June 16, 2024

Adventure Awaits Journeyers

Discovering the World Anew

Chefs Offer Culinary Travel Experiences Amidst Growing Food Tourism Trend

2 min read

The upswing in culinary tourism is carving out a lucrative niche in the US travel market, as Americans increasingly journey to food-centric destinations such as Italy, France, Spain, and Japan. With the sector’s valuation projected to hit a staggering $3.46 billion in the upcoming half-decade, chefs Mawa McQueen and Andrew Zimmerman are seizing the moment to offer one-of-a-kind culinary travel experiences.

Tasting Bordeaux through the Lens of Mawa McQueen

Aspen-based Chef Mawa McQueen, renowned for her black-owned restaurants and her popular cookbook, is curating an eight-day culinary journey to Bordeaux, France. Coordinated by Modern Adventure, the expedition, scheduled to embark from May 11-18, promises a blend of luxury, gastronomy, and cultural immersion.

The itinerary includes not just exploration of the famed Bordeaux wine country, but also cooking lessons and meals prepared by McQueen herself, offering an intimate and authentic taste of the French province.

Andrew Zimmerman: An Epicurean Adventure in Vietnam

Parallelly, Chef Andrew Zimmerman, a two-time nominee for ‘Chef of the Year’ title with a specialization in Vietnamese cuisine, is leading an 11-day culinary expedition through Vietnam, from November 9-19. This tour aims to deliver an immersive experience that extends beyond the typical tourist offerings.

Guests will have the opportunity to explore street markets, cruise through Halong Bay, and participate in cooking lessons under Zimmerman’s expert guidance. The emphasis, like McQueen’s trip, is on authentic exposure to the local culture, food, and craftsmanship.

Fueling a Growing Food Tourism Trend

The initiatives by McQueen and Zimmerman are but a flavor of the broader culinary tourism trend. As vegan, vegetarian, and flexitarian tourists increase, driven by the influence of social media and the rising viewership of food programs, the culinary tourism market is expected to expand exponentially. The market size, currently at US$ 977.3 billion, is projected to reach an impressive US$ 4,530.9 billion by 2032, growing at a CAGR of 16.6% between 2022 and 2032.

As the narrative of culinary tourism evolves, chefs like McQueen and Zimmerman are setting the stage for a more immersive, authentic, and enriched travel experience. One that ventures beyond the usual tourist trails and into the heart of a country’s food and culture.


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