Adam Wiseman

Whether you want to haggle with shopkeepers in a spice souk or pick organic herbs in a provincial garden, you’re sure to find the ultimate cooking class in T+L’s list.

Los Dos, Mérida, Mexico

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At Los Dos (from $125) in colonial Mérida, American expat David Sterling teaches cocina yucateca, one of Mexico’s great regional cuisines. Daylong workshops start at the Lucas de Gálvez market to look for Maya staples such as chaya, beans, achiote, and epazote. After sampling snacks at street stalls, students head back to Sterling’s brightly tiled kitchen to learn the techniques for squash soup with maize dumplings, achiote-marinated red snapper, and pit-roasted venison.

Don’t Miss: Side trips to artisanal producers of rum, herbs, honey, and chicharrónes (fried pork rinds) arranged by the school.

Best Cooking Schools Around the World

Los Dos, Mérida, Mexico

At Los Dos (from $125) in colonial Mérida, American expat David Sterling teaches cocina yucateca, one of Mexico’s great regional cuisines. Daylong workshops start at the Lucas de Gálvez market to look for Maya staples such as chaya, beans, achiote, and epazote. After sampling snacks at street stalls, students head back to Sterling’s brightly tiled kitchen to learn the techniques for squash soup with maize dumplings, achiote-marinated red snapper, and pit-roasted venison.

Don’t Miss: Side trips to artisanal producers of rum, herbs, honey, and chicharrónes (fried pork rinds) arranged by the school.

Adam Wiseman

Best Cooking Schools Around the World

More than any historic home tour, the School of Artisan Food provides a true taste of Downton Abbey through classes in traditional English cookery: cider making, wild game butchery, and fruit preserves.

It’s one example of the greater world of epicurean experiences that has opened up for travelers eager to pack their aprons and join immersion classes with local guides or expert cooks—whatever your time commitment, budget, and skill level.

We’ve done the dirty work to identify the best cooking programs around the globe, from a half-day course on chicken gumbo in New Orleans to a farm in the scenic backwaters of Kerala, India, where classes center on family recipes for chutney and curries. They share the ability to help travelers understand a local culture and to revisit a favorite destination with a fresh perspective. After all, it’s exhilarating to start the day at a local market then sit down to a meal of pasta with truffles, tom yum goong, or coquilles St. Jacques of your very own making.

Students are typically teamed up with multilingual instructors versed in the cuisine of the region. You can expect to pick up new kitchen skills and recipes, and lessons are often augmented by exclusive encounters with purveyors and artisanal growers, wine pourings at vineyards, and dinners set in private homes or at top chef tables tucked in a corner of their kitchen domain, so that you can observe pros in the heat of the action.

Some programs are suited to a weeklong vacation: kneading dough with a master pizzaiolo in Naples or cooking spice-infused tagines at a villa in the Palmeraie outside Marrakesh. Other daylong sessions cater to those who simply want to whet their appetites. Hotels and resorts are increasingly offering classes as well. Before booking, ask about class size, type of equipment (knives, stovetops) provided, and what meals and accommodation are included.

Here are the latest programs for seasoned cooks as well as beginners ripe for discovery.

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