Staff Favorites

Most of the culinary travelers who call us, ask the same question: what is your favorite cooking vacation? At The International Kitchen, we have spent years checking out the best cooking vacations, food tours, and wine tours in Europe and beyond, and we’ve each got our favorites.

This is your chance to take the culinary tours and check out the destinations that we have so enjoyed over the years. What qualities does a cooking vacation need to have to be considered a staff favorite and recommended vacation spot?

First, to be considered a favorite, a cooking vacation needs to be in a place we enjoy traveling. That might not be very specific, as we pretty much enjoy traveling everywhere on our cooking vacations, but to be a staff favorite it has to be in a place we would go back to again and again and again. For some of us that might be Sicily, with its fascinating and varied history, its richly delicious Mediterranean cuisine, and its sunny coastlines. For others, it might be Croatia, with its deep seas, peka-baked dishes, and cultural diversity. And for others, it might be the Loire Valley with its chateaux, kingly palaces, and fruity wines.

Another factor that goes into choosing our favorite cooking vacations is the food itself. If you love fresh mozzarella cheese and limoncello, you’re always going to want to visit the Amalfi Coast. If you like duck and foie gras, your favorite cooking vacations will be in the Southwest of France. If if you want tamales and mole, you’re going to head to Mexico for a Mexican food tour.

Sometimes we choose a favorite culinary vacation because we love the wine tours in that destination. Whether we are talking about Piedmont, Bordeaux, or Mendoza, there is a lot to recommend each destination, but the reason we keep going back on wine tours to these places is because we absolutely love the wines!

But some of our favorite cooking vacations aren’t because it’s our favorite food or wine. Sometimes it’s because of the chefs and guides who are there to give our travelers the very best culinary tours possible. We know that if Paolo or Augusto or Francesca are taking care of us, we – and our clients – are going to have the best possible culinary vacation and be welcomed like family.

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More about Our Staff Favorite Cooking Vacations

Of course, the best of our favorite cooking vacations combine all of these things: a destination we love, with food and wine we love, and amazing guides and chefs to give our culinary travelers the best experiences ever. This is one reason why so many of our favorite culinary tours are Tuscany cooking vacations. It’s a destination we love, with food and wine we love, and guides and chefs that we love. Pretty much any of our Tuscany cooking vacations could be on our favorites list, but here are a few of our favorite cooking vacations in Tuscany and elsewhere:

Antinori’s Noble Tuscany 

What is not to like about staying on an old Tuscan estate overlooking the famed Tignanello vineyards and cooking with the staff of a Michelin-star chef at a wonderfully equipped teaching kitchen? Add in Tuscan wine tours to fabulous wineries and the incredible hospitality of the Antinori family and you’ve got the Tuscany cooking vacation of your dreams.

A Culinary Adventure in Puglia

Cook with Chiara on her family’s working farm estate, stay in the manor house-turned-hotel run by the family, and enjoy touring with a charismatic local guide in one of our favorite parts of Italy: Puglia. This Italy cooking vacation will surely become one of your favorites as well!

Cooking and Culture in Vietnam and Cambodia

Journey to Vietnam and Cambodia on a cooking vacation in Southeast Asia. Taste the fresh flavors of one of our favorite cuisines, see ancient temples and monuments, and journey through rivers, cities, and forests on this once-in-a-lifetime cooking vacation.