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.
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.
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.
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.
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.