As Chris and Jenna Telas embarked on a world tour in 2019, they were drawn to the food scenes in France and Italy. “We loved the food we had in all of these different countries, especially how local and specialized it was in each region… Something we don’t get as much in the U.S., where there’s a smorgasbord of cuisines from everywhere,” Chris Telas told CNBC.
Earlier this year, they launched a tour company called Stay Awhile that organizes trips “centred around food.”
In Bologna, Italy, Stay Awhile’s first destination took guests on a month-long food tasting and remote-working trip, where they tried mortadella sausage, pistachio and almond granitas (sorbet) and tagliatelle al ragu, pasta with beef and pork sauce, among others.
A Trip To Paris For Baking
For Stay Awhile, the next adventure is a 10-day French pastry-making trip to Paris, during which guests will learn to make desserts and baked goods ranging from gateau opera, a sponge layered with coffee and chocolate filling, to the classic croissant.
The boulangeries and patisseries are everywhere in Paris, but Telas, who is also an amateur baker, finds it difficult to find authentic recipes for making pastries at home. I don’t feel like I’m getting a true French eclair recipe, for example, because many of them have been adjusted and simplified.
Cook with Chef
Stay Awhile hired pastry chef Jennifer Pogmore from Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris to ensure guests cook authentically. In the 11th arrondissement, a neighbourhood known for its restaurants, bars, and opera house, Pogmore will instruct participants from an apartment with a large kitchen. The itinerary also includes a day of wine-tasting in the Champagne region and a guided tour of the Parisian district Le Marais to try cheese, cured meat, and chocolate delicacies.
The city can is explored during your free time. Brasserie Bellanger serves traditional French dishes, while Poilane is a family-run bakery known for being one of the best croissants in Paris.
How Much Does It Cost?
It costs $5,400 per person to join Stay Awhile’s Parisian baking tour, excluding flights. Among the couple’s plans are an Italian cooking course at a Tuscan villa and a gourmet gastronomy experience in Spain’s Basque Country, famous for its bite-sized dishes.
CNBC reported Telas as saying his main objective is to provide people with in-depth culinary experiences, including local and regional dishes.
San Sebastian Food Tour
In Spain’s Basque Country, pintxos are a staple of San Sebastian, one of the most popular destinations for diners. In terms of luxury tour operators SmoothRed, the city stands out among the best in northern Spain. The company arranges bespoke wine and food trips to the area, with sales director Adam Stebbings recommending flying to Bilbao and then experiencing San Sebastian’s cuisine and the Rioja vineyards.
A trendy trip is the Bilbao-San Sebastian-Rioja triangle. Stebbings told CNBC by phone that it isn’t just a wine tour. It is a gourmet getaway.
Hotel Marques De Riscal
An eight-course meal at the Michelin-starred restaurant of Hotel Marques de Riscal at the luxury spa hotel in Rioja could be part of a four-day trip, followed by a four-day stay at a five-star San Sebastian hotel and dinner at Casa Julian de Tolosa steakhouse. A one-week stay starts at £2,289 ($2,650), including transfers; flights are not included.
San Sebastian’s old town has two small bars that serve pintxos: Borda Berri and MendaurBerria.
He recommended Elkano, a fish restaurant about 30 minutes west of San Sebastian, for lunch. As one of the world’s 50 best restaurants in 2021 reservations.
Stebbing’s assumption is that a growing number of people are taking trips that focus on food. His sales have increased 60% year over year, although some of the increase is due to bookings that were delayed from 2020. Among the most popular regions are Burgundy and Champagne in France. A boat trip to an oyster farm off Montpellier’s coast can include a tour of the French Languedoc-Roussillon region. A tour of a vineyard might be added if they’re in Tuscany.
The cooking school at Daylesford focuses on local ingredients, a picturesque region with rolling countryside and stone buildings with honey-coloured stones in the Cotswolds.
- The school offers half-day and full-day classes introducing guests to the region’s produce – from artisan breadmaking to butchery.
- The farm also offers cottages converted from the original 19th-century farmhouse, or participants can stay at the Wild Rabbit pub in nearby Kingham, where Daylesford owns cottages.
- A range of organic skincare products is available at the spa and a store selling antiques and garden goods. Daylesford also has a farm shop, a garden and antique centre, a wine store and restaurants.
Chef James Devonshire, who oversees Daylesford’s cooking school, says Daylesford remains an organic farm at its core despite its expansion over the past 20 years.
According to CNBC, it produces a wide variety of ingredients by rearing or growing them. Tourists can find heritage tomatoes and double Gloucester cheese produced at the creamery in the garden.The garden is open to the public only during certain seasons,” Devonshire said, adding that he uses as much produce as possible throughout the year.
A recent recipe included a fillet of beef with potatoes, capers and rocket and an onion bhaji with charred cauliflower, all picked from the garden by the students. Some popular classes offered in the high-ceilinged stone barn are canape-making, seasonal dinner party courses, and summer barbecue and firepit classes.
Devonshire said that while Daylesford’s shops and restaurants can get busy, the cookery school is quieter. “This place is like a little oasis,” he said.
Feature image: Pixabay