The 'foodie' craze

In October 2000, the Food Network of Canada launched its highly successful specialty channel with programming relating to food, cooking, cuisine and the food industry. Today there are over 60 different programs. Shows that tell you “Where To Eat”. Shows that feature “How to Make”. And you can’t forget the Food Network’s version of The Voice – cheering on your favorite chef during the elimination rounds of the Top Chef series.

Back in the day, having friends over for dinner entailed my whipping up my world famous spaghetti sauce and making homemade garlic bread. You stuck with tradition...what you knew best. In today’s world, many of us create elaborate menus with which to dazzle our guests.

One of the top trends today is the Foodie Craze. The Baby Boomer generation has extra time and money to expend on luxuries such as specialty foods and fine wines. Small gourmet restaurants featuring specific culinary regions and dishes are all the rage. However for many people today, just eating at new restaurants isn’t enough. They want to learn where the food comes from and how it’s prepared.

The travel industry is quick to identify and deliver opportunities which speak to what is trending in popular culture. The Slow Food Gastronomic tours through Tuscany are all the rage. Imagine submersing yourself into a regional culture, cuisine and lifestyle. Seeing the sights, sampling the local wines and every evening helping to prepare another local specialty. Awwwhhh...the bliss.

The European river cruises have been quick to implement local market tours into their itineraries, especially the French waterways. Guests can accompany the Head Chef into port as he shops for that evening’s fresh goods. Sample local cheeses, breads and learn about the local herbs and oils.

Oceania Cruises has taken both the fine dining aspect and the Culinary School @ Sea program to heart. World renowned Master Chef Jacques Pepin crafted the cruise line’s gourmet culinary program. Oceania Culinary Delights Brochure Their upscale midsize ships, the Marina, the Riviera and the soon to be christened Sirena are home to a maximum occupancy of 1250 guests yet each feature six specialty restaurants, all at no dining surcharge! A number of their itineraries feature the Culinary Discovery Tours. An opportunity to shop the local markets with a Master Chef and then later taste the unique flavours of the region at a local home or restaurant. Take it a step further and enroll in the Culinary School at Sea to benefit from the tutelage of a Master Chef as you embark on a wide variety of cooking classes in their state-of-the-art Culinary Centre. Create the perfect frittata, crepe or pasta. Learn how to plate the perfect salad. There are only 12 cooking stations per session so therefore advance reservation is highly recommended. Culinary School @ Sea

Travelling always inspires, motivates and engages one’s soul. Memories are treasured through new experiences. Take it one step beyond and bring home some valuable skills and the ability to re-create those moments for family and friends.

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About the Author

Joy has long been a believer in the art of travel: the belief that a vacation is something to be anticipated savored and then long remembered as one of life’s great adventures. 
Website: thejoyoftravel.ca

You can contact Joy at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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