Top 10 Culinary Guides



Author of the definitive “Food Wine Budapest,” Carolyn specializes in arranging individual tours of Budapest’s markets and restaurants which includes cooking a meal with the purchased ingredients She also takes people on gastronomic tours of the Tokaj wine region, with the next scheduled one being on October 9 to coincide with the harvest. Market tours from €30 if group of four, €80 for one person.

Celia Brooks Brown
United Kingdom


An American food writer, Celia began her gastrotours seven years ago in Portobello Market in London’s Notting Hill. She now also does a farmers market tour around Marylebone Village and is devising several others based around food markets. New programme begins in the spring of 2011. From €65 per person.


A confirmed chocolate addict, Jennifer takes people on half-day tours of the main artisanal producers in London’s Mayfair, Chelsea and Notting Hill. They include tastings at the shops and discussions with the chocolatiers. These usually involved between two to 14 people and start at €45 per person.

Middle East and North Africa


London-based Cookery writer Anissa Helou specialises in the cuisine of the Middle East and takes regular tours to Syria, Lebanon and Morocco. Her next tour is to Syria from Nov 3 to Nov 12 2009. Prices from €3350 for single occupancy, excluding flights.



New York born Gabriella has been the foremost culinary guide in the Basque Country and Northern Spain for more than 15 years. Everything is tailor-made and can accommodate from two people to 10. She can arrange access to any restaurant, whether it is the three-star Michelin Arzak, or an obscure place along the coast. She has recently begun all day cookery courses. Three day tours from €1,800 per person or daily tours from €395 per day.

Wendy Lyn of the Paris Kitchen


Wendy Lyn is renowned for her half-day Left Bank food and wine tours of Paris, which start at a local food market and end in a wine bar. Everything is tailor made for between two to four people and she also arranges gastronomic trips to Normandy and elsewhere. From €160.


A prominent historian, and former chairman of the prestigious Oxford Food Symposium, Carolin’s most popular food tour is the “Belly of Paris”, which focuses on Les Halles, which was the central market of Paris for nearly 800 years. She has a bias towards food history, and also has lectures on the invention of the restaurant and another on how prominent Parisian monuments relate to food history. Belly of Paris from €80 per person.



A prominent cookery author who lives in Tuscany, Pamela organizes week-long regional food tours throughout Italy. She emphasizes authentic cuisine and also does day long cookery courses at her home near Montepulciano, which is also a guesthouse. Her next private tour is a weeklong journey from Rome to Pisa costing €2,650 per person.


An early member of the Slow Food movement, Peggy Markel takes culinary tours to numerous parts of Italy but also goes further afield to Morocco. She includes sessions in restaurants or private houses to cook local dishes. Her next nine-day Moroccan tour in November is sold out but there is another in the spring, starting at €3,675 per person without flights.

Marieke Brugman’s Art of Cuisine


Marieke co-founded Howqua Dale, the most renowned gourmet retreat in the Australia’s Snowy Mountains, but now devotes herself to escorting small culinary tours around the world. She is currently taking a small group through Normandy (next year the Luberon) but also goes to Portugal, Turkey, Rajasthan and Bali. The Turkish trip lasts for three weeks, and includes Marieke cooking some of the meals, €10,600 without flights.

Article by Bruce Palling at


Slovenia and North-Eastern Italy

For gourmet trips and other gourmet experiences in Slovenia or eastern Italy contact Carpe Diem Club founder at


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