Travel Notebook

Recreating the Tastes of Travel

When I think back to my favorite travel experiences, what most often pops first into my mind is not necessarily the fabulous views or the people I met, but the flavors I tasted while there. Whether it’s the outer crunch and inner chewiness of a perfectly baked baguette smeared with fresh butter and sprinkled with sea salt, enjoyed with my toes wriggling in the Fijian sand … or a luscious, juicy peach handed to me by a purveyor at a Salzburg farmers’ market … or steamy, barbecued churrascaria in Rio de Janeiro … I’m immediately taken back.

It’s no surprise that most travelers return home with an edible souvenir or two, from chocolate to coffee to liqueur, for this very reason. We aim to relive those delicious, worry-free moments through savory memories.  

With this in mind, we chatted with some of our Rebecca Recommends clients to find out what culinary experiences guests can have in various locations throughout the world. For some, that may be sitting at a chef’s table, learning the provenance and preparation of each ingredient one tastes, while for others, this may mean doing the chopping, sautéing and braising themselves during a hands-on cooking lesson. What better way to remember your travels than to learn a few tricks of world cuisine that you can later try at home?

Here, a few of the most tantalizing culinary opportunities we’ve heard of in a while … bon appetit!

Sumptuous Sri Lankan cuisine at Wild Coast Tented Lodge
Sumptuous Sri Lankan fare at Wild Coast Lodge

Discover Sri Lankan Cuisine

At Resplendent Ceylon’s Tea Trails, guests are invited to a hands-on experience with one of the property’s amazing chefs. Learn the basics of Sri Lankan cooking, from the range of spices and ingredients, to techniques and recipes behind the magic of Sri Lankan cuisine. Guests are invited to get their hands wet with mixing spices, preparation and cooking to immerse themselves in this fun and sensory experience. It’s an ideal prelude to a full Sri Lankan dinner that very evening.  

At Wild Coast Lodge, guests may cook their own lunch, mixing spices, seasoning their ingredients and putting on the finishing touches, all under the watchful eye and instruction of Chef Ranil. The experience is not a typical “demo,” but an interactive learning of how to make some of the most popular and well-loved Sri Lankan dishes. After some tutelage, guests will be served an exquisite rice-and-curry lunch.  

And finally, at Cape Weligama, for those who prefer to simply sit back and enjoy their meal – while learning where it came from and how it was prepared – Chef Vinnol will offer a guided exploration into the technically complex, sensory layers of Sri Lankan cuisine. The experience is designed to answer the “whys” and “hows” of local cooking, the ingredients, the flavors and the recipes. Chef Vinnol walks guests through his favorite recipes, his favorite local comfort foods and secret techniques.

Chef Vinnol demonstrating various Sri Lankan spices and ingredients.
Chef Vinnol from Cape Weligama taking us through the tantalizing flavors of Sri Lankan cuisine 

Take a Masterclass with an Irish Chef

Our friends at Original Travel UK have the inside track on the chance to learn from one of Ireland’s greatest living chefs in his own home kitchen. Guests will learn to prepare five delicious dishes in a fun, relaxed environment – all iconic creations of the chef himself. Pop over to London and visit Mimo, located in the landmark Borough Market and one of London’s newest and hottest foodie destinations. Mimo offers a wide range of excellent classes to suit everyone and immerse them in local food culture, from cookies and biscuits to pasta from scratch and the chance to learn how to cook a real Sunday roast.

Cooking classes at Mimo London
Learn how to cook straight from the market to table. Photo credit :

Hands-On Cooking in the Yucatán

Discover the flavors of the Yucatán Peninsula with Catherwood Travels’ fun and interactive private cooking classes. These experiences are well suited for all family members and are the perfect way to connect with the other participants as they prepare a full lunch with the guidance of an experienced local cook.

Cooking classes can be developed in different scenarios, from the majestic haciendas of the Belle Époque, which are scattered around the peninsula and immersed in the Mayan jungle, or in a magic and recondite Mayan community, where the travelers will be hosted by the locals and will learn many ancestral culinary techniques.

Explore colorful markets in towns or cities, overflowing with local delicacies. Savor delightful lunches on terraces overflowing with exotic flowers. And above all, master the ancient recipes of Yucatecan cuisine, of delicate flavors and unsuspected surprises for the palate, as well as the bold innovations of international fusion cuisine.

Master the ancient recipes of Yucatecan cuisine. with Catherwood Travels
Master the ancient recipes of Yucatecan cuisine 

A Private Cooking Lesson in Greenwich Village

Nothing makes one feel more hip than a private culinary class in a charming studio in the heart of Greenwich Village, just south of Washington Square in Manhattan. Our friends at Beyond Times Square have the insider connections to craft a three-hour lesson, whether you’re a beginner or experienced home cook, where you’ll learn from a classically trained chef, who will share her most popular recipes in a hands-on session. Expand your skills, gain confidence in the kitchen and learn tips of the trade while preparing a three-course meal from fresh, seasonal produce. And, of course, when finished, enjoy the meals you’ve just cooked at the studio’s beautiful table. Ask about culinary themes … pizza, cupcakes, Indian cuisine and more.

Culinary experiences by Beyond Times Square at the heart of Greenwich Village in Manhattan.
Culinary experiences at the heart of Greenwich Village in Manhattan.

For more information on these and other culinary opportunities with Rebecca Recommends clients, send us an email. We would love to hear from you.