Interactive epicurean adventures are on the rise

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Globe-trotting foodies looking to improve their culinary credentials are looking for unique interactive experiences where they can roll up their sleeves and work towards their meal.

A growing number of luxury resorts, award-winning restaurants and innovative tour operators allow enthusiasts to try their hand at activities such as white-knuckle sport fishing, traditional truffle hunting and the search for giant clams, with the added benefit of being able to enjoy the fruit of their labor.

Whether it’s an immersive challenge or a hands-on educational experience, these next-level adventures deserve to be added to the epicurean bucket list of the most discerning foodies. Many of these experiences require advance booking, so be sure to check the latest travel requirements and restrictions.

JAPAN

Located along the Seto Inland Sea is Kagawa, also known as Japan’s udon capital. This coastal prefecture has perfected the art of softness, Sanukihas been udon-style noodles for centuries and is home to over 600 udon restaurants, the highest concentration in the country.

In the city of Mitoyo, House Udon is an udon-themed hotel where guests learn the art of udon making from local specialists, visit a nearby farm to learn about native agriculture, and pick fresh udon toppings, and embark on udon jumping trips in which a guide directs them to the neighborhood. best hole in the wall udon restaurants.

MAINE

Lobster lovers come from all over the world to sample Maine’s most famous crustacean. To the legendary White Barn InnAuberge Resorts Collection, in the charming town of Kennebunk, enthusiasts take their knowledge of lobster to a new level by making lobster with a local expert.

A private tour along the coast includes education about the lobster fishing industry and its sustainable future, and the main event comes when first-timers try their hand at emptying the lobster traps. Once back on dry land, participants meet the station chef and select which lobsters to cook, then move on to a lobster cooking class with the chef to earn their lunch.

THE MALDIVES

Shades of Green by Soneva Fushi allows customers to choose the ingredients that end up in their meal.

Soneva Fushi

Some of the most notable resorts in the Maldives tempt with fun, food-focused activities. In the South Male Atoll, COMO Cocoa Island gives guests a try at the local traditional sunset pastime of reef bottom fishing for humpback snapper and grouper. Visitors can also board the resort’s sport fishing boat for big game fishing adventures, with the guaranteed excitement of battling red trevally, snapper and dogtooth tuna. After these activities, the fresh catch can be cooked by the resort’s chefs for lunch or dinner the next day.

Soneva Fushi, a luxury resort hidden among dense foliage within the Baa Atoll Biosphere Reserve, offers a unique dining experience in Shades of Green, a 20-seat plant-based restaurant located in the resort’s organic garden . To begin the experience, visitors are led through the garden and encouraged to examine, pick and taste the herbs, vegetables and fruits grown on the land, ultimately choosing the ingredients to use in their meal.

NEW ZEALAND

Minaret Station Alpine Lodge’s The helicopter fishing and seafood adventure is a must for any thrill-seeking epicurean visiting New Zealand’s rugged west coast. After a scenic helicopter ride, the crew retrieves crayfish traps from the freezing waters using the helicopter while participants wait on the beach; the bounty is then prepared into a gourmet picnic with a spectacular mountain backdrop.

One of the most popular luxury resorts in the country, Kauri Cliffs, is perhaps best known for its breathtaking ocean views and championship golf course, but it also impresses with its foodie pursuits like land fishing. Guests join a local guide at one of the property’s private beaches to test their skill at hooking snapper or kahawai; the fresh catch can be taken back to the lodge, where the chef will prepare it for dinner.

Hidden among 2,500 acres of native forest in Rotorua, Treetops Lodge & Domain offers a Maori Food Trail in which guests wander into the wilderness in search of native plants and herbs, while learning about nutritional and medicinal properties, as well as connections to Maori cultural traditions. Attendees taste what they find, fresh from the land, and harvest it for the chefs to use at the resort.

HAWAII

Hawaii Island’s most acclaimed luxury resort, Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, offers a sustainable fishing experience exclusively to its customers. After a private tour led by a marine biologist from a state-of-the-art Kanpachi farm, participants board the resort’s Ribcraft boat to see the open-sea enclosures and watch a fish-feeding session. On the way back to the resort, adventurers work up an appetite by snorkeling with Hawaiian marine life, then finally settle down for a five-course custom wine dinner in which Kanpachi is prepared in a variety of ways.

Down on Kauai, The Lodge at Kukui’ula, a Destination by Hyatt hotel, offers the Mahealani, a 35-foot fishing boat used for expeditions in Kauai’s heavily populated waters. Ahi, mahi and marlin are the typical catch of the day for guests, many of whom are all too happy to unload their bounty on the resort’s culinary team, who then turn the fish into a delicious feast. There is also a kayak fishing adventure in which participants cast a line in the water and bring back the fresh catch to prepare it at the resort.

ATLANTIC CANADA

Digging clams in Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Stephen Harris, Tourism PEI

Canada’s Maritime Provinces are the source of fresh, world-class seafood all year round. Foodies exploring the heart of central Newfoundland are advised to visit Indian Falls Cabins, which offers fly fishing and salmon smoking workshops. Guests spend a day on the Indian River mastering the art of fly fishing for Atlantic salmon and brook trout, then participate in a smoking workshop where they learn a technique perfected in the time to prepare and smoke the local salmon from start to finish.

In New Brunswick, Cielo Glamping Maritime invites active types to harvest their own oysters on a stand-up paddle in the bay of Saint-Simon. After harvesting and shucking, attendees can taste the difference between those harvested at water temperature, served over ice, and grilled to perfection.

Prince Edward Island Adventures in Tranquility Cove delights bivalve enthusiasts with its clam fishing trips to the deserted island of Boughton. All necessary equipment is provided, allowing beginners to safely dig in sandbanks for giant clams. Once enough clams have been harvested, the party moves to the beach, where the clams are steamed in salt water. The experience also includes the ability to carry a lobster trap, crab trap, and mussel sock, as well as a crash course in each fishery.

THAILAND

Midway between the tourist magnets of Phuket and Krabi is the less populated island of Koh Yao Noi, home to the chic Cape Kudu Hotel. A must for any seafood lover, the hotel supports its local community by joining local fishermen to search for shellfish, the types of which vary with the tides and seasons. After taking a soothing boat trip around the island, during which guests can scour the beaches for seashells, their loot can then be taken back to the hotel for the culinary team to prepare a delicious meal. .

Located along Phang Nga Bay, one of Thailand’s most spectacular seascapes, travelers will find serenity Six Senses Koh Yao Noi, a luxury wellness retreat offering diverse dining experiences. Participants take a classic long-tail boat to visit a local floating fish farm and select their own fresh catch for the chefs to prepare at the resort. Thai cooking classes offer an interactive tour of the resort’s organic vegetable garden.

CROATIA

Foodies have flocked to Istria, the westernmost region of Croatia, to try their hand at truffle hunting. The specific smell that comes from truffles in moist soil, mostly in oak woods, is impossible for humans to discern, so trained dogs are used to help in the hunt. Karlic Tartufi, Pietro and Pietroand Prodan Tartufia trio of family businesses, share their traditions while allowing visitors to take on the challenge of finding truffles in the wild, preparing said truffles and tasting a range of truffle-based products and delicacies.

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