As eat and shop local becomes the mantra of globally conscious citizens, several of the area’s chefs and guides are poised to introduce you to local flavors abroad.
Spring in Périgord
Ghislaine Mahler is a spunky Parisian who discovered the charms of Asheville a year ago and dropped anchor. She’s since introduced soups, quiches, and pastries at Asheville’s City and Biltmore Park markets, and conducts French cooking classes in her home. Mahler will lead a trip to the Périgord in southwest France, May 28-June 4. Guests have the option to spend three days in Paris before descending upon the land of foie gras and truffles. $2,995-$3,995 per person, lodging included
Pleasures of Paris
With sessions in four parts of the globe (Paris in springtime; Asheville in summer; Ithaca, New York, in autumn; and Sonoma, California, in winter), the Seasonal School of Culinary Arts leads you to great tastes. During the summer session, June 22-26, you can sample wines in medieval vaults near the Louvre, choose from rabbit and pheasant at a local market, linger at street-side bistros, and spend a day in the country amid flaming red poppies and fields of ripening wheat. $1,200 per person. www.schoolofculinaryarts.org
Buon Giorno, Tuscany!
For 15 years, Reed and Lucretia Finlay have been leading expeditions to Italy and other Western European destinations. This May and October, you can join them for forays into the heart of the Chianti region for market visits, vineyard strolls, grape harvest excursions, truffle tastings, and relaxed camaraderie. $3,695 per person, lodging included
Accent on Aosta
Teaming up in October for two rounds of cooking, trekking, and music, Mark Rosenstein (former owner and chef of The Market Place in Asheville) and Italian transplant Annie Erbsen will lead you in witnessing the Battle of the Queens—a fight between cows whereby damsels butt heads to determine who is the top cow. Also on the itinerary are a trek to the country’s highest vineyard, a picnic inside a 2,000-year-old aqueduct, and savoring the pleasures of authentic Northern Italian cooking. Visit the website for prices. www.thefrenchbroad.com