new curated booking website for cooking classes, food tours and culinary experiences around the world.
It’s six years now, since I stood over a stove in a small kitchen in Northern Italy getting an impromptu lesson in how to make the perfect tomato sugo. Having just arrived in the country to begin a university exchange my Italian was non-existent and I found myself struggling through stilted conversations made up of single words and hand gestures. But it was in this moment, cooking with a friend’s mother, that I felt the usual language barrier fall away. We chopped, we stirred, we laughed and while I didn’t understand a single world that came out of her mouth, I found myself understanding exactly what she was saying.
If I had a dollar for every gelato I ate in Italy...hazelnut and raspberry of course!
Cooking Booking isn’t just any ordinary booking website. It’s a website that invites you to participate in the universal language that is food. It’s not about finding the cheapest deal or finding the best place to stuff your face. It’s a website that I hope will be used by curious minds interested in considered, mindful and authentic travel experiences.
During my two years studying in Italy, food and cooking taught me more about Italian life and culture than anything else. And I have since travelled to other parts of the world where I have found the same thing to be true.
Cooking with Ibu Kadek in Ubud, Bali in 2012
Upon returning to Australia I was lucky to land a job with renowned, Australian food magazine delicious. and I was amazed by how many phone calls we would get from readers asking us to recommend a cooking class at their chosen holiday destination. It was here that the idea for Cookingbooking.com started to form in my mind.
Fast forward a few years and here we are with a brand spanking new website. It’s taken years of hard work and many moments of self doubt but we’re finally up and running.
A few things:
It’s not perfect
We know the website isn’t perfect but we’ll be working hard over the next few months to make improvements. If you notice something that you think could be fixed/improved please let us know! We are relying on feedback from our customers to make the site the best it can be.
We’re not in many countries yet
Yes we know. Convincing culinary businesses to list their offerings on a site that doesn’t exist yet is pretty hard! Now that we’re up and running we’ll be adding to our collection of culinary experiences constantly. We’re aiming to have 500+ businesses on the site by June, 2015.
Why book with us?
We’re a small, Melbourne based startup. We have limited resources but grand aspirations and we need your support in order to grow. What we lack in size we make up for a million times over with integrity and great customer service. We may not be one of the big guys but our team will go out of their way to assist you with booking the best culinary experience for your upcoming holiday.
By booking with us you’re also supporting food education initiatives and food security projects overseen by our partner charity, Sustainable Table. $1 from every booking goes straight to them and helps them continue their important work. Don’t think $1 is much? That’s true if we receive ten bookings each week but imagine if got a thousand!
Making Cookingbooking.com a reality would not have been possible without my talented launch team, Chris Hall, Alvaro Prieto, James O’Brien and Ewen Cameron. You guys are the best.
Happy cooking and please do drop us a line some time: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Explore to eat. Eat to explore.
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