Oftentimes, cooking is the best way to explore a new destination and get a feel for the local culture. Whether you only have time for a half-day class or more immersive lessons, Elite Traveler has rounded up the best culinary classes around the world.
The Culinary Academy at Monteverdi Tuscany
Located within boutique hotel Monteverdi Tuscany, the hotel’s Culinary Academy brings together guests of the hotel to learn how to create dishes like pici pasta, boar ragu and other regionally focused dishes. With room for only 12 students, classes are very intimate, held daily and led by executive chef Giancarla Bodoni. There are marble workstations and an indoor chef’s table in addition to an al fresco dining area. Monteverdi has its own organic herb and vegetable garden, and in the classes, you’ll use ingredients from here. After class, enjoy a complimentary lunch paired with wine. The Culinary Academy, completed in 2018, is located in a historic building, that was once a school for children for two centuries – one step inside and it’s like walking back in time. In addition to cooking lessons, Bodoni hosts Chef’s Table dinners every Tuesday and Saturday. A multi-course menu is served in the Culinary Academy’s kitchen while you taste various regional wines. monteverdituscany.com
Sapori Cooking Academy at JW Marriott, Venice
Outfitted with six private stations in a classic Italian-style kitchen, the Sapori Cooking Academy at the five-star JW Marriott Hotel in Venice, Italy caters to all types of students, but guaranteed to be a private and intimate experience with other hotel guests. Here, you can choose from a six-hour course called Authentic Venice where you’ll learn how to create authentic Italian dishes, or a two-hour class on the small plates served in Venetian wine bars called ciccheti, among other programs. During your cooking lessons, depending on the dish, your chef will take you to the Rialto Market in the morning to pick out seasonal produce, such as swordfish, sea bass or soft-shelled crab. Children are welcome here, too. Take your little ones to create Venetian cookies or enjoy a picnic with the whole family. In the Make Your Own Picnic class, learn about Italian sandwich making and nibble on healthy salads and snacks. The best part? Unbeatable views of the Venetian lagoon and sitting underneath the shade of weeping willows. jwvenice.com