Regional Cuisines

Regional Cuisines 

Each immersive six-week regional series is designed to bring the best of a region’s cuisine to our kitchens. Create entire meals utilizing regional ingredients, flavor profiles, and cooking methods. The locals would be proud!  Travel abroad, without traveling!  We bring these beloved authentic cuisines to you.

Flavors of The Mediterranean (6 Week Series)

As the people of the Mediterranean discovered long ago, fresh ingredients, simply prepared with olive oil, garlic, herbs and spices, are perfect for sharing around a table with family and friends. Rooted in ancient traditions, and spanning 21 countries, the Mediterranean way of eating largely includes plant-based foods – vegetables and fruits, beans and nuts, healthy grains, fish, olive oil, small amounts of meat and dairy, and red wine. Travel along the Mediterranean coast, basing your journey in some of the major historical trading cities, and explore the cooking techniques, flavor profiles, and ingredients appearing along the way.

Week 1 – Thessaloniki and the glories of Greece: Thessaloniki is a paradise for foodies, best known for quality, variety, and the mixing of traditional recipes with modern trends. This cuisine is characterized by the use of feta, olives, and honey, as well as spices such as oregano, mint, dill, and thyme.
Week 2 – Naples, Palermo and the South of Italy: The foundation in the history of Italian cooking. Southern Italian cuisine is filled with bold flavors showcased by tomatoes, olive oil, and plenty of fresh herbs.
Week 3 – Marseilles, Barcelona, Seville (The French and Spanish Mediterranean coasts): A healthy yet flavorful menu flows through the coast. Tastes of fresh seafood, garlic, legumes, herbs, and vegetables unite these regions.
Week 4 – Algiers and the Maghreb (Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia): These regions offer a rich cuisine filled with semolina breads, couscous, and meat seasoned with a distinctive mixture of spices.
Week 5 – Beirut, Damascus, and Jerusalem – The Levant (Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and Israel): Levantine cuisine is filled with fresh herbs and spices like cumin, turmeric, and cardamom, as well as a variety of nuts and beans. Popular dishes include hummus, falafel, and shawarma, but there is so much more this region has to offer.
Week 6 – Constantinople and the Sultan’s Kitchens (Istanbul, Turkey): A rich history has given this region its well-deserved reputation as a leader in simple foods with bold flavor.

Regions of Asia (6 Week Series)

From the mountainous, spice-filled lands of western China to the extreme flavor profiles of tropical Thailand. Unravel some of the mystery behind many of the most prominent recipes and cooking techniques while discovering similarities and differences throughout the lands. Survey a different region each week and learn the essential techniques and subtle flavor secrets that make each specific cuisine so appealing. Explore and demystify the ingredients critical to the Asian pantry, bringing unique new flavor profiles to your culinary repertoire.

Week 1 – South China & Canton: One of the most gastronomically renown and adventurous regions of China. Dishes are delicately seasoned to bring out natural flavors, with an emphasis on fresh ingredients and sharp technique.
Week 2 – Northeast China: This harsh climate produces hearty, bold, and flavorful dishes. Wheat is the staple crop of Northern China, so the cuisine is largely defined by noodles, dumplings, steamed buns, and pancakes.
Week 3 – Central & West China: Spicy and pungent flavors are characteristic of West and Central China. Perhaps best known is the Sichuan Province, famous for its particularly numbing and spicy flavors resulting from liberal use of garlic and chili peppers, and the unique numbing Sichuan peppercorn.
Week 4 – Japan & Korea: These cuisines share many similarities, but the specialties from each have their own meaning and cultural symbolism pointing to their origins. Both cuisines emphasize rice (surprise!), a lot of vegetables, and red meat or fish.
Week 5 – Vietnam: A varied landscape is truly reflected in Vietnamese cuisine. Textures and flavors contrast and complement each other to provide a rounded and unique culinary experience.
Week 6 – Thailand: There’s no shortage of flavor in this bold cuisine. Thai dishes often are not considered satisfying unless they combine four tastes: sweet, sour, salty, and spicy.

Regions of France (6 Week Series)

From its lush valleys to its majestic Alpine peaks and azure Riviera coastline, France possesses a wealth of regional cuisines, each enduring over centuries. Put aside haute cuisine and fine dining to study the simple pleasures of the delicious and approachable French food you’ll find in homes and bistros. Join us on this journey as we discover the rich cuisine of the bourgeois and peasant classes that typify French regional cooking. Bon appétit!

Week 1 – Normandy: The food of Normandy is simple, but rich, thanks to the generous use of butter and cream. It is most known for apple beverages including Calvados (apple brandy) and world-renowned cheeses like Camembert.
Week 2 – Touraine: Touraine is located in the heart of the Loire Valley vineyard stretching from the Sancerre area all the way to the ocean and is known for exceptional foods and even tastier wine.
Week 3 – Burgundy: Home to beautiful scenery and delicious food, this region’s cuisine features garlic, fresh veggies, rich meats, and delicious Burgundy wine to cook with and drink.
Week 4 – Dauphine and Savoy: The French Alps are most known for hearty mountain fair, rustic dishes, and Comté – a delicious cheese found in every home in France.
Week 5 – Southwest of France: In the southwest region of France, the emphasis is on rich foods. Duck, foie gras, prunes, oysters, mushrooms and truffles are but a few specialties found in many dishes.
Week 6 – Provence: More in line with Mediterranean neighbors than France’s northern regions, Provencal cuisine emphasizes sun-ripened vegetables, seafood, fresh herbs and a liberal helping of olive oil in every dish.

Regions of Italy (6 Week Series)

Discover the beautiful land of Italy and the flavors and cuisines that define each region, traveling from north to south. Recipes highlight the dishes of each region, showcasing ingredients, cooking style, and ethnic influences comprising the local flavors. If you love classic Italian food, you’ll have a ball studying the intricacies of the world’s most iconic cuisines. Buon appetito!

Week 1 – Piedmont: Translated to “at the foot of the mountain,” Piedmont is crowned by the Alps and is one of Italy’s best-kept food secrets. The cuisine is hearty, simple, and soothing.
Week 2 – Emilia Romagna: Largely considered the gastronomical and culinary heart of Italy, this northeast region is the origin of Italian staples Parmigiano-Reggiano, Prosciutto di Parma, and Balsamic vinegar!
Week 3 – Tuscany: This region owes its legacy to the Etruscans, who lived in northern and central Italy 3000 years ago and loved food, wine, and art. Unlike its northern neighbors, Tuscany favors unfussy, rustic foods dressed with olive oil rather than heavy sauce.
Week 4 – Lazio: Home to Rome and Vatican City, the Lazio region has always been at the hub of Italian culture. The food is made up of wholesome and iconic dishes that are quick and easy to cook.
Week 5 – Campania: Best known worldwide for pizza, Campania’s cuisine relies on sun dried vegetables, fresh farmhouse cheese, and local seafood to create bright, simple dishes.
Week 6 – Sicily: This food of this island has absorbed influences from its many invaders including the Greeks, Arabs, Normans, and Spanish. The result is a cuisine full of delightful distinctions from Italian food to the north.

Regions of Spain (6 Week Series)

Spanish cuisine, with its unique and fascinating centuries-old culinary tradition, rustic Mediterranean palate, and flair for innovation, is joining the ranks of the world’s great cuisines and capturing the attention of American food lovers. Examine the customs and culture of each destination through its culinary delights. Explore the rich flavors from bright green olive oil to spicy chorizo that have kept Spain deservedly in our culinary spotlight.

Week 1 – Northwest – Galicia, Asturia, Cantabria: A region well known for its seafood, the northwest also boasts a variety of meat dishes that are both simple and flavorful.
Week 2 – Madrid and the Central Plains: Touted as the culinary capital of Spain, this melting pot of culinary delights delivers rustic and delicious dishes to pair with Manchego and some of the region’s finest olives.
Week 3 – Andalusia: Equally influenced by the land and sea, Andalusian cuisine highlights the exotic spices and ingredients introduced when the Moors invaded from North Africa several hundred years ago.
Week 4 – Valencia and The Mediterranean Coast: Seafood, citrus, and rice are dominating culinary forces in this culturally diverse region.
Week 5 – Catalonia: A generous and varied selection of fish, meat, and vegetables abound in Catalunya. Its coastal location and mountainous landscape provide the perfect background for imaginative surf ‘n turf meals.
Week 6 – Basque Country (Basque, Navarra): As far as food goes, the Basque country just may be the most important tourist destination in Spain. This coastal and border region boasts a rich gastronomic history with a mix of French and Spanish influences. Basque cuisine is truly unique.

Regions of Mexico (6 Week Series)

Interest in native Mexican cooking has exploded.  Its bold, diverse, and flavorful cuisine is so much more than the Tex-Mex dishes most Americans think of as Mexican food.  With the country’s blend of indigenous, Spanish, African, and Asian influences, you’ll find a delicious range of zesty, rich, and spicy dishes.  Methods for creating flavors impossible to experience anywhere else yield some of the world’s best street food.  And with all that avocado, tomato, lime and garlic, with beans and chocolate and chilies besides, the cuisine is loaded with nutritional super foods rich with antioxidants and healthful things.  It doesn’t taste healthy though.  It tastes like a fiesta in your mouth.

Week 1 – Northern Mexico: Cattle ranching and wheat farming are big business in this desert region bordering the US, hence the prominance of grilled meats and more than 40 different types of flour tortillas. This region also produces the widest variety of cheeses in Mexico including queso fresco (farmer’s cheese), asadero, and Chihuahua.
Week 2 – Baja and North Pacific: With two thousand miles of coastline, the Baja peninsula is known for its great seafood.  And with its Mediterranean-like climate and the oldest and largest vineyards in Mexico, Baja has recently become a world class food and wine destination.  The Caesar salad was born here, and fish tacos..
Week 3 – Bajio (Lowlands): Just north of Mexico City, this immense plateau surrounded by rugged mountains is rich in Spanish colonial history, and its farmlands yield many Mexican staples. The state of Michoacan is the avocado capital of the world and thought to be the birthplace of carnitas (Mexican pulled pork).  Indigenous corn, together with rice, pork and spices from the Spanish, form the foundation for many dishes here.  Lastly, the region is renowed for its sweet desserts such as cajeta (goat’s milk caramel) and arroz con leche (rice pudding).
Week 4 –Central Mexico:The food of Mexico City and the country’s culinary heart, the town of Puebla, reflects its Aztec heritage, its convents, and extensive international influences. Many of the cuisines from the rest of Mexico are represented here in Mexico City’s street food, considered among the top-10 best in the world.  Taco stands, torta (sandwich) shops and tamale vendors abound. Mole poblano, created by the Roman Catholic sisters in Puebla, ranks among Mexico’s classics.
Week 5 –Oaxaca and South Pacific: The highlands of Oaxaca have remained the most indigenous region in Mexico, with at least a third of the region speaking native languages rather than Spanish. Oaxaca, revered as a culinary center both in Mexico and beyond, is best known for its moles, Oaxacan cheese (mozzarella-like), regional chili peppers, and chocolate.  And with ample coastline, Oaxaca has a rich seafood cuisine.
Week 6 –Yucatan and Southern Gulf: The Yucatán Peninsula is home to a melting pot of populations who settled in the sunny spot separating the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico.  The cuisine emanating from this unique cultural mix is celebrated the world over. Achiote (annatto seed), citrus, habaneros, and smoke – all pillars of Mayan cooking – are ubiquitous in the dishes here.

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