Thursday, May 1, 2008

Coveting Culinary esCapades

So my new Gourmet came in the mail yesterday. I have been reading, lusting, after every single page. This month is a special issue: "Cooking Vacations". Does anything else sound so divine? For some reason this is the first time I realized that Gourmet caters to a very specific crowd, one that starts with a capital "R" and ends with "ich." I came to understand that, regretfully, I would never be able to afford a $9000 cooking class with Jean-Georges Vongerichten (one hour class, with park-view suite accomodations). Soon, the 2-5K range seemed positively cheap, even without considering airfare to several exotic destinations. So here are limited descriptions of the culinary adventures that I would like to participate in, after I write my first bestselling book.

Marrakech, Morocco (pictured, above): tagines, spices, and hiking in the High Atlas Mountains ($4595, double occupancy, 9 days)

Ushguli, Republic of Georgia: making fresh cheese, cheese bread, hand rolled pasta, untouched countrysides, homestays. ($1940, 7 nights, double occupancy)

Kea, Greece: phyllo, stuffed grape leaves, seared chunks of lamb ($2339 for six days of classes, accomodations not included)

Shanagarry, Ireland (Ballymaloe Cookery School): Farm centered cuisine peppered with sushi and tapas classes, fresh cheese and cream ($1243, 5 days, includes lunch, stay in the cottages for $42 per person a night)

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (Sazon cooking school): adobo, chiles, Spanish colonial town with exquisite architecture. ($3750 for a week, double occupancy)

Vancouver Island, Canada (Fairburn Farm Culinary Retreat): regional Italian food, semifreddo, pasta, farm focused ($1995 per person, five days)

I haven't finished the whole issue. There are several Indian food ones I'd love (one in Brooklyn), and more to come after that. I am too wimpy, I think, for most of the Asian destinations. I appreciate spicy, though I'm definitely not very good at it. One writer advised the audience to prepare their tongues with tabasco sauce for at least a week ahead of time.

Because I am a well-fed and luxurious minded American, I felt sorry for myself that I am careers (and hopefully, a mortgage) away from ever taking one of these vacations. So I went ahead and bought the pistachio nut cream and fleur de sel I've been eyeing online ever since I read David Lebovitz's post for pistachio gelato and salted caramel ice cream. Maybe the pastries in Japan could possibly console me further.


IZ said...

What? The magazine Gourmet caters to the Rastovich family? That is a very specific crowd, isn't it?

On another note, I saw this and thought you might enjoy it.

if the link don't work, just copy and paste.

Smiths said...

It might have had something to do with all the joys of eating while pregnant, but while I was carrying Eden I fell in love with watching the food network. While I envied their talent, I envied the weekend specials more, where they were paid to travel "in style" and eat the best foods in the world. For me eating and trying new food is a huge part of travel, so I while enjoying the show I catch myself saying, I could do this job. Dang it. That in mind, I love that I've been to Vancouver Island, Canada. The best was High Tea at an old palace there. I'm on my way. Watch out Giada! (from "Everyday Italian")