Memorable Meals from Our Culinary Tours to Europe

November 16, 2020  |  By Peg Kern
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What are some of the best meals we’ve had on our culinary travels at The International Kitchen? And how can you try them yourself on one of our culinary tours or cooking vacations? We’ve had so many delicious dishes and unforgettable feasts over the years, but three that really stand out are:

A tasty dessert during an authentic cooking vacation in Tuscany with TIK.Living the Real Tuscan Dream

For TIK Owner Richard, the meal he prepared with Chef Andrea of our Living the Tuscan Dream culinary vacation in Tuscany was a highlight of his gastronomic visit. First was an antipasto with items fresh from the garden and from local producers: an egg perfectly prepared (and collected that morning), a fig stuffed with salami, a lardo-wrapped date, cabbage from the garden, and a couple of types of local cheese. Following it was a spread made of “ancient grains” and olive oil, served with freshly baked bread. Next was a homemade pasta course with cappelletti dressed two ways – including with freshly pressed olive oil (this was November after all!). After that was a pure of chickpeas with tuna, and finally a warm chocolate cake with a fruit compote prepared from the garden.

Meet chef Andrea in our interview!

Octopus "peka" style during a culinary tour of Croatia with TIK.A Culinary Adventure on the Croatian Coast

As Adrian what his favorite meal was and he’ll have a hard time choosing. A close second was the “crudo” (raw fish) meal he had on a culinary tour of Puglia, but ultimately his most memorable was the peka octopus he had on a culinary adventure in Croatia. “Peka” is an ancient method of cooking in which the dish is expertly baked under a bell-like metal dome heaped with hot coals – a sort of primitive slow cooker. The result is a tasty, tender, delicious dish that according to Adrian put all other octopus dishes to shame!

Learn more about Croatian “peka.”

Signature pasta dish a Don Alfonso during an Amalfi Coast foodie tour.Don Alfonso

A visit to Don Alfonso 1890 is always special, which is why the restaurant has 2 Michelin Stars! One of my most memorable meals was in June 2018 when I ate there with my family during a culinary tour of Italy. The night featured yellow tail with wild orange, a baked egg with truffles and burrata cheese, strascinati pasta, spaghetti with makcerel, lamb with herbs, red mullet with caper powder – and that is just the tip of the iceberg! The evening was made more memorable by both a visit of the restaurant’s amazing wine cellar (a cave deep in the earth), as well as by a tour of the kitchen with family matriarch Livia Iaccarino. (You also dine at Don Alfonso during our Mediterranean Cooking Experience culinary tour.)

Of course, we have many other memorable meals as well. Working in the business of culinary travel means we’ve taken a lot of cooking vacations and culinary tours over the years.

What are some of your most memorable meals?

By Peg Kern

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