In the age of social media, it seems like new experiences are just a few clicks away. But pictures of skylines and beaches from around the world only do so much to capture a destination’s unique qualities.
One of the best ways to commemorate a culture is to re-create it in the kitchen. These resorts’ cooking classes are just as informative as they are delicious, guaranteed to leave you with new skills and a full stomach.
Below are a few of our favorites.
Make New England Nibbles
The chefs at Ocean House in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, know that the bountiful summer months won’t last forever. Take advantage of this short, flavor-packed window with a toque-led lesson at the resort’s Gaggenau Demonstration Kitchen.
An impressive variety of locally grown produce allows for a range of classes (11 to be exact), including a family friendly sourdough pizza lesson and a romantic crash course in risotto that’s sure to wow your better half.
Regardless of the session you choose to partake in, you’ll enjoy a taste of fresh, local flavor you won’t soon forget.
Sample Authenticity in Mexico
Learn how to properly prepare one of the country’s most iconic dishes in a taco-making class, where you’ll discover Mexico’s different interpretations of the classic bite.
No taco is complete without a spicy condiment, so make sure to take the Mexican salsas class to ensure the tastiest pairings.
Try Coastal Traditions in Charleston
Charleston’s antebellum history gives it a haunting Southern charm and delectable local flavors unlike any other. Perhaps the most recognizable is that of the Gullah Geechee, whose West African heritage blends with the city’s coastal ingredients, resulting in distinctive dishes like okra soup, and sausage and seafood gumbo.
To preserve this increasingly rare culture, Forbes Travel Guide Recommended French Quarter Inn has teamed up with renowned Gullah chef Benjamin Dennis to craft a lowcountry cooking lesson. The immersive experience guides you through local farmers markets and fishing docks, where you’ll collect ingredients that are then used in a Gullah culinary class in a historic Charleston home. End the night with a bottle of wine and private transportation back to the inn.
Create Confections in South Florida
Making French macarons is not as simple as looking up a recipe online. A lesson at Five-Star The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort with pastry chef Guillermo Perez, however, is certain to do the trick. The process is fun from start to finish — you’ll even get a glass of rosé to sip as you concoct your confections.
After spending some time in the Miami resort’s pastry kitchen honing your expertise, you’ll transition to airy bistro La Gourmandise for high tea. All your hard work will have paid off as you savor your very own macarons alongside a selection of other sweets and drinks.
Let Kids Play in a Hong Kong Kitchen
Tiny chefs are taking control of the kitchen at Four-Star W Hong Kong, learning to make dishes that will best their parents’ meals. Offered weekends through August 18, Master Chef in Training courses include Dim Sum Delicacies, a 90-minute lesson utilizing traditional techniques that allows little ones to play with the texture and shape of their creations.
If your pint-sized cook is looking to satisfy her sweet tooth, the Sweet Surprises class will deliver. Young toques learn to make chocolate chip cookies, tiramisu and other delights with executive pastry chef Baptiste Villefranque, and leave with delicious treats to prove it.
Enlist into Vietnam’s Cooking Academy
The Cooking Academy at Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai, Hoi An provides an unrivaled culinary experience for its foodie guests. The Five-Star retreat’s state-of-the-art facility includes a showstopping kitchen and expansive vegetable garden that, at the very least, is a beautiful place to take a walk.
If you’d like to do more than merely admire the surroundings, take part in a slew of classes (hour-long and multi-day) that range from lessons in Hanoi’s haute cuisine to Hoi An street food — either way, you’ll start with an excursion to Tra Que vegetable village, Phuoc Hai fishing village or nearby rice paddies for a first-hand look at central Vietnam’s bounty.
Even the youngest members of the family can join in on the fun with a 60-minute course at the Junior Academy.