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Tony Tan's Gourmet Tour
Having the highly esteemed chef and teacher Tony Tan as guide certainly adds spice to this Chinese menu. You'll experience traditional regional cuisines as well as food at the sharpest cleaver's edge of fashion.
Nights in Shanghai include meals at the city's most stylish venues, 1221, the Whampoa Club and T8. But there is also a visit to the original Peking Duck restaurant, Quanjude in Beijing, and a feast of classic Cantonese dim sum in Portuguese-influenced Macau.
Cooking classes are taken among the top-notch facilities of the prestige hotels at which you'll be staying, including the Peninsula Beijing and Shangri-La Hangzhou, while market tours will let you see first-hand how ingredients such as fresh tofu and sesame paste are made.
Subtitled A Personal Journey, Tony's fun 13-day itinerary allocates plenty of time for things other than food: museums, gardens, the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, plus imperial-league shopping.
Cost: TBC-March including accommodation. Flights cost extra. For more details please call 020 7396 5550 or visit http://www.gourmetontour.com/
India on the Menu
If you've ever wearied simply reading the list of ingredients in an Indian recipe, this course near the beaches of northern Goa is for you.
Chefs Priya Gogte and Judy Cardozo understand that visitors want to soak up the sun as well as quench their thirst for culinary knowledge. Hands-on teaching sessions based on regional cuisines are alternated with free days for sightseeing. The final flourish is the Curry in a Hurry class, which cleverly reduces north and south Indian dishes to simple formulae so that you'll soon be able to knock out delicious meals. Guests stay at the four-star Taj Holiday Village resort, featuring the restaurant of Goan masterchef Urbano do Rego, or can arrange their own lodgings if preferred.
Cost: from £445 including accommodation. Flights are extra. For details visit http://www.onthegotours.com/ or Tel 020 7371 1113.
Thai Cuisine at the Four Seasons
Think egg noodles are bland? Taste them alongside an array of different noodles made from rice, fermented rice, mung beans, and yam, and their wheaty flavour comes through.
Better still, taste them alongside an array of noodles while sitting in an open-walled pavilion in the heart of northern Thailand's Mae Rim Valley, looking out over pristine paddy fields. As Pritak, chef at the Four Seasons resort's cooking school demonstrates each dish in full, participants move to their personal workstations to make their own version, then sit down and enjoy.
Cost: from £263 including accommodation. Flights extra. For details visit http://www.fourseasons.com/ or Tel 00 800 6488 6488.
Abruzzo, Aldo Zilli Cookery School, Tokyo
A Taste of Culture
Elizabeth Andoh is a respected American food writer who, having married a Japanese man, has been resident in Tokyo many years and speaks Japanese fluently.
She contributes to publications such as American Gourmet and the New York Times and, when not too busy working on book projects such as Washoku: Recipes from the Japanese Home Kitchen (Ten Speed Press), leads market tours, tastings, cooking classes and workshops.
Cost: £2.50, not including accommodation or flights extra. For details visit http://www.tasteofculture.com/. Tel 00813 03571 65751.
This is different. No luxury hotels, no professional kitchens. It's true home-style Singaporean cooking. You stand right by teacher Ruqxana in her apartment, helping to prepare ingredients such as lemongrass, pulled from the garden, chillies from the flower pot near the door, and shrimp paste from a favourite seaside village. Together you'll combine them to create a flavour-packed meal, then sit down to eat at her family dining table.
It's a fun and educational way to spend a few hours during a stopover, and a convenient 20-minute drive from the airport.
Price from £3 per person, not including accommodation or flights. For details visit http://www.cookerymagic.com/. Tel 0065 6348 9667.
The Wagamama Cookbook, Hugo Arnold Kyle Cathie
This is an official collection of recipes from the highly original Wagamama chain of restaurants. Japan's traditional ramen (noodle) is at the heart of the company's distinctive style, and these noodle and rice recipes have been created by the people behind Wagamama's success.
Green Mangoes and Lemon Grass, Wendy Hutton Periplus
A New Zealander by birth, Wendy Hutton first travelled to Southeast Asia in 1967. This, her latest book, covers from roadside to restaurant, and contains recipes that capitalise on the increasing ease with which the ordinary cook can get hold of exotic ingredients.
Ken Hom's Foolproof Chinese Cookery, Ken Hom BBC Books
He's still a favourite, and this step-by-step guide to some old staples shows why. He makes it all look so easy. Hom, the "culinary professor", takes 40 of the most popular and well-known Chinese dishes and guides us through their making, in the same way that he teaches his students.
India With Passion: Modern Regional Home Cooking, Manju Malhi Mitchell Beazley
Manju Malhi specialises in simple home cooking, but as the title suggests, she has a passion for her subject. And the stunning
photography serves her well. She takes the four points of the compass to frame her book. The resulting recipes are easy and interesting to follow.
© 2005 Independent News & Media (UK) Ltd.