DESTINATIONS

10 Extraordinary adventures for food lovers

May 14, 2015
Las Ventanas al Paraiso, a Rosewood Resort in Los Cabos, Mexico
Las Ventanas al Paraiso, a Rosewood Resort in Los Cabos, Mexico

Las Ventanas al Paraiso, a Rosewood Resort in Los Cabos, Mexico

Some 30 percent of American travelers choose a vacation destination, at least in part, because of its culinary offerings, according to recent data by the industry publication, Travel Weekly.

This reflects a major cultural shift that has taken place over the last decade: Chefs have stepped out of the kitchen and are revered as celebrities; there are enough food lovers to support cable TV channels devoted entirely to cooking and photographs of restaurant meals posted on social media are as ubiquitous as “wish you were here” picture postcards once were.

Increasingly, travelers want to immerse themselves in the authentic culture of a destination, and one way of doing this is through food, beyond just dining at a fine restaurant. The new breed of culinary travelers wants to visit markets, see the places where food is grown or produced, learn about new ingredients and cooking techniques, hobnob with chefs, share tables with locals and sample foods that are unique or representative of the destination they are visiting.

As a result of this shift, hotels, resorts and even smaller inns are raising their game by creating new culinary adventures for food lovers.

“Hotels have come to realize that food (and beverages, for that matter, too) are a distinctive way to increase interaction with their guests,” says Patrick Bottiglieri, author of The Thirteenth Floor: Memoirs of a Hotelier and professor at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y.

“Cooking classes, tours and other culinary-related activities memorialize a stay.”

In a recent article for PBS Next Avenue, I described 10 spring/summer culinary adventures bound to whet the appetite of food lovers. You can read the article in its entirety here on the PBS website.

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  • Reply
    Sand In My Suitcase
    May 24, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    We must be part of that 30% of food-lovin’ travelers :-). For us, good food is as important a part of the travel experience as the sights to see and things to do.

  • Reply
    Sheryl
    June 9, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    Well now I’m so curious to see all the food-related travel opportunities and share the info with my food-loving husband!

  • Reply
    Marc
    June 11, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    I love food. Most of the time, I don’t get to experience real food. We don’t particularly travel looking for great food but if the occasion presents I am the first one to try out.

  • Reply
    Jared
    November 9, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    Yes, so true, and the tourism industry has taken note! Tour operators now have full trips built around food.

    Lots of destinations like Vietnam, India, Thailand, Morocco, Spain, Argentina, and others are getting more tourists there to seek out the local flavors.

    One of my fondest memories is staying with a family in rural Japan and eating dinner with their extended family at a low, long table. There’s just something about sharing a meal that solidifies your relationship with someone.

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