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mar 01 2010

Ask Trip Coach: Cooking classes

(Illustration by Chris Gash)

If you want to truly get the flavor of a destination, why not learn the nitty-gritty of how the place creates its flavors?

By attending cooking classes while on location, you'll see a part of the local culture that most tourists skip past. You'll also get to eat, and eat, and eat. And when you get home, you'll (hopefully) be able to recreate some of the things you ate, and ate, and ate.

But the experience is not without its share of questions. Like:

How can you tell if the cooking school is on par with your level of experience, i.e. not too advanced and not too basic?

Is it better to book a package with both lodging and cooking classes? Or is it smarter to book them separately?

How much do you really learn during a typical cooking class? Is it mostly lecture, or a hands-on experience, or what?

Are there any free classes out there and worthwhile? Or at least classes that are really good values?

What should one wear to a cooking class? Will I be the only one without one of those fancy white chef hats?

What are the best resources for finding good cooking schools around the world?

If you've ever been interested in attending a cooking school while on a vacation and didn't know where to direct your queries, here's your opportunity. Ask your questions below, and we'll round up the best advice and publish it in an upcoming issue of Budget Travel.

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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