Holidaymakers in search of an authentic gourmet meal are taking bespoke vacations to hotspots like Mauritius to ‘cook with Grandma’.
Food-lovers are leaving five star restaurants behind in favour of a more organic experience while traveling – shopping for fresh ingredients themselves at food markets and cooking with local experts.
“Gourmet travel as a niche market is huge everywhere,” said travel specialist from Virtuoso network Jennifer Campbell.
“The trend is growing strongly. Travellers now want to go out and about to see for themselves, for example, how truffles grow, where to find them and how to cook them.”
Popular gourmet travel experiences can include everything from harvesting vegetables to hunting for truffles in Bologna.
As gourmet travel continues to increase in popularity, some experiences stand out as a cut above the rest.
“Grandma’s Kitchen” is one such example, where travellers on holiday at the Shanti Maurice Nira beachside resort in Mauritius cook with the real grandmother of a staff member at the hotel.
‘Grandma’ works with a small group to create traditional Creole dishes, all while she shares stories and techniques she uses in her everyday cooking. At the end of the meal she sends each guest home with handwritten recipes.
“It’s all about taking people out of a cosseted, gated community and giving them an experience that they can’t get by themselves,” said Nira Hotels owner and chief executive.
Gourmet getaways are becoming popular all over the world – there are holiday experiences in China, India, Italy, and countless other destinations.
“These travellers want to learn about new ingredients and new mixtures,” said Paul Bruning, head of sales and marketing at luxury travel provider Abercrombie and Kent.