Hello! I'm Laura
Culinary Travel Professional
On a Mission
I’m here to help busy prime-time women like you discover the best local food when you travel.
As a Culinary Travel Professional (CCTP), I’ve had some amazing food experiences all over the world, like:
- Cooking with a Contessa in a beautiful Italian palazzo.
- Judging a National food competition – the Canadian Culinary Championships.
- Eating cicchetti with local fishermen in a bacaro in Venice.
- Taking cooking classes at the same school where Julia Child perfected her craft.
- Hunting for truffles in the Tuscan countryside.
- Using a molcajete in the Baja to make authentic salsa.
- Devouring insanely creative tapas at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Spain.
- Being accepted as a member of the World Gourmet Society.
- And so much more!
Now I’m on a mission to help you do the same. My meticulously planned self-guided food walks and mini travel guides are designed to help you experience the highlights of a local cuisine in a short period of time – whether you’re on a stopover, layover, pre or post cruise extension, shore excursion, or weekend getaway.
I also share recipes collected on my travels, along with my best travel hacks, inspiring stories, interviews, and gorgeous galleries.
Exploring the World, One Bite at a Time
When I first got the travel bug, I was clueless when it came to where and what to eat. So clueless that I often wound up eating at fast food chains in some of Europe’s most exciting culinary capitals.
Don’t tell anyone but…
I even ate LE CROQUE McDo in Paris! Le Croque McDo is McDonald’s answer to the otherwise delicious Croque-Monsieur sandwich; a mind-blowing combination of ham and cheese with velvety béchamel oozing out all over the place. Trust me when I tell you the only thing these two sandwiches have in common is the word ‘croque’.
How I Became a Food Obsessed Traveler
I’d been traveling for as long as I can remember, and although I enjoyed it, I always came home feeling a little letdown. Like I had missed something important. I knew there had to be more to it than architecture and art. More than landscapes and history. Although I didn’t know it at the time, what I was craving was an authentic connection to people and cultures.
I finally found what I was looking for in 2011 when I took a trip to Paris to indulge a newfound fascination with French culinary technique.
I put myself way outside my comfort zone and signed up for a cooking class at the Ecole Ritz Escoffier. I was the only English-speaking student in a class of French speakers. The chef (a very colorful character!) spoke rapid-fire French while his assistant, Sophie, translated for me. At least that’s how it was supposed to go down. The reality was a bit different. The chef kept her busy doing a million other things – setting the table, uncorking wine, fetching things. To complicate matters, the class was quite advanced. This was the Ritz, after all, the epitome of haute cuisine. We cut potatoes into tournes, prepped ‘yesteryear’ vegetables, butterflied guinea fowl. We even made puff pastry from scratch.
Surprisingly, the language barrier dissolved faster than a bouillon cube in boiling water. So many cooking terms are French in origin – julienne, sauté, soufflé, flambé – to name a few (even bouillon). Plus the chef demonstrated each technique.
And the other students were all so friendly – and enthusiastic! There was not a shy person in the room. Julia Child once said that “in France, cooking is a serious art form and a national sport”, and that was certainly the case with this group. When the chef asked for a volunteer to try a particularly challenging culinary feat, people were nearly knocking each other over as they raced to his station.
In North America, our food obsession began in the early 1980s and has built to a feverish pitch ever since then. The French, however, have been at it for centuries. Even Marie Antoinette was a foodie.
Once we finished the cooking, we sat down to this incredible feast. We ate on plates rimmed in gold. Drank bottle after bottle of exquisite wine. Shared plenty of laughter. Even though I had no idea what we were laughing at (it could have been me for all I know) I laughed just as loud as everyone else (maybe it was the wine?). It was just the best day ever.
To this day, this is my all-time favorite travel experience. It was the first time I really understood how food connects us, how it can be a bridge between cultures, a tool to discover our differences and similarities.
And I’ve been hooked ever since.
More of my favorite food travel experiences…
Explore Jade Mountain Cuisine during the resort’s annual “Cooking in Paradise” festival; a 5-day event that celebrates the virtues of a locally grown cuisine.read more
Hyper-local gourmet cuisine, wine and olive oil tastings, bucket-list-worthy activities like truffle hunting, signature spa treatments that feature wine-derived ingredients, and gorgeous hiking trails for burning off those extra calories. The Adler Thermae is a foodie’s dream!read more
Experience the ‘real’ Venice and find out why Enrica Rocca’s Cooking School is considered one of the world’s best.read more