Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Mouth-Watering Gay Vacations: Some of Us Vacation to Get Away from the Kitchen, While Others Travel Thousands of Miles Just to Crawl Right Back into One, at Lavish LGBT-Friendly Cooking Classes and Retreats Run by Gay and Lesbian Chefs

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Mouth-Watering Gay Vacations: Some of Us Vacation to Get Away from the Kitchen, While Others Travel Thousands of Miles Just to Crawl Right Back into One, at Lavish LGBT-Friendly Cooking Classes and Retreats Run by Gay and Lesbian Chefs

Article excerpt

AIX-EN-PROVENCE, FRANCE

What better place to hone your cooking skills than in rural France? You and as many as 24 other students will join gay chef Marc Heracle in the Aix-en-Provence countryside for a one- or three-day culinary adventure in an antique bastide (country house). The courses are on les cuisines du sud: Provencal and Mediterranean cooking. Learn the basics of Provencal recipes, including how to identify wild herbs as well as tricks on the use of trademark Mediterranean flavors like lemon, garlic, and lavender. One-day courses start at $94 per person; three-day group-rate packages start at $267 per person; or $329-per-person individual rate. 011-33-4-42-61-87-47; Gay-Provence.org*

TORONTO

Hetero business partners Vanessa Yeung and Stephenie Summerhill are the brains and hearts behind Aphrodite Cooks, a romance-minded cooking center that doubles as a dating service. Aphrodite's popular cooking classes around Toronto include a singles supper club for gay men (there's one for lesbians too as well as cooking classes focusing on different age groups). All of the classes are stimulating, educational, and might just help you meet that like-minded foodie. Students begin each class with a cocktail and segue into preparing complex dishes like Moroccan chicken empanadas and ice wine ginger rhubarb floats. Individual rates start at $100; 416-792-3212; AphroditeCooks.com

BANGKOK

LGBT tour company Purple Dragon (formerly Utopia Tours) has customized its itinerary of bustling Bangkok by creating the Flavors of Siam tour, which includes two half-day cooking classes so that food lovers get hands-on experience with the art of Thai cuisine. The five-day tour includes private airport transportation, luxe accommodation with breakfast in the prestigious Silom neighborhood, three lunches, and three days of personally guided sightseeing, including a canal tour by long-tail boat. In the personalized cooking classes, each student is at a wok station while instructors impart the secrets of classic regional dishes like pad thai, papaya salad, and green curry. Prices range from $401 for a standard double to $1,928 for the top-tier ultimate package; 866-414-1076; PurpleDrag. …

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