TRAVELING TO EAT - part 1
For Bikers - Tourissimo
This company offers Chef Bike Tours in Italy. The committment of their tour concept is to "link food and territory, provide engaging chefs, travel on routes that visit important production areas and a bike ride that will work for most cycling levels and extra support where needed". At the end of September, you can book a ride with the star chef Mary Sue Milliken (co-owner of Border Grill restaurants, author and television personality). The ride takes place in Piedmont, Italy, covering both the Langa and Roero wine regions, cycling through Barolo and Barbaresco (amongst many others), and stopping to taste truffles, cheese, chocolates, and dinner at 3 Michelin star restaurants. This is just one of the few cycling tours they offer this year, with very detailed information about each trip on their website.
Companions that are non-riders are also welcome. E-Wheels available.
Catch Some Fish
Big Cedar Lodge
If you thrive on spending your time waded up in the stream or on the quiet lake waiting for a tug on your line, this may be for you. Big Cedar Lodge is located in a remote spot in the Ozark Mountains in Missouri. It is touted as "America's Premier Wilderness Resort". Among other activities including golf, shooting, horseback riding, cycling and more, their fishing program is extensive. Whether you want to try bowfishing, or lake and trout fishing with or without a guide, you will be surrounded by beauty on this 10,000 acre nature park. Kid friendly, many dining options, spa, and just about something for everyone. Accommodations are varied with individual luxury cabins, glamping cabins, huts, cottages, and rooms - you will find it here.
This is a place like no other. I say this with personal experience having had the opportunity to particpate as the guest chef with John at an event ten years ago. As a guest, even though you have a lot of preparation for your events, you are treated as royalty. The property itself is glorious and spans over acres at the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in Knoxville, Tennessee. They have specialized food events throughout the year which include themes, guest chefs, wine personalities, and some really incredible musical guests. When you are not eating, (they make their own cheese, salumi, beer ... ) you have time to go fly fishing, wake surfing, attend the Farmstead Field School, book a luxurious spa treatment, or go horseback riding (too much to name here). Lots to do at this special place including visiting their truffle puppies if you plan your trip just right.
China: The Great Cuisines of the Middle Kingdom
Do you have an extra 14 days to spend eating and touring China's eastern seaboard? If so, head here in October. This tour accommodates just 12 guests to get deep into China's philosophy of "To the people, food is heaven." You will get to explore hands-on harvesting, cooking experiences, meet chefs, and have conversations with culinary experts; this trip is all about food. Of course, it would be impossible to visit China without enjoying the beautiful temples, interesting religions, and history in every aspect.
Culinary Excursions and Tours
Here are a few companies that you can mix into your personal travel plans:
XO Tours - Vietnam
The Foodie (Saigon)
Seriously, this was one of my favorite culinary tours of all times! Not only did we taste the most incredible bites during the 4+ hour evening tour but you also get to ride on the back of a vespa to get to these experiences.
Evening Hoi An Walking Food Tour - Dinner with the Nguyens
This is a 3+ hour tour of the island of Cam Kim, which will take you back in time. On this tour you will interact with the locals while tasting fresh caught seafood, a visit to a local home for a cooking demonstration, a sunset boat tour, and other surprises.