Spice up your holiday with a cooking class
If you love to cook, but the glut of cookery programmes on our screens leave you uninspired and you just can’t find time to become a budding Masterchef, then why not book a cooking holiday? The good news is whatever your favourite cuisine, there’s a holiday out there to suit you.
Where do you start with cooking classes?
For example, a stay at the Anna Tasca Lanza school on the Regaleali estate in central Sicily will equip you to rustle up “awesomely tasty” traditional Sicilian dishes, says Jeremy Lazell in The Sunday Times. The charismatic Ms Lanza and her daughter Fabrizia combine cookery lessons using the estate’s produce with trips to local markets. Lodgings are in a 19thcentury farmhouse with views of the Madonie Hills and the estate’s vineyards, and wine flows freely throughout your stay.
Five nights full-board at Regaleali, including four days’ cookery and wine-tasting, cost approximately $3000 with Bellini Travel (www.bellinitravel.com).
Further afield, The Guardian recommends Villageways’ new five-day walking tours of the ancient Kumaon region in the Himalayan foothills. Staying at villages along the way, you can help with the harvest of fruit, vegetables and spices and learn to cook traditional Indian fare.
If the prospect of a full week or more in the kitchen doesn’t appeal, then a weekend in Edinburgh at a Culinary Masterclass at The Bonham Hotel could be just the ticket
As well as the opportunity to learn from head chef Michel Bouyer, a “big plus point” is the chance to stay in a classic townhouse just a ten minute walk from Princes Street, says Sophie Butler in The Daily Telegraph.
The masterclass comprises a trip to the farmers’ market to choose ingredients, lunch at Bonham’s, a wine-tasting session – including tips on how to select the best wine to accompany your chosen menu – and, of course, a cookery lesson with Bouyer. Not only does he school you in the art of good ingredients and presentation, says Butler, but he also teaches you “never to be afraid to serve purple potatoes”. The Bonham’s masterclass costs $400 per person, including two nights’ half board and Sunday.