With these international cooking classes you can bring back souvenir skills that are tastier and more memorable than any postcard or tchotchke.
Le Cordon Bleu in Paris is the world famous school where Julia Child and many other famous chefs learned to cook. Le Cordon Bleu has locations around the world, but the school in Paris is the most rigorous and prestigious. The main program is designed for intensive, long-term study of French cuisine, but LCB also offers shorter courses and one-day programs on topics like French markets, foie gras, and the secret to perfect macarons.
Cucina con Vista, which is Italian for “kitchen with a view,” is perfect for those looking for an experience beyond the traditional cooking class. Elena Mattei teaches visitors what she calls “grandmother’s cooking” that’s based not just on her fond family memories but alsoon more than 20 years of experience running a restaurant. Based out of her farmhouse kitchen in Florence, Mattei offers a variety of courses that are designed to introduce you to the Tuscan way of life through food.
Chiang Mai, Thailand has become the epicenter of Thai cooking classes with dozens of schools to choose from. The Four Seasons Chiang Mai offers classes that are friendly to foreigners and those with little cooking experience. If you’re a fan of organic farm-to-table dining, the Thai Farm Cooking School just outside of the city will teach you how to pick your own ingredients and prepare six different dishes per day. Another standout among the many schools in Chiang Mai is A Lot of Thai Home Cooking Class, which is operated out of the home of Thai TV chef Siripen Sriyabhaya. Siripen and her husband Kwan will pick you up from your hotel in their baby blue Volkswagon van and take you back to their house for small group lessons in curries, noodles, and Thai desserts.