Why Travel with Oldways?
Oldways "Culinarias" are extraordinary culinary tours, planned with our firm belief that the heart of any culture can be illuminated by exploring its food, wine, and culinary traditions. Our respected place in the culinary world, and our long-standing relationships with international chefs, restaurateurs, and food and wine producers, means that we're able to create one-of-a-kind travel itineraries of unprecedented reach and depth that embrace traditional food and wine customs, educational programs, and elegant culinary activities.
Four Good Reasons to Travel with Oldways
A Small Group of Congenial Travelers
Oldways trips are limited to about three dozen participants – just the right number so that you can interact with a variety of interesting people, without feeling that you’re part of a crowd. Although our travelers are a diverse group, they all share a common love of food and culinary traditions.
"Travelers whom we met on more than one trip have become friends. We exchanged email addresses and some we see on a regular basis when we're in the same part of the country."
---Culinaria Traveler to Istanbul, Piedmont, Sicily, Tuscany
Culinary Experts to Guide You
Imagine how much you can learn about the foodways of a region, with someone along who can explain local ingredients at mealtimes, interpret the wares on offer while you walk through a vibrant public market, or guide you through a tasting of unfamiliar spices. Each Oldways Culinaria features a well-known culinary expert, such as a chef or cookbook author, intimately familiar with the foods and flavors of the area. Past “trip chefs” have included Ana Sortun, Paula Wolfert, Susan Herrmann Loomis, Jody Adams, Ihsan Gurdal, Nancy Harmon Jenkins, Claudia Roden, and Patricia Wells. Our trips also include cooking demonstrations where you’ll see first-hand how signature local dishes are made. We’ll also provide the recipes, so you can savor these dishes at home and share them with family and friends.
"Paula Wolfert and Patricia Wells were just wonderful as guest chefs. They introduced us to the bounty of the region and gave us an inside look at the local production of duck, lambs, prunes, wines and cheese. Every day was filled with special culinary events: Trip to winery with cooking demo and lunch, trip to foie gras museum and lunch under the apple trees, trip to the prune museum and canal boat ride. Trip to the lamb farm and another Bordeaux winery. Dinner at Bordeaux winery. Fabulous tour of cheese cave in Bordeaux."
---Culinaria Traveler to Bordeaux
Historic and Cultural Context
While the focus is on food during Oldways trips, you’ll also learn about the historic and cultural context that helped shape local culinary traditions. Visits to museums, ancient ruins, and artisan crafters provide a useful counterpoint to food-related activities. On every trip you’ll enjoy fascinating facts from local historical guides – plus insights from Oldways staff, based on our two decades of international culinary travel.
"I especially enjoyed seeing the Bayeaux Tapestry, Mont St Michel and the D-Day museum and beaches. I feel that Oldways gives travel experiences that would be difficult to get on one’s own, such as our trip to the dairy farm, the sheep farm, and the oyster farm."
---Culinaria Traveler to Normandy
Rare and Special, Outside-the-Guidebook Experiences
Oldways Culinarias take you beyond the realm of other tours, to little-known local producers, farms, vineyards, cheesemakers, and bakeries. You’ll dine at restaurants not yet discovered by the guidebooks – and perhaps even meet the chef! Our network of international contacts enables us to put together an itinerary unlike any other. You may find yourself sitting on a carpet In a Berber tent in Morocco, trying your hand at shaping orechiette pasta in Italy, or strolling through a pistachio orchard in Turkey – experiences you would be unlikely to encounter on any other trip. We don’t run twenty trips a year, in assembly-line fashion. Each Oldways Culinaria is carefully planned to illuminate our core mission of Health through Heritage. If a trip catches your fancy, sign up today, because this same trip may never be offered again.
It's great to be able to put the food into a cultural context and to see it in its natural home. There are often other unexpected bonuses, too. When my daughter and I did Piedmont we met people who remembered WWII and we saw things like escape tunnels built into wine cellars. Experiences like that make Oldways tours different from a "normal" tour: They try to connect you to the people on a personal level. We love traveling with Oldways!
---Culinaria Traveler to Piedmont
Additional Testimonials from Oldways Travelers
"You all worked together to make it a memorable trip where we only had to show up and enjoy the experience. That is no easy feat."
~ Culinaria Traveler to Morocco
"Susan Loomis, our guest chef, added greatly to our experience of the region through our market day tour, daily excursions to dairy/ sheep/oyster farms and cooking demonstrations. I read her book and tried several recipes before traveling and so felt I knew her already when we met in Honfleur! The size of the group is perfect – one bus load!"
~ Culinaria Traveler to Normandy
"Having been on several Oldways trips the "trip chefs" were a definite bonus. They answered questions about the foods, procurement, history and numerous other questions you think of when reading cookbooks but can't ask. They help one understand the background of foods and how they evolve in today's world."
~ Culinaria Traveler to Istanbul, Piedmont, Sicily, Tuscany
"Our trip to Normandy with Oldways was a unique experience. We learned about the people and culture of Normandy through a focus on the food of the region. Our lunches and dinners were multi-course regional foods that were beautifully presented. The restaurants were all wonderfully different but it is clear that they were selected for their quality and representation of the local food. At each meal, we were given an informative overview of the food and its preparation by Susan Herrmann Loomis."
~ Culinaria Traveler to Normandy