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The Top Hotels with Cooking Schools

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From sushi-rolling in Kyoto to pizza-making in Tuscany, learning a local cuisine is a meaningful (and delicious) way to immerse oneself in a destination. Read on for Indagare’s favorite hotel cooking programs worldwide.

Contact Indagare to plan a customized trip, including a lesson at one of these schools.

For Quintessential French Cuisine: The Ritz Paris, France

Few hotels have the instant name recognition in the food world as The Ritz Paris, home to the legendary Ecole Ritz Escoffier. One of France’s leading culinary programs, the school is also open to hotel guests interested in refining their kitchen skills during single- or multi-day workshops. 

For Luxe Southern Comfort: Zero George, Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston’s Zero George Hotel flawlessly marries traditional architecture with a contemporary aesthetic. Cooking courses are hosted in the property’s 200-year-old Carriage House on Mondays and Saturdays, during which guests prepare inventive, Southern-inspired dishes with the assistance of a James Beard Award-nominated chef.

For the Freshest Tuscan Flavors: Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco, Italy

Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco is a Tuscan dream, known for its delicious wines and wealth of family-friendly activities. La Canonica Cooking School, housed in a former priest’s home on the property, emphasizes farm-to-table dishes and hands-on tutorials. Start in the estate’s organic garden before moving to the kitchen for pasta, pizza and trattoria-style cooking lessons. There’s also a mixology-centered offering.

For the Environmentally-Conscious Chef with Time to Spare: Ballymaloe House, Ireland

On a 100-acre organic farm in East Cork, vine-covered Ballymaloe House embraces all aspects of its sheep and cattle farm roots. At its Ballymaloe Cookery School, students are encouraged to think critically about reducing food waste and the ethics of global food consumption, all while working with solar-powered energy sources to prepare farm-to-table dishes. Courses, which extend as long as 12 weeks, are taught on farm-friendly topics like fermentation, beekeeping, butter-making and more.

For a Beginner’s Bootcamp: The Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables, Florida

A Jazz Age icon that attracted the likes of Babe Ruth and Al Smith to its annual Golf Tournaments, the historic Biltmore Hotel operates a lauded culinary academy. Work alongside the hotel’s executive chefs during a three- or four-day “Adult Bootcamp,’” with a focus on mise en place and foundational culinary techniques.

For the Epicurean Adventurer: Four Seasons Chiang Mai, Thailand

Surrounded by rice fields, Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai’s cooking school is a surefire hit for anyone hoping to learn more about the art of Thai cooking. For a full-day experience, begin with a visit to the colorful local market, perform a Thai house blessing and prepare a host of dishes unique to the area using ingredients from the on-site garden. 

For Traditional Moroccan Cuisine: La Maison Arabe, Marrakech

Led by a dada, or traditional Moroccan chef, La Maison Arabe’s private cooking courses center around preparing fresh, healthy meat and vegetable tagines, plus Moroccan salads and desserts. The boutique property is located in Marrakech’s pink-walled medina.

For Classic New England Dishes: White Barn Inn, Kennebunkport, Maine

White Barn Inn, Auberge Resorts Collection is Kennebunkport, Maine’s most charming location for a weekend getaway. Guests learn how to prepare classic comfort food, which in Maine means plenty of freshly caught lobster and other seafood.

For Advanced Multi-Course Mastery: Le Manoir Aux Quat Saisons, Oxfordshire, England

About 30 minutes outside of bustling Oxford Le Manoir Aux Quat Saisons, a Belmond Hotel feels like a countryside journey back in time. Its Raymond Blanc Cookery School, named for the property’s Michelin-adored chef, dives into the intricacies of multi-course cooking and hones in on elements like sauces and stocks.

For Refined Americana: Blackberry Farm, Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

The rustic but refined Blackberry Farm is an aspiring chef’s haven, with a baker, cheese maker, forager, butcher and sommelier. Guests can take part in one of the property’s daily cooking demonstrations, including a three-course lunch with a whiskey theme, or spend a day shadowing one of the property’s chefs. 

Related: Indagare Index: Top 10 Food & Wine Hotels

For a Serious Deep Dive Into Regional Italian Cuisine: Castello di Ugento, Puglia, Italy

Each winter, students from Culinary Institute of America head to Castello di Ugento for a 15-week training program in the principles of Puglian cuisine. And come summertime, guests can learn, too. Chef Odette Fada leads the programs, bringing participants to local markets and sharing recipes and traditional Italian techniques that have been passed down from nonnas of generations past. 

For Kid-Friendly Instruction: The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto, Japan

One of Kyoto’s most lauded properties, The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto hosts a variety of child-friendly cooking courses. During the flexible and creative courses, children prepare maki sushi rolls and traditional Japanese sweets.

For California Wine Country Cooking: Farmhouse Inn

Sonoma’s off-the-beaten-path wine country hideaway lets guests partake in a private, full-day lesson inside Farmhouse Inn’s’s Michelin-starred kitchen, working alongside a chef as they prepare and cook a three-course dinner.

Contact Indagare to plan a customized trip, including a lesson at one of these schools.

– Avery Carmichael on September 6, 2022

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