Classes take place in Provence, Tuscany, Piedmont, the Veneto, Seville, or
San Francisco for cooking enthusiasts who sign up to learn with Joanne Weir, whose culinary journeys are mouth-watering voyages to some of the world's capitals of extraordinary food. "My dad called me his 'wandering gypsy' when I was a little girl," says Joanne.
Her Weir Cooking in the City captured the prestigious James Beard Award for best general cookbook (2005). She also hosts the PBS television series, Joanne Weir's Cooking Class.
Every year Joanne leads cooking tours to Europe and conducts an annual weeklong session in her San Francisco kitchen. "These are dream trips -- experiences that can't be found in travel books," Joanne says. In addition to hands-on cooking classes and wine tastings, travelers visit with local artisans and take excursions to nearby markets.
Students find themselves luxuriously immersed in local culture. In Spain, guests stay at Seville's 17th-century Hacienda de Oran, a prime example of Andalusian architecture. In Italy, Tuscany's Chianti region welcomes Joanne's students to a villa embraced by vineyards and olive groves and owned by a noble family for seven generations. In France, Provence's Blanche Fleur guesthouse dates back to the 15th century and is situated near the renowned Chateau Neuf-du-Pape wine country.
Photograph by James Carriere
Recipes are at the end of this story.
Written and produced by Stephen Exel