Insider's View


Culinary Enrichment

Take a look at what our culinary travel experts are serving up in the Med and around the globe. We caught up with Lisa Goldman, co-founder of Tours de Forks, to find out more about culinary travel.

Q: What is the mission of Tour de Forks?

Our mission is to provide culinary adventures for custom vacations, packages or escorted tours. We want people to be able to explore the world and all its edible and drinkable wonders and we are committed to creating authentic and memorable culinary travel experiences for clients, no matter what their taste or budget. We offer a wealth of authentic insider experiences: interaction with the region’s chefs, producers, artisans and food writers, and in communion with our philosophy and focus, we bring travelers to food at its source.

Q: In which countries do you offer your ’Uncommon Epicurean Adventures’?

We offer a variety of options around the world: Italy, France, Spain, Turkey, Australia, South Africa and the United States.

Q: How long are the tours?

In the U.S. we offer packages in foodie cities like New Orleans, Charleston, New York City, Sonoma and the Hamptons that are 4 days/3 nights and offer a perfect balance of guided/planned activities and free time. We keep these groups to 12 people so it’s intimate and exclusive.

Trips in Europe/Africa/Australia generally run from 7 to 14 days.

Q: Do some of your tours feature cooking classes as well as culinary experiences?

All of our tours feature hands-on cooking classes. We call them "forever souvenirs" as they give you bragging rights and you can delight friends and family with meals you learned to make on your last trip.

There are just some of the celebrated chefs we work with:

  • The doyenne of southern cooking in Charleston, Nathalie Dupree.
  • Chef John Ash, the "father of California cuisine".
  • Michelin star Chef Massimo Spigaroli, who also makes culatello (the Ferrari of prosciutto) in Emilia Romagna.
  • Engin Akin in Turkey, a food historian and cookbook author.

Q: What about market visits?

Yes, these are an important part of culinary adventures. One unique experience is in Sicily where our clients visit a food market in Palermo with food historian and book author, Mary Taylor Simeti. She gives you the history of Sicily by going through the fruit and vegetables in the market. Every invader left their food stamp. It’s a delicious way to learn.

Q: We are focusing on the Mediterranean this month. What are some of your favorites of the tours you offer in Italy and France?

In Italy, we love Sicily - the market tour in Palermo with Mary Taylor Simeti mentioned above is one of my favorites –and Puglia (the heel of the boot). In Puglia, you’ll stay in in beautiful baroque towns and stop at important sights along the way.
Packages can include:

  • a mozzarella demonstration
  • artisanal salame tasting
  • dinners with local wine
  • rustic traditional bread tasting
  • a truffle hunt
  • wine tasting
  • visit to the Gallipoli Olive Oil Museum
  • cooking class and lunch in Lecce

In France, we love Languedoc-Roussillon, where you’ll find charming covered markets, traditional French cuisine and the world’s oldest sparkling wine. Also Provence where highlights include:

  • Nyons, site of olive orchards and Tanche olive oil
  • Beaumes-de-Venise, unique terraced vineyards near Mt. Ventoux
  • Chateauneuf du Pape, best wines in the world
  • St-Paul-Trois-Chateaux, small truffle market town
  • Apt, town of Provencal color and candy
  • Le-Puy-en-Velay, lentils, lace and liqueur

Q: Do tours include other cultural highlights apart from cuisine?

We always include the iconic landmarks or cultural highlights of a destination. We want you to have the best of what a destination has to offer!

Wine and cheese tasting. | Puglia, Italy

Vacation Side Travel

Steven Talbott
Vacation Side Travel

533 Church St Ste #278
Nashville, TN 37219

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