Posts Tagged ‘culinary tours’

Sugartooth Tours’ Hosts Annual Union Square Holiday Market Dessert Tour

November 19, 2013

On Sugartooth Tours’ annual Union Square Holiday Market Dessert Tour visitors can literally taste the holidays while visiting some of the most festive and delicious stops that this enclave in New York City has to offer. Come battle the crisp air with a cup of authentic hot cocoa and let your five senses be your guide as you sample homemade holiday delights at every twist and turn. From festive music that rings in the air, to cookies for Santa, no holiday season is complete without taking this memorable tour.

Chances are you’ve visited the Union Square Holiday Market, a staple for locals, but Sugartooth Tours prides itself on knowing the best stops and sweet snacks to try. “There are definitely surprises along the way on this tour,” said Allyson Tolbert Sugartooth Tour co-owner. “You get to taste the best desserts the holiday market has to offer while learning about Union Square’s rich history, as well as the vast culinary history of New York City. It’s both delicious and educational!”

Tickets are $50, which includes at least six tastings. The tour will be running most Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 4:00 pm from November 23-December 22. Check the company’s website calendar for an updated schedule. Each tour lasts between 60-90 minutes and is a little under a mile. Another perk? Tour guests also get to skip lines at each culinary booth stop!

For more information on the Union Square Holiday Market Dessert Tour or Sugartooth Tours, visit

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Context Introduces ‘Modernista Menu’ Exploring Barcelona’s Avant Garde Culinary Trends

February 7, 2013

Context, organizer of expert-led tours in major cities worldwide, is introducing a new culinary experience in its Barcelona program. Modernista Menu explores Barcelona’s avant garde culinary trends, including molecular gastronomy. In the company of a local chef or food writer, participants will have a chance to tour the kitchen of a Michelin-starred restaurant before sitting down to a “curated” meal based on the theories of molecular cuisine.

Working with Victor Quintilla, protege of Ferran Adria and owner/chef of Lluerna, one of Barcelona’s most inventive restaurants, docents with Context have put together an annotated dinner at Lluerna that explores modernista ideas and emerging trends. One focus of the program will be to discover and understand the current interest in reviving Catalan traditions and how certain chefs—including Quintilla—are reinventing these tradition within an innovative, modern context.

Participants begin with a behind-the-scenes tour of the kitchen and learn about some of the specialized equipment that is used in molecular cuisine. Then, they’ll sit down to a dinner designed by Quintilla in consultation with Context that takes participants on a gastronomic journey through recent trends. Along the way they will get an insider’s view of how Barcelona and Catalunya generally have re-imagined cooking and influenced a generation of chefs worldwide.

“This is an insider’s look at cutting-edge Catalan cuisine,” explains Spain manager for Context, Sara McCarty. “Lluerna is a very unique place: untouched by tourism, but celebrated within the industry.”

Modernista Menu will be available for private bookings and also within Context’s small-group program, which limits shared group tours to 6 people max. Private tours will cost 425 Euros for the party + 80 per person for dinner; group tours will cost 180 euros per person.

Context Travel is a network of English-speaking scholars and professionals, including art historians, writers, architects and gastronomes, who organize and lead “walking seminars” in twenty-one world cities, including: Florence, Rome, Venice, Naples, Paris, London, Edinburgh, Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, D.C., Istanbul, Athens, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Shanghai and Beijing. Travel + Leisure has called Context one of the top European tour companies for its innovative approach to travel and the depth of its programs. To learn more about Context, visit:

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Italiaoutdoors Food and Wine introduces 5 biking/gastronomy tours in Italy’s Dolomites

January 24, 2013

Italiaoutdoors Food and Wine introduces five bike tours in the Dolomites starting this spring that showcase outdoor recreational grandeur and gastronomy of Northeastern Italy.

The new six-night tours are: “Train Like a Local” departing May 26 and September 1; “The Agony and the Ecstasy” departing June 9; and “The Classic Climbs” departing July 7 and September 8. Rates start at $3,695, per person, based on double occupancy and include accommodations, all ground transportation, guide services, all breakfasts and three dinners. A 15% discount is offered on the September 8 tour if both tours in September are booked.

Each tour invites a riding exploration of the Dolomites in Northeastern Italy and delves into the region’s rich culinary heritage, pairing opportunities to sample Marostica cherries and Bassano’s famed white asparagus with challenging climbs along routes unknown to mainstream tour companies.

“Train Like a Local” tour– May 26 – June 1; and September 1-7, 2013: Focusing on the “mid-mountains” with climbs ranging between 900 and 1700 meters, this tour explores the foothills south of the Dolomites, an area widely considered the preferred training ground for local and race teams. An ideal introduction to riding in the mountains, the “Train Like a Local” tour prepares cyclists for more challenging ascents in the upper elevations of the Dolomites and the Alps.

“The Agony and the Ecstasy” tour – June 9 – 15, 2013: Comprising the hardest climbs in northeast Italy (those rated at the 200-point difficulty level), the aptly named “Agony and Ecstasy” tour is designed for cyclists who have trained hard and are ready to embrace the most difficult climbs the Dolomites can offer. This tour takes guests on epic climbs through the regions of Veneto, Trentino-Alto Adige and Friuli Venezia, with stops to sample and savor local delicacies such as prosciutto, homemade gnocchi and grappa.

“The Classic Climbs” tour – July 7 – 13; and September 8-4, 2013: “The Classic Climbs” traces a path through the heart of the Dolomites, combining little-known passes with the renowned and rigorous bike climbs that have made the region a sought-after destination for cyclists. While exploring the Dolomites the way locals do, riders will have opportunities to experience the blend of Italian and Austrian/Germanic cultures that define this picturesque region.

Led by expert cyclist and mountain guide Vernon McClure, and cooking instructor and chef Kathy Bechtel, also an avid biker, Italiaoutdoors Food and Wine cycling tours introduce both new and accomplished cyclists to the spectacular Dolomites region, taking care to sample regional cuisine and discover local wines unknown beyond the area. Daily coaching and challenging climbs are interspersed with opportunities to explore off-the-beaten-path towns such as Rovereto, an ancient fortress town; Conegliano, the heart of the Prosecco DOCG zone; and Bassano del Grappa, for a grappa tasting.

Tours are tailored to provide a balance of activity, rest and relaxation. A maximum of 12 persons per group allows for daily itinerary customization and refinement, based on participants’ interests, pacing, and real-time “finds.”
For more information or to receive Italiaoutdoors Food and Wine newsletter, recipes and wine information, visit or Chef Kathy Bechtel’s blog at

Italiaoutdoors Food and Wine is an owner-operated private guide service, creating and guiding active culinary tours in Northeastern Italy. Unique in their ability to combine active biking, skiing and hiking adventures with world-class culinary programs — including tours with James Beard award-winning chefs — Italiaoutdoors customizes vacations for groups of 4 to 12 people. Italiaoutdoors has more than 15 years of recreational programming experience in the region, plus formal culinary and wine training. Programs also include cooking classes, wine tastings, and restaurant dining which explore the best in local regional cuisine and undiscovered wines. Itineraries are rounded out with city visits, shopping, cultural excursions or just relaxing. The owners — experts in fitness, food, and the region — personally lead each tour., 978-270-5774. Twitter @italiaoutdoors. Facebook

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Access Trips has new culinary tour highlighting best of California wine country culture; partners with Sonoma Film Festival

December 4, 2012

From exclusive cooking classes with Sonoma’s top chefs to private vineyard tours and tastings, Access Trips brand new five-day culinary tour is a foodie fantasy in the heart of California’s Wine Country. The new tour offers access to some of Sonoma’s most renowned local restaurants, chefs and vintners, as guests learn to cook with organic, locally sourced ingredients that change seasonally and showcase the best of California cuisine.

Nestled in a lush valley with trellised vineyards climbing the surrounding hills, and bound by a central plaza and a historic Spanish mission, Sonoma is arguably one of the most beautiful towns in California. Offering a quaint, intimate alternative to the usual tourist trails in Napa, Sonoma is a mecca of cultural and culinary treasures awaiting discovery.

For the ultimate California experience, Access Trips has partnered with the Sonoma International Film Festival to offer a discounted three-day, three-night Film Festival VIP extension package for guests on Access Trips’ first Sonoma Culinary tour departing April 7, 2013. The tour’s July departure was also timed to dovetail on Destination Race’s Napa to Sonoma half marathon on July 21, 2013.

California Wine Country Culinary Tour
Five-days from $2,590 pp

From once-in-a-lifetime cooking classes with Sonoma’s finest chefs to wine, cheese and chocolate truffle tastings and a tour of one of California’s oldest family owned vineyards, Access Trips’ California Wine Country Culinary Tour is a gourmand’s dream. Indulge your palate during sumptuous meals at top Sonoma restaurants, Café La Haye and Harvest Moon Café, before enjoying exclusive cooking classes led by such big names as Harvest Moon Chef Nick Demarest. Surrounded by beautiful gardens, olive groves and rolling vineyards, visit Stone Edge Farm for a multi-course cooking class with acclaimed chef, John McReynolds, and learn tricks to add variety to recipes at home. Discover the local farmers market, take in the sites during a hike along the Glen Ellen Reservoir and relax poolside at the luxurious, boutique, Macarthur Place – Sonoma’s finest Inn and Spa.

Sonoma International Film Festival VIP Package
Three-days from $2,000 pp

Get in touch with your inner movie star during Access Trips’ three-day, three-night Sonoma International Film Festival extension. Enjoy VIP-access passes to all films, filmmakers, and discussion panels, and of course, exclusive parties with the best in California wine and cuisine! Savor your red carpet moment at the red carpet gala, where you’ll find out which celebrity will be honored by the association. The main festivities are in the Sonoma Plaza, just four blocks walking distance from Macarthur Place, your luxurious inn and spa. Book the Film Festival package along with the California Wine Country Culinary Tour and receive 10% off both the tour AND the extension, for a total savings of $459 per person. Space is limited to just 12 guests.

Access Trips is a leading adventure travel  operator specializing in exotic learning vacations to 13 countries worldwide. This company offers a wide range of small-group outdoor sports and culinary-focused trips that are expertly designed to allow guests to experience a new culture, learn new skills or fine-tune existing ones, and revel in the splendor of their destination. Based in San Francisco, California and launched in 2001, Access Trips’ impressive portfolio includes cooking, surfing, mountain biking, snowboarding, skiing, and multisport itineraries. Regardless of the focus of the activity, Access Trips caters to a variety of skill levels, serving the novice as well as the expert in a relaxed, non-intimidating setting with the help of world-class instructors and multilingual guides. For more information about Access Trips and the adventure tours available, visit

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USTOA Tour Company Members Offer Culinary Adventures in Five Asian Countries

July 2, 2011

USTOA member companies offer culinary adventures to China and other Asian destinations highlighted with cooking classes and feasts © 2011 Karen Rubin/

Tour companies are serving up a menu of Asian food adventures, from cooking classes to culinary feasts. Travelers can dine at the home of a noted chef in India, learn to cook five traditional dishes in Vietnam, or savor authentic Beijing duck in China.

Here are four representative tours from USTOA companies to suit varying tastes and palates.


“A Portrait of India”: 18 days/17 nights: Foodies can enjoy a cooking demonstration and dinner at the home of a noted Indian chef on Tauck’s 18 day, 17 night “A Portrait of India”. Visit New Delhi, Varanasi, Khajuraho, Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur, Cochin, Kumarakom, and Mumbai. Priced from $7,890 per person, land only, the tour must be booked by December 1, 2011 for travel available until December 21, 2011. According to Tauck, this virtually all-inclusive price reflects a savings of up to 40% over making the same arrangements on your own. For reservations and more information, phone 1-800-468-2825 or visit

Southeast Asia

Treasures of Angkor Wat and Vietnam: 16 days/15 nights:Experience a half day Vietnamese cooking class in Hoi An, including a visit to the market and preparation of five traditional dishes, with Explorations’ “Treasures of Angkor Wat and Vietnam” from Collette Vacations. This 16 day/15 night tour to Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam offers a small group of twenty-eight passengers. Price begins from $2,999 per person, saving travelers up to 25% over independent booking, according to Collette. Book by March 1, 2012 for travel valid until April 12, 2012. International airfare is additional. For reservations and more information, phone 1-877-451-8687 or visit www.explorationstouring.

Laos and Vietnam: Sacred Jewels of Southeast Asia: 16 days/15 nights: On International Expeditions’ “Laos and Vietnam: Sacred Jewels of Southeast Asia.” travelers sample the famous roast chicken at Anh Tuyet’s restaurant in Hanoi, Vietnam, featured on Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations.” In Laos, culinary offerings include lunch at Makphet Restaurant in Vientiane. and Italian cuisine at Xe Pian ecolodge. Also offered is an elephant fish lunch in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. Activities include sightseeing by cyclo-rickshaw, tuk-tuk, long boat, sampan boat and elephant back. An overnight cruise on Halong Bay in Vietnam aboard a Chinese junk, plus visits to Luang Prabang in Laos and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam are also included, as are excursions to local markets, villages, and sustainability projects, a private baci welcome ceremony, and a sacred tak bat ceremony. Hotel accommodations are for thirteen nights, with three nights in secluded Xe Pian National Protected Area. The tour, which can be booked at any time, is priced from $4,298 per person, land only, and is available until December 1, 2011. For reservations and more information, phone 1-800-633-4734 or visit


China Impressions: 10 days/9 nights: Savor a Beijing duck dinner and local culinary lunches on Pacific Delight Tours’ 10 day, 9 night “China Impressions” tour. Cost starts from $2,199 per person, representing up to a 40% savings over booking independently, according to Pacific Delight Tours. The itinerary visits Beijing, Xi’an, Suzhou, and Shanghai, and includes international airfare from Los Angeles (add $200 for New York), deluxe hotels, meals, sightseeing, and transfers. This tour is available through March 2012. For reservations and more information, phone 1-800-221-7179 or visit

“Today’s traveler to Asia wants a total experience, including tasting local cuisine and learning about a culture through its food,” says Terry Dale, president of the U.S. Tour Operators Association. “These tours, by introducing travelers to local cuisine, provide an immersion and greater understanding into Asian cultures.”


All tour prices are based on double occupancy. Restrictions and additional security fees, departure and local taxes and fees may apply. Prices may vary based on departure date.

For more information on Asia vacations with culinary interest visit:, or

USTOA member companies have met the travel industry’s highest standards, including participation in the association’s Travelers Assistance Program, which among other things protects consumer payments up to $1 million in case the company goes out of business. USTOA is the premier association of companies providing vacation packages, tours, and custom travel itineraries for more than 11 million people yearly.

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