Need inspiration? Consider a culinary tour

If you are in a rut, here's a way to break out of it

CHEF DEZ ON COOKING

One of the biggest influences of my career, and what I enjoy the most, is the inspiration and interaction of people. To put it simply, we all have taste buds and eat food everyday, so we have a common denominator; we can connect and relate. However, for me, it goes beyond that. Food is life in so many ways, and I find it brings out the best in people and thus gives me a window of opportunity to experience their personalities and what makes them tick.

It is because of this passion I have for people and food that I have become a culinary travel host along with all the other hats I wear. Normally my connection with a certain individual is quite short during a cooking class, book signing, or public appearance, so I truly look forward to spending extended timeframes with people. This gives us a chance to broaden our shared passion and our connection with each other.

So many folks first assume that a culinary tour is just about food and cooking classes, but for me and my tours it is much more than that. My travel consultant, Caryn Zimmerman, and I create adventures that take people to an area of the world to not only celebrate and experience cuisine, but also history, art, architecture, lifestyle and more. Basically, to sum it up, we go to an area of the world to experience how they live.

With me as their host, we have already taken people to beautiful and historic Savannah GA and toured the vast and deep-rooted state of Texas. The experiences we have had, and the ones to come, fall well into the realms of bucket list journeys. With the connections that Caryn has in the travel world, and the ones that I have in the culinary world, we create experiences that you could not do for the same price.

Going on a travel vacation with an organized tour has so many benefits. The research has been done for you, all of the most important details have been taken care of, and you get ample time on your own to explore. This along with all of the friendships you will form during the process, makes for an unforgettable holiday and life experience.

Currently we have tours planned for Prince Edward Island this October (including a meet and greet with Food Network personality chef Michael Smith), and a castle, pub, and distillery tour of Ireland and Scotland in the summer of 2017. I have also been invited to be a host of a trip to The Netherlands this September. More information can be found on my web site for all of these tours.

Whatever way you choose to broaden your gastronomic horizons is a step in the right direction. Even if it is not in your cards to go on a culinary tour, food can be used as a catalyst to enhance people’s lives and enrich relationships in many different ways and that is never a bad thing. Even if you don’t want your adventures to leave the comfort of your home, you can live and experience in what seems like endless cuisines just from your cookbook collection and resources like the internet.

If you’re in a cooking rut, break out of it. Everyone is different and so are our perceptions. Find what inspires you and go after it because chances are you will be cooking and eating food for the rest of your life.

Chef Dez is a food columnist, culinary travel host and cookbook author. Visit him at www.chefdez.com.

Write to him at dez@chefdez.com or P.O. Box 2674, Abbotsford, BC V2T 6R4

Next “Chef Dez on Cooking” column will appear approximately July 29/16