Culinary Adventures

These two trips really do fall under the heading of big-ticket items -- sort of the Austin foodie gift equivalent of the His and Hers section in the annual Neiman's catalog. But they are such grand gastronomic expeditions, surely someone out there should get them for Christmas.

  • Marilyn Tausend's Culinary Adventure to Tabasco & Chiapas, Mexico Jan. 19-26, 1997: Seattle-based author, cooking teacher and tour guide Marilyn Tausend regularly takes groups of tourists to visit Mexico where her excellent connections with native chefs and Mexican food experts such as Diana Kennedy enhance every traveler's visit. This particular tour will include visits to the areas of the Mexican states of Tabasco and Chiapas that are the historic cradle of Mayan and Aztec cacao production. Chicago food writer and chocolate expert Elaine Gonzales will accompany the tour and share her knowledge. The group will be limited to 10-12 people and the cost is $2,500. Call Tausend at 206/851-7676 for information and reservations. (Fax 206/851-9532.)

  • Foo Swasdee's Culinary Tour of Thailand, mid-March, 1997: Satay restaurant owner Foo Swasdee will lead a tour group of no more than 15 people on an exciting tour of her native Thailand this spring. Details are still being worked out with a travel agent, but current plans call for two packages, a two-week trip for $1,800 and a three-week trip that would run about $2,400, both exclusive of airfare. During the first week, the tour will be in and around Bangkok, where participants will sample everything from four-star restaurants to food from street vendors and will include one cooking class. The second week will be spent in the north of Thailand experiencing a completely different cuisine, some of which will also be featured in a cooking class. Those who choose to sign up for the third week will visit south Thailand to learn about the variety of indigenous seafood and enjoy water sports such as snorkeling. Call Foo at Satay Restaurant, 467-6731 for information and reservations.

    -- V.W.

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