The great escape
Karisma Hotels & Resorts’ Culinary Series
Besides the white sand, turquoise water, 13 swimming pools, a beach spa overlooking the horizon and excursions to nearby cenotes all luring you to the award-winning El Dorado Royale in the Riviera Maya, another reason to book a room at the resort is their new partnership with Jackson Family Wines. During the first week of each month, top chefs and sommeliers will fly down and create a variety of culinary experiences for guests to enjoy. These include tastings, specialty dinners and cooking classes. Another cool epicurean feature: The property includes an organic greenhouse which produces vegetables and herbs used in the dishes served.Your Instagram feed will make friends jealous with even more than sunsets and swim-up bars.
The Jackson Family Culinary Series is an additional costs of $300 for the weeklong program, www.karismahotels.com
The Essex Resort & Spa’s Chef in Training package
At this idyllic 18-acre property — located between the Green Mountains and Lake Champlain just outside of Burlington, Vt. — aspiring cooks can brush up on their culinary skills and pick up some new tips, techniques and recipes during one of the many hands-on classes held in the resort’s Cook Academy. Currently the class schedule is packed with seasonal themes like making summer salsas, sauces and chutneys and cooking with farmer’s market bounty. When not in the kitchen make sure to enjoy hot air balloon rides, golfing, hiking and fishing.
Prices start at $335, www.essexresortspa.com
Hudson Valley Wine and Food Fest
Can’t travel to Italy just yet? Take a weekend jaunt to this year’s Hudson Valley Wine and Food Fest where you can sip on hundreds of blends from all over the world. Also helping refine your palate are food pairings from regional chefs and cooking and wine seminars by celebrity chefs. For those of us who can’t leave a vacation without a souvenir or 12, get ready for booths filled with hundreds of home goods, arts and gourmet specialty foods. If wine is not your thing, for the first time ever, the festival will feature craft beers.
Tasting tickets, including unlimited wine are $40 per day or $70 for the weekend. Sept. 7 and 8, www.hudsonvalleywine fest.com