You know they say when you feed a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. You teach him how to fish, and you feed him for life. This is just our way of saying that these hotels, in some pretty kick a— destinations, have the best cooking schools in the world. So, whether you can’t boil an egg (which is actually an art, by the way), or you’re on the next Top Chef, this is where to refine your mad cooking skills.
Maybe you’re the type of person who goes on vacation to avoid cooking. But for the food-obsessed, there’s no better way to get to know a place than interacting with its local cuisine. And while Marrakech might not typically be on your radar, a 5-day Moroccan cooking program is a pretty good reason to book the trip. These are our favorite hotel cooking schools around the world, from Tuscany to San Sebastian.
Four Seasons Chiang Mai
In a resort full of next-level experiences and amenities, Four Season Chiang Mai’s cooking classes are one of its best. The program is held inside Rim Tai Kitchen, a restaurant and cooking studio attached to the hotel. Your typical class here starts with a traipse through Chef’s secret garden, as well as a blessing in the property’s traditional Thai spirit house. Once you’re back in the kitchen, the menu varies based on what program you choose. Rim Tai offers six– we have our sights set on Mastering Thai Curries and Thai Street Food Delights. Another option is Thai Kitchen Live, an interactive experience that’s part demonstration, and part dinner. And for families, there’s also a kid’s option with simpler recipes like pineapple fried rice and spring rolls.
Castiglion del Bosco, Tuscany
Rosewood’s Castiglion del Bosco is one of our favorites, and for good reason. Located in the heart of Tuscany, the hotel sits on an 800-year-old estate, with lodging made up of restored 17th-century farmhouses. La Canonica Cooking School starts its classes in the organic garden, landscaped following a quadrangle design, and inspired by medieval enclosed gardens. Fresh vegetables and herbs, grown in this garden, are used in the cooking school. Guests can pick from a list of classes all focused on traditional Italian cuisine, from Tuscan vegetarian meals to Pizza 101. This is a hotel that takes wining and dining seriously, and cooking classes are just the start of it. You can also check out interactive experiences like truffle hunting, garden tours, and wine tastings at the vineyard. Private classes and small groups are available upon request.
Mimo at Hotel Maria Cristina, San Sebastian
Mimo has been San Sebastian’s premier cooking school for some time now. So when they came to Hotel Maria Cristina, one of the best and oldest hotels in the area, it was a match made in heaven. Mimo has maybe the most impressive range of programs, but we think the must-book is their Pintxos, Tapas & More Class. A quintessential San Sebastian experience, guests shop their way through a market tour before stopping at a bar to sample the famed pintxos and grab a glass of wine. Back at the school, you’ll get to work with your market ingredients, whipping up traditional and not-so-traditional Spanish snacks. Another option for hardcore foodies is the Michelin Secrets Class, where chefs take you through the tips and tricks behind your favorite tasting menu delicacies.
La Maison Arabe, Morocco
The options for the culinary-inclined are endless at La Maison Arabe. Whether you’re looking for a quick 1 hour class or a half-day workshop they’ve got you covered. The courses are held in a collection of cooking schools, which span across the hotel and La Maison Arabe’s country club. A typical 3-hour class starts with a walk through the garden before you make and enjoy an appetizer, main, and dessert. For those seeking a more immersive experience, there’s also a Gourmet Adventure Moroccan Cuisine Program. A masterclass on local cuisine, the 5-day workshop aims to introduce you to traditional recipes, techniques, and ingredients. It also includes a day trip to the port town of Essaouira and a tour of a local Argan oil cooperative.