So you’re a real foodie, and you’ve got some decent annual leave up your sleeve? The only thing left to do is book a gastro-experience and spend some time getting to know new food and wine around the world. You’ll need to put a bit of thought and planning into your food holiday to make sure you’re ticking all the boxes whilst getting amongst the locals (who know where all the good food is hiding).
Here are a few things you’ll need to think about:
How much time have you got?
This one might be up to your boss, but if it’s in your control then start working out where the foodie places are that you want to go - (you can even create your own Google map if you’re really onto it), and then figure out how much time you need to get to all of the places on your list. Even though you’re going for the food - it would be a waste to not see the sights and get involved in the local activities, plus factor in some time to relax! Make sure you’ve got a few days to kick up your heels or enjoy the hotel pool without having to be on a bus or having to rush from wine to wine.
What’s your priority?
So you’ve decided where you want to go, and you know what you want to eat. Now you have to decide what you want to do most, in case you can’t do it all. Start by making sure you’re experiencing the local food before anything else, because what’s the point of going on holiday to eat food you can eat at home? Then make sure you’ve got some local watering holes on the agenda to sample the local beer, wine and spirits. Next, we’d suggest trying to get in touch with local growers, dairies or cellar doors - it’s always great to eat and drink whilst chatting to the person responsible for what you’re having. If you’re a really keen planner, try and do more than one at once!
How can you taste the best of what the place has to offer?
The best thing to do here is research before you go. Depending on the destination, you’ll have an idea of what type of food you’re in for pretty early on, so you’ll know roughly where to find it. Fresh seafood in Tassie? Head to the fish monger at the end of the pier. Crossaints in Paris? Look for a bakery with faded letters and a tiny old French woman in an apron. Tequila in Mexico? Don’t go where the young people are, look for a bar with some seasoned drinkers and you’ll find it. If you’re not keen on doing the legwork yourself, find a local food tour company (but quiz them before you sign up.)
How can you have an authentic food experience?
It’s usually pretty easy to find out where the most popular restaurants are while you’re on holiday with all the directory websites out there, and you can usually tell when you’re walking around - they’re the ones bursting with people. But if you want to have a really authentic food experience, get chatting to the locals and you’ll soon be shown where to go. I remember being in Bali once, and we were led down a narrow alleyway full of stray dogs (eek) but at the end was a caravan that was serving the best nasi goring I’ve ever eaten.. for $0.80c. Trust those locals!
So now all you need to do is decide where to book. In case you need some inspiration, here are our top three travel-worthy Cooking Booking experiences to get you started:
- Want to go warm? Get a cheap Jetstar flight and go Bali bound to hang out with Ibu Kadek and learn the tricks of the local cuisine. Click here for details.
- Feel like a bit of a cool change? Head down to Tasmania with a countryside cooking masterclass weekend at the famous Agrarian Kitchen. Click here for details.
- Going big? Head to Italy and immerse yourself in the Tuscan sun with a cook and stay experience at the Relais Borgo Santo Pietro to learn from Michelin chef Andrea Mattei. Click here for details.
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