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Cook with a Local: 5 Classes You Should Take Around the World

Taking a cooking class when you travel is an easy way to immerse yourself in your destination's cuisine. Plus, it might just be the best meal of your trip, especially if you enroll in one of our favorites below.

anna tasca lanza cooking experience sicily
Photography by: Andrea Wyner
The view from Anna Tasca Lanza Cooking Experience in Sicily, where you'll cook with tomatoes and other farm-fresh ingredients.

1. Sicilian Countryside

Embrace your inner Italian

During the three- and six-day workshops at the storied Anna Tasca Lanza Cooking Experience, the founder’s daughter, Fabrizia, teaches leisurely lessons in her farmhouse kitchen. When you’re not making dishes like fried zucchini blossoms stuffed with ricotta and panelle (deep-fried chickpea fritters), you’ll be relaxing on the lush, rambling grounds.

 

From $2,500 per person (includes classes and lodging), annatascalanza.com.

cooked tomatoes pan
Photography by: Linda Pugliese

DISPATCH FROM ITALY

“We dried the tomatoes outside, and they turned into an intense ruby-red paste. Tasting it was almost like eating the sun. I’ve been in Italy a long time and have never seen anything like this.”

Elizabeth Minchilli, Rome-based author and tour guide, on the tomato-paste course at Anna Tasca Lanza Cooking Experience

 

 

2. Buenos Aires, Argentina

Taste South America

Husband-and-wife team Veronica Tarragona, a travel planner, and Manuel Escalante Posse, a professional chef, run Tierra Negra Cooking Classes out of their home in Palermo Hollywood. Whip up empanadas -- dough and two fillings -- from scratch, served with llajua (a northern Argentinean hot sauce) and dulce de leche flan, then wash it all down with wines from Salta, Mendoza, and Patagonia.

 

$70, tierranegragourmet.com.

 

 

3. Chiang Mai, Thailand

Make perfect pad thai

On a daylong adventure with the Thai Farm Cooking School, you’ll visit a local market, then head to the school’s own organic farm to prepare five dishes, including a curry, a stir-fry, and a noodle dish like pad Thai.

 

$40, thaifarmcooking.com.

 

 

4. Punta Gorda, Belize

Raise the (chocolate) bar

Set in the jungle, the luxury Belcampo Lodge, Belize grows 100 acres of organic cacao trees. In a hands-on class, you’ll help transform the pods into chocolate using a conche machine, and temper it to make a sweet souvenir to take home -- all while nibbling on samples while you work.

 

$70, belcampobz.com.

la cuisine paris bridge
Photography by: Nicole Franzen
La Cuisine Paris, where you can master the croissant, is just steps from the Seine River.

5. Paris, France

Bake up a storm

Croissants, baguettes, macarons -- sounds like heaven. La Cuisine Paris offers intensive two- and three-hour programs on mastering each of these quintessential French treats. If you can’t pick just one, take a general pastry lesson, which covers everything from eclairs to tatins.

 

From $72, lacuisineparis.com.

la cuisine paris croissants
Photography by: Mowie Kay