A trip overseas can include more than a tour of museums and churches–you can come home with hands-on culinary training from the best cooking schools in Europe. Language barriers should not limit you from attending one of these schools, which offer short courses for visitors. Most of the schools teach classes in English or make an interpreter available. These top schools, praised by international travel and food writers, offer a variety of cuisines and class schedules.
According to Travel and Leisure Magazine, you can choose from two types cooking classes at Casa Ombuto's cooking vacation class in Italy. In one class instructors teach a combination of French, Italian, Moroccan and Spanish Mediterranean-style cuisine and in the other the menu is strictly Tuscan. The school is overseen by Paola Baccetti and located approximately 35 miles south of Florence.
Casa Ombuto Larniano 21 52014 Poppi (AR) Italy 011-44-8715041501 italiancookerycourse.com
Cooking with Stavros-Greece
A Greek island vacation can include an adventure in Greek cooking with Chef Stavros Gogios. Classes are held for five mornings Gogios’ restaurant, Mythos. Reservations can only be made through the vacation rental company Laskarina. You´ll be trained in popular Greek specialties such as moussaka (layered casseroles of eggplant and meat), skewered kabobs and baklava (phyllo dough pastry filled with honey and nuts).
Cooking with Stavros Mythos Restuarant Yialos Harbor Symi, Greece 011-01 629822203 laskarina.co.uk
Finca Buen Vino-Spain
This bed and breakfast runs cooking classes of four to eight people throughout the year and hosts students on the premises. There are classes that last four to six days and feature Andalucian and Catalan dishes and include visiting local restaurants. Spanish cuisine consisting of the rice dish of paella, pinchos (skewered meats and chicken) and flan are taught. Huelva is near to the town of Jerez in Andalucía, famous for its sherry.
Finca Buenvino Los Marines 21208 Huelva Spain 011-01 732750174 fincabuenvino.com
Gualtiero Marchesi's Gourmet Cookery School-Italy
Considered the most famous chef in Italy according to The International Kitchen–a culinary travel company–Gualtiero Marchesi is a three-star Michelin rated chef. To partake in the three- or four-day cooking course, you will need an interpreter as it is taught in Italian. The classes take place in a restored 19th century villa resort near Lake Iseo now part of the Relais & Chateaux Hotel Group.
Gualtiero Marchesi's Gourmet Cookery School Via Vittorio Emanuele, 11 Erbusco (Brescia), 25030 Italy 011-39-307760562 albereta.it/en
La Cuisine de Marie-Blanche-France
Look no further than taking some cooking classes with Marie-Blanche de Broglie to become skilled at French fare. The Paris based school has been in operation since 1975. Individual or group classes are available with classes taught in English. The school offers daylong classes in which a group of students prepare and share a luncheon as well as classes that specialize in pastry and diploma classes that last three to nine months.
Cuisine au Chateau, Marie-Blanche de Broglie 19 Avenue de la Motte Pic 75007 Paris, France 011-33-15513634 cuisinemb.com
L'Ecole de Cuisine-France
Bordeaux, France, is synonymous with fine wine. This top cooking school takes place in the celebrated restaurant Le Chapon Fin. Participants not only cook, but a sommelier also is on hand to demonstrate which wines compliment different dishes. The five-day course is open to amateurs and professionals.
L'Ecole de Cuisine Le Chapon Fin 5 rue Montesquieu 33000 Bordeaux, France
011-33 0556909192 lecoledecuisine.fr
Maxine Clark at Ravida-Italy
Become a Sicilian gourmet with award-winning cooking author Maxine Clark. Clark teaches in Menfi, Sicily, where you will learn to prepare dough from scratch for focaccia as well as learn more elaborate Sicilian specialties. The weeklong course takes place in a private 18th-century villa. London's The Guardian newspaper ranked this as the top cookery school in Europe. Reservations for classes can only be secured through the Tasting Places cooking and travel website based in England.
Maxine Clark at Ravida c/o Tasting Places Ltd P.O. Box 38174 London W10 5ZP UK 011-44 02089645333 tastingplaces.com
Nick Nairn Cook School-Scotland
Celebrity TV chef Nick Nairn founded the school guided by his philosophy of allowing students to pick and choose classes with their own interests in mind. Classes specialize in cooking with meats, vegetables or seafood, or focus on global and special occasion menus. The school is situated 29 miles from Edinburgh Airport. Classes are held daily with a limit of eight people per class.
Nick Nairn Cook School Port of Menteith Stirling FK8 3JZ Scotland 011-01-877389900 nicknairncookschool.com
Gourmandes with Paule Caillet-France
Travelers without time to spare can take a one-day course at Promenades Gourmandes. The cooking course by chef Paule Caillet of the Cordon Bleu begins the class with a shopping expedition to the markets on Rue Montorgueil for all the ingredients you need to cook your specialty. Back in chef Caillet´s kitchen, you will cook your purchases with his supervision.
Promenades Gourmandes with Paule Caillet 38, Rue Notre Dame de Nazareth 75003 Le Marais, Paris, France 011-01-48045684 promenadesgourmandes.com
Refúgio da Vila-Portugal
Ninety minutes from Lisbon, the Refúgio da Vila Cooking School shares its premises with a small, elegant hotel of the same name. Cooking classes are one week in duration under the direction of the head chef, Miguel Amaral. Learn the Mediterranean cuisine of Portugal and hands-on techniques such as curing sausage and baking Portuguese bread highlighted.
Refúgio da Vila Largo Miguel Bombarda Portel-Alentejo Portugal