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.