Happy New Year with best wishes for the year to hold all good things for you and your loved ones. It seems every year there is new excitement for The International Kitchen! For 2008 we will be introducing Mexico. Mexico is a warm, inviting country, with a varied and creative cuisine, intriguing and monumental historical sightseeing, and everywhere, wonderful and beautiful artisan objects, whether it be silver, baskets or pottery. This is a country that offers much to the traveler. A natural winter destination, the summers are also wonderful; warm but not unbearably hot, every day cooled by a short tropical sprinkle. Please look for our new trips to be posted soon, and the Caribbean will shortly follow.
We have a one time only very special departure at the exquisite Hotel Villa San Michele
just outside Florence. The hotel is one of the elite Orient-Express properties and lives up to its reputation as a world-class hotel. The dates are June 8-13 and space is limited.
If you are looking for another luxury alternative, please see our new program, A Luxury Lifestyle at Villa Mangiacane, where Chef Massimo is a wonderful, warm and eager instructor. This is an exceptional, ultra deluxe property in Tuscany, not far from Florence, and you can choose your dates. The hotel opened just recently and has already been featured in Fortune Magazine. We have many new short and self-drive options in Tuscany for those of you who prefer to be on your own. Be sure to check them out!
Of course, if nothing quite fits what you are looking for, let us know and we will try to arrange it for you! Call us anytime, we would be delighted to speak with you about our wonderful, often life-changing experiences.And don’t forget to watch us on the Food Network on Friday, February 15, at 10a.m. ET/PT.
February 2008Dear Friends,
February definitely snuck up on us here at The International Kitchen, as we were so busy creating and posting new programs in January! Once again, we have expanded our wings and we now offer programs in Mexico; A Mexican Expedition: Cook in the Yucatan
We also have two new and exquisite programs in France: Chateau Cooking in Bordeaux and Grand Tour of the Loire! If France doesn’t fit into your travels, then head to Sicily and experience The Soul of Sicily! We just can’t seem to slow down…
Like our programs, our website continues to expand! While browsing, keep an eye for the videos we have added to some of our pages. We hope they give you a better feeling of “A Day in the Life of a Culinary Student,” with The International Kitchen. These will continue to be posted throughout the year. Now is the time to plan those group trips. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like some advice on which one to book.
Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!
We are spending our time this month traveling, attending trade shows, exploring new program opportunities and visiting some of our long established ones. But our big news for March is the presentation of our VIDEOS! We are so pleased to be able to offer this wonderful tool in helping you to make a selection…and they are really fun to watch!Wherever you see an icon on our current trips page, it means there is a video if you open that program. We hope you enjoy watching them as much as we enjoyed making them. Our business is really "a labor of love." Everyone of us in The International Kitchen family has a passion for creating and offering these incredible experiences and we hope we convey that sense of dedication to you. As always, please contact us anytime. To those of you who celebrate this holiday, a very Happy Easter!
We are very excited to announce a new collaboration! Country Walkers, is a premier walking tour company, offering unsurpassed walking tours and hiking vacations around the globe. For the first time ever and for only one departure this year, you can enjoy a week of walking with Country Walkers, followed by a weekend cooking, with The International Kitchen. Please click here for details.
We were delighted to be featured in the April issue of Condé Nast Traveler, recommending our program in Tepoztlan, Mexico, Hola Mexico. This is a wonderful program with Chef Ana, soon to be featuring her own cooking show on PBS. Be sure to check out our other Mexican program, A Mexican Expedition: Cook in the Yucatan. Once again we are fortunate enough to have extensive media coverage; another one of our new programs in Tuscany, A Luxury Lifestyle at Villa Mangicane, was featured in the April issue of Taste Italia, "Sun, sea and seasoning," be sure to get your copy.
Lauren just returned from the wonderful "Rendez-Vous" trade show which was held in Lyon, France this year. She came back with tons of contacts and hopefully a few new programs. She also attended a three day pre-tour where she quickly became an expert in the enchanting region of Burgundy. We have some charming programs there, so make sure to check them out!
Our big news this month is the publication of "The Saucier’s Apprentice." Bob Spitz, the best-selling author of the definitive biography "The Beatles," came to me about two years ago with the idea of writing this book. I arranged for him to visit a number of our programs, including A Mediterranean Cooking Experience at Relais Oasi Olimpia, A Classic Tuscan Table with Chef Claudio, Daily Class with Samira and many more! He has written a very real and entertaining book, complete with wonderful recipes. We are proud and delighted to have been a significant contributor to this project! Bob will be doing a nationwide book and signing tour; we will let you know his schedule once we have it. If you would like a copy, buy it here at Amazon.com.
We are pleased to announce Presenting Puglia, a new program in one of the best kept secrets in Italy. Known as "Southern Florence," and only a few minutes from the unbelievable beaches of Otranto, is the small village of Corigliano d’Otranto, home of the Masseria Appidè. You will spend six nights in this deluxe 18th-century rural estate, all while experiencing true Apulian cuisine. We hope you like it as much as we do! Don’t forget…we guarantee our prices in US dollars and once you are under deposit, your trip cost is locked in and will never increase!
Summertime is finally upon us and travel is in the air! Even though we are incredibly busy sending our clients off to Europe, and now Mexico, we are still working hard here at The International Kitchen creating new and exciting adventures.
For those that joined us for our Opera and Cuisine Tours this past spring with Fred Plotkin, we are pleased to announce another New York departure next May, The Ring Cycle Series 2009. We have prepared a wonderful itinerary accompanied with great operas, food, wine and company!
Keep an eye out for a few more programs to be added, including one on the French Riviera and in southern Spain! All of our prices are guaranteed in US dollars; if you decide to travel this year, it takes the guess work out of what you are going to spend. Most of our programs are all-inclusive; transfers, meals, cooking classes, excursions and room and board are part of the price!
Fall travel is booking up so let us help you plan your next culinary experience!
An exciting month! Richard and I were guests of Brescia Tourism for a week-long educational. This is the region from the west side of Verona to Lake Como and includes the lesser known, but smaller and absolutely charming areas of Lake Garda and Lake Iseo. We had a cold rain the entire time we were there, and we still loved it! It is a fantastic area of northern Italy and we were introduced to some outstanding properties around all of the lakes. I know many of you are interested in this region and we are very pleased to soon offer you some outstanding options.
We are also very happy to finally offer something many of you have requested; A “Second Helping” with Chef Claudio. Intended for those who have already done A Classic Tuscan Table with Chef Claudio, we invite anyone to join us on one of two departures of somewhat more advanced cooking classes, different excursions at a very attractive price! We will soon also offer “A Second Helping” at Oasi Olimpia, again, which many of you have requested. We have recently added a Provence Shopping Tour and a program on the Cote d’Azur, Allure of the Riviera. In Spain, look for Spanish Cuisine on the Costa del Sol, the Riviera of Spain. And finally, for any of you Opera fans, we are now taking reservations for the Ring Series 2009, May 4-10, 2009. This is the final performance at the Met of this landmark production. Happy Summer!
Things are always ‘a cookin’ at The International Kitchen! Not a month goes by where we don’t have something new and exciting to offer.
We have added another program to the Lakes Region of Italy:Lake Garda Grandeur. Enjoy the evocative and refined atmosphere of the Hotel Villa Arcadio, one of the most exclusive in Saló, just on the Brescia shore of Lake Garda. This 4-star hotel is truly exquisite and its evocative ambiance makes it an elite resort for discerning travelers to rediscover the atmosphere much loved by poets, artists and refined travelers while learning the local cuisine of the region!
The International Kitchen has teamed up with Country Walkers for a cooking and walking itinerary in Tuscany. Our fall departure is almost sold out, so if you might be interested, see how to get your spot now. In the spring of 2009 we will be taking this collaboration to Provence along with another departure in Tuscany.
Enjoy your summer!
Welcome Iain, Peg’s baby and our newest member of The International Kitchen. Born on 8/18/08 and weighing in at 8 lbs., 9 oz., he is a keeper!
As we enter September, we realize the the year is already three-quarters over, but there is still time for you to consider one of our wonderful programs for this year! The dollar has increased dramatically and Europe has once again become a good value. The fall is a wonderful time to see the grape and olive harvests, even take part! If it is too late for you to plan anything for this year, we are currently accepting bookings for any of our programs (that do not already have 2009 prices posted) at 2008 rates guaranteed. We can confirm any of our programs for just about any date in 2009 for a minimum of two people. Exceptions are noted on each individual program.
Our collaboration with Country Walkers this fall has been very successful, the week is sold out. We will offering this program again in 2009, as well as a collaboration in Sicily and Provence. Please call us to discuss any of our programs. We love to talk about them!
I have just returned from two weeks in Italy, revisiting some of our programs and spending a glorious week in Sardina. This is a beautiful and unexplored region of Italy, with wonderful food and wine. We hope to soon offer you some options in this lovely and welcoming region. We are all aware of the difficult economic times we are going through not only in our country but throughout the world. Ironically, the US dollar is now about 30% stronger against the Euro, which actually makes this a favorable time to travel, and the fall is a really great time in Europe. We hope for a good resolution to our country’s problems and that in the near future we can assist you in planning what we believe is the trip of a lifetime!
Anne Marie also traveled to Italy this month, visiting the stunning volcanic island of Ischia. Located in the Tyrrhenian Sea at the northern end of the Gulf of Naples, Ischia boasts a landscape almost entirely mountainous, filled with thermal springs and volcanic mud. Anne Marie visited several of the island’s thermals spas and boutique hotels, and will be putting together a cooking and wellness program soon.
Exciting news for us! At "French Affairs," the annual meeting of the US and French tour operators hosted by Maison de la France, the French Government Tourist Office (which was held in October in Chicago this year), The International Kitchen won the coveted "Best Special Interest Product" award. We are, of course very pleased and proud to achieve this honor. I have just spent the last week in Provence, at the annual meeting of PATI (Provence Alps Tourisme International) of which we are one of the US members. We started with a trade show and followed up with two days of site inspections. We found many interesting possibilities, but were particularly delighted to have a chance to visit Chateau de Berne. While the property is as gorgeous as ever, they are not resting on their laurels! We saw the beginnings of an incredible potager, a beautiful French garden, that will be replete with vegetables, herbs, fruits and flowers. Before your cooking class, you will be able to stroll over to the garden to pick vegetables and fruits for your class.
There is now a Bistro where you can enjoy a degustation meal and an expanded gift shop stocked with wonderful goodies! The fitness center has been updated with a sauna and hamman and you can do your cardio workout outside, with the beautiful view of the vineyards. Vannessa, Christine and Dider are always on hand to attend to all your needs. Recently, Brad Pitt, who has a villa close by, arranged for a private party at the Chateau, which he loves!
Lauren just returned from the TTI (Travel Trade Italia) trade show in Rimini, which is located in the beautiful region of Emilia Romagna. During this trip, she was lucky enough to see the cities of Modena, Faenza and the gastronomic capital of Italy, Bologna! If you love Italian food, then you must indulge on A Food Lovers’ Cooking Adventure in Bologna! Emilia Romagna is a great region with tons to explore!
The holidays are right around the corner…please do not hesitate to contact us for information about our Gift Certificates!
I have just returned from the Luxury Travel Show, which is held every year the first week in December in Las Vegas. The show was extremely well attended which bodes well for the future. I was there as in invited participant and speaker for a panel on culinary tourism, hosted by The Travel Institute for travel agents who have earned their certification. It was a wonderful opportunity and we had a great reception from over 200 travel agents from all over the country.
On the heels of my return were the stories of the floods in Venice. While this is a relatively common occurance in late fall, this year it was a record setting flood. So, when you are planning on visiting Venice, don’t go in December!
I wish for you all a wonderful holiday, surrounded by family and friends, sharing in the precious gifts that money can’t buy. A Very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year!
Here is what clients are saying about their experience with The International Kitchen...
"What an incredible cultural and culinary experience: the hosts were great: fun and friendly, accommodating, and customized the itinerary based on the group. Food was amazing, classes were engaging and informative..." Read more
"It’s taken me quite a while to write about our experience ... Not because it wasn’t everything I dreamed of and more, but because it so exceeded all of my expectations..." Read more
"A lovely remote setting with wonderful hosts and great food! A perfect blend of relaxation, cultural experiences, and hands-on cooking lesson. I would recommend highly..." Read more