Culinary classes are an ideal way to immerse yourself in a destination’s food and culture. Taking culinary classes during your travels allows you to not only sample traditional local cuisine and get a glimpse into local living, but gives you the best souvenir possible — the ability to reproduce tasty dishes in your own kitchen back home so you can relive the experience over and over again! I’ve personally taken cooking classes in just over 50 countries, a few several times, and I never get enough!  Taking cooking classes is that little something on a trip that keeps you grounded and focused on being in the moment, besides, everyone loves food. If you’re looking to step your travel game up a bit, check out these three amazing classes that I’ve taken on my journey, which are sure to add a little spice to your next vacation!

O’ngo Culinary School – Seoul, South Korea

I have a confession to make. I never had Korean food before I went to South Korea. Crazy, I know, especially since I live in New York which has an entire neighborhood dedicated to all things Korean. Yet, despite this faux pas, I’m glad I waited. Taking a culinary class at O’ngo was the perfect way to introduce my palette to the wonders of Korean cuisine and folks, my life has been changed. I opted to take a Korean BBQ class where I learned how to make Galbi, Spicy Stir Fried Pork, Korean Chive Salad and a few yummy dipping sauces.  However, you can also take classes on Banchan cuisine, Bulgogi and Seasonal Kimchi, Bibimbap and Korean desserts. O’ngo also offers a variety of culinary food tours around Seoul that will introduce you to everything from Korean BBQ and pub crawls, to gourmet dishes at some of the city’s most exclusive restaurants.

Whisperer Hotel Recommendation: Park Hyatt Seoul

Petra Kitchen – Petra, Jordan

When most people think of Jordan they think of three things – Petra, The Dead Sea and desert.  However, Jordan has a rich and flavorful culinary that most travelers overlook.  That’s why one of the first things I booked for my Jordanian adventure was a culinary class at Petra Kitchen.  My tastebuds were treated to amazing dishes like Araies Lahma (Bedouin Pizza), Sayyadiaah (Spicy fish with rice) and Fatoosh (Cucumber and tomato salad).  If you take the special five night course, which includes hotel accommodations and visits to Petra, you get to make shopping trips to the local markets with Chef Tariq, and meet the farmers and vendors who add to the ridiculously hospitable Jordanian experience.

Whisperer Hotel Recommendation: Mövenpick Resort Petra

Bo-Kaap Cooking Tour – Cape Town, South Africa

Few cooking classes have reminded me so much of home like the Bo-Kaap Cooking Tour, but then again…it’s Africa.  Local celeb and cook Zainie Misbach is a small piece of hilarious sunshine and you’ll be hung on her every word as she walks you through her colorful Bo-Kaap neighborhood recounting tales, helps you pick out fresh spices and give insight into the daily life of the Cape Malay community.  Back at her home the real magic begins as Zainie teaches you how to make traditional Malay cuisine such as Daaltjies (Chilli Bites), Samoosas, and chicken curry and rootis, which if you’re a Caribbean girl like me, fills you with all the comforts of home.

Whisperer Hotel Recommendation: One&Only Cape Town

So next time you travel to a new place, look for a cooking class to flavor your vacation. It might be tastier than you think!

What are some of your favorite places to take cooking classes?

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