Journey To Global Citizenship: Culinary-Themed Travels

First image...
The Young Chef's Academy at Belmond Villa San Michele...

Food For Thought

Culinary-themed travels can help your children grow. But where should you head?

... the culinary program at Anantara Golden Triangle...
... and some Moroccan sweets.

By Joel Centano, Virtuoso Traveler Editor
Originally appeared in October 2015 issue of Virtuoso Traveler

“The soul of a culture is in its food,” says Virtuoso travel advisor Damien Martin of Leawood, Kansas, “and when young travelers tour international farmers’ markets, make traditional dishes with locals, or even dine in their private homes, they gain a tangible connection to the destination they’re visiting.” Children who have these types of experiences, he adds, “often discover that we all have something in common and also learn to relate and work with others despite cultural differences.” How best to bring your kids to the table? Consider one of the following five courses. 

Italy: Florence’s 45-room Belmond Villa San Michele offers a Young Chefs Academy where kids age 6 to 14 learn to make traditional special-ties such as Tuscan salad and tiramisu. Cooking classes (available June through August) from $175. Doubles from $1,000; Virtuoso amenities include a $100 resort credit. 

Thailand: Guided market tours, interactions with local food producers, picnics among thirteenth-century Lanna ruins, and hands-on cooking lessons with a local chef highlight the culinary program at Thailand’s 63-room Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort. Culinary program from $145. Doubles from $610; Virtuoso amenities include a $100 resort credit. 

Guatemala: On Big Five Tours & Expeditions’ eight-day Guatemala tour, children transform cacao beans into tasty chocolate during personalized workshops and even visit a traditional Mayan home to learn the basics of peanut farming and craft their own peanut butter. Departures: Any day through December 15, 2015; from $4,370 per adult and $2,220 per child. 

Morocco: Artisans of Leisure’s customizable culinary tours provide opportunities to dine with local families in their private homes. One of our favorites: a ten-day Morocco journey that matches visits to mosques and medieval medinas with classes where your kids learn to make Moroccan sweets, mezes, and mint tea. Departures: Any day through December 31, 2015; from $9,770. 

Bali: Families on Absolute Travel’s tailor-made Bali trips often visit Green School, where kids study sustainable practices such as growing their own organic garden while interacting with children from around the globe. A customized 13-day adventure can also include visits to local villages and a biking tour to Mount Batur. Departures: Any day through December 31, 2015; from $4,500. 

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