Travelling with Nico Moretti – Top tips
There really is no better way to discover a country and it’s people than through their food! To explore cultures through their food, is to break down any boundaries in language and embrace the love of good food and shared tastes. Whether we have been squatting on tiny plastic stools enjoying a delicious bowl of steaming pho in Vietnam, or standing at a coffee bar in Italy to enjoy a morning capuccino with the locals, even if you can’t speak the language, you can glance over at the locals beside you and see that you are all on common ground with the same enjoyment of great food & drink!
Since we started our Cooking Passions Cooking School in Perth in 2002, Belinda & I have also been organising and escorting our “Small Group” Cuisine & Culture Tours to some of the world’s most exciting food destinations. These include Italy, Spain, France, Vietnam, Bali, Thailand, Laos, Japan and closer to home, Tasmania & Margaret River.
Here are some of our Top Travel Tips to our favourite destinations:
Participate in a cooking class to really get a feel & authentic for the local cuisine. Usually many cooking classes, especially those that we have enjoyed in South East Asia, will include a visit to the local markets where you really get a sense of how & what the locals enjoy. Some of our favourite cooking classes include – Vietnam Cookery Centre (Ho Chi Minh City) and Bali Asli (East Bali) and a really fun class called “Cooking with Poo” (the owner’s name is Chompoo) in Bangkok’s largest slum. We even arranged for a cooking class at a 1-star Michelin restaurant on our Northern Italian Lakes tour, where all of the dishes were prepared in the Thermomix.
Get off the beaten track – Take the opportunity to move outside the central tourist destinations to experience life like the locals. Whether it is out to the countryside & rice paddies of Bali or to some of the outer neighbourhoods in Rome or Barcelona, this is where you will get the authentic feel of a country. When we are escorting our groups overseas, we will always seek out new & interesting experiences that tourists might not feel comfortable exploring, and these are usually the most memorable. Getting a little lost can be quite memorable and open you up to all kinds of interesting things!
Crossing the language barrier – Don’t let not knowing the language stop you from getting out and enjoying a culture. Nowadays, most accommodation providers will be able to point you in the right direction to interesting restaurants and sights, as well as arranging for a private guide to take you around and explain things for you. This is especially true in places like Japan, Thailand & Cambodia where the script looks more like squiggles than words, so a little help is always welcome. If you are in a restaurant where you can’t understand the menu, we always look around to see what the locals are enjoying and then point to it. You eat with your eyes as well, which can be a big help when choosing what to eat in a foreign country. You might just be amazed at what you might not normally have selected from a menu.
Our unique “Small Group” Cuisine & Culture tours are designed so you can do as little or as much as you like, while allowing you plenty of free time to explore and immers yourselves in the sights, eating, shopping and relaxing that YOU want to experience (we’ll be happy to provide suggestions fromour previous tours and research experiences.
We’ve arrange all of your:
- Deluxe Accommodations
- Cuisine & Culture Experiences
- Local Transportations/Transfers
- Included Meals
- Private Guided Tours
- Pre-Trip Briefings
- Group Escort & Tour Photographer
so there’s nothing for you to do except book your preferred flights, pack your bags and get ready to embrace some of the most incredible and delicious Cuisine & Culture destinations in the world.
All of our 2016 tours are fully booked, however we are currently accepting “Expressions of Interest” for our 2017 and 2018 tours. As our groups are limited to only 10 to 12 people, don’t hesitate in getting on to our Pre-Notice List to be advised of itineraries and pricing for our upcoming tours. For more details, please visit our Cuisine & Culture Tours webpage at – http://urbanprovider.com.au/cooking-tours/
Happy cooking and travelling
You can find some of Nico’s delicious recipes in our July issue 2016
Involtini de Melanzane & Tomato Sauce – “Delicious Journeys” – page 11
Satay Ayam – “Delicious Journeys” – page 35
Coconut Creme Caramel – “Delicious Journeys” – page 122
Steamed Thai Fish Cakes – “Food for Friends” – page 103
Nico’s cookbooks can be viewed and purchased at – https://urbanprovider.com.au/cookbooks/