About Access Culinary Trips
Welcome to Access Culinary Trips, the experts in award-winning, small group culinary trips to delicious destinations worldwide. We believe that cuisine is the gateway to culture, connecting us to the people, traditions, and history of the places we visit. We’re a team of foodies and travel buffs who are happiest when we’re researching and re-imagining ways to unlock the secrets of a destination through its cuisine.
Wherever you travel with us you’ll create lifetime memories as you cook with expert chefs, taste your way through vibrant markets and family-run farms, and connect in a meaningful way with friendly locals. Our cooking trips give you unparalleled insider access to authentic culinary and cultural experiences that you simply cannot find on your own.
Yet it’s not just what we offer or where we go that makes us unique. It’s how we offer it: with passion and genuine care for our guests. Our seasoned travel experts obsess over every detail to create truly immersive, worry-free, once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences. That’s why 95% of our guests would recommend our culinary trips to their friends and family.
The Access Culinary Trips Story
Access Culinary Trips was founded in 2001 as an adventure tour operator, and in 2010 we created our first cooking trips: Morocco, Thailand & Japan. They quickly became the most popular tours in our portfolio, and we continued developing additional destinations to satisfy demand. In 2015, CEO Tamar Lowell made the strategic decision to focus exclusively on culinary travel.
Along with our loyal guests, food and travel writers were thrilled. We have been recognized as one of “15 Culinary Tours Worth the Travel” by National Geographic Traveler, one of the “Best Cuba Tour Operators” by Fodor’s, and a “Bucket List Tour” by Travel+Leisure. We’re also proud to have been featured in the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, NPR, Travel Weekly, Travel Age West and others.
Specializing in “exploring culture through cuisine,” we design and curate immersive culinary travel experiences that include the perfect balance of cultural discovery, cooking instruction, exquisite dining and unmatched value. Our culinary destinations include Italy, Croatia, Morocco, South Africa, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Peru, Cuba, Costa Rica, and Alaska, with more being added regularly.
What Sets Access Culinary Trips Apart?
Cooking & Culinary Focus
Our company is focused solely on culinary travel – telling the story of a destination through the lens of food. It’s all we do and that allows us to truly hone our craft. Our expertise is reflected in the many awards we have won, and more importantly, in the whopping 9.4 out of 10 we receive on our culinary tour reviews. “Exploring Culture Through Cuisine” is more than our tagline, it’s our mantra, and those words guide our culinary travel philosophy daily.
Exceptional Customer Service
We provide unparalleled, boutique-style customer service. Travel is intensely personal and each of our cooking trips has the potential to change your life. We treat each guest as an individual so that your experience both booking with us and traveling with us exceeds your expectations. That’s why our customer service team receives an average of 9.7 out of 10 in guest feedback.
Small Group Cooking Trips
Many of our guests tell us they are not “group tour” people, which is ideal because we’re not a traditional group tour company. With Access Culinary Trips, you will travel with a small group of like-minded travelers which never exceeds 10-12 guests. This gives us access to experiences that simply cannot accommodate groups of 15-20 guests like you might find with other “small group” tour operators. Our micro group size offers a more personal, intimate travel experience, along with the flexibility to enjoy serendipitous experiences and cherished connections with the local people. It also allows us to keep our ecological and cultural footprint as small as possible. Want even more intimacy? Choose your dates and your travel companions and travel on your terms on one of our private tours.
Knowledgeable & Friendly Guides
Our experienced, local tour guides are passionate and knowledgeable about their homeland, and are dedicated to helping you get the most out of your food vacation. They bring your cooking trip to life, with their personal, local connections that open doors to the very best cuisine, markets, restaurants and cultural experiences. Our guides are also approachable and fun, and often you will feel like you are being shown around by a local friend. Guests rate our tour guides 9.9 out of 10 on post-trip surveys.
Classic & Exotic Destinations
We specialize not only in established culinary destinations such as Italy, but also more exotic destinations such as Morocco, Peru and South Africa. There is no better way to get to know a place than by exploring the culture through its cuisine, regardless of whether or not it is a “classic” foodie destination. We know the best culinary experiences in all of our destinations, so you will eat sensationally in even the most unexpected locales. And, since many of our tours go to bucket list destinations, we make sure to include all of the top destination highlights.
Cooking Trips With a Conscience
At Access Culinary Trips, giving back has always been central to our culture. We pride ourselves on designing each cooking vacation to be not only enriching and inspirational, but also environmentally, socially and culturally responsible.
One way we give back is by arranging meaningful contact between our guests and the local communities. We support the exchange of cultures and traditions, such as joining a Berber family in Morocco for tea, or taking part in a traditional Pachamanca feast with villagers in Peru. We also support a selection of non-profit organizations and community-based efforts such as the Eziko Restaurant and Cooking School in Cape Town, South Africa providing underprivileged locals with vital cooking skills; the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand supporting the local wildlife and environment; and Finca Marta, a sustainable farm in Cuba developing revolutionary new ways to cultivate food in harmony with the environment.
We are also committed to treading lightly on the beautiful destinations we visit, leaving a small ecological footprint and promoting sustainable tourism. With no more than 12 guests on our culinary trips, we are uniquely positioned to support small, locally-owned businesses and eco-friendly lodging.
Who Travels On Our Culinary Trips?
Since 2001, we have hosted thousands of guests all over the world. While there is no typical Access Culinary Trips guest, we have found over the years that there is one common thread: our guests are passionate about immersing themselves in new cultures and experiencing local cuisine like an insider. Our culinary trips bring together like-minded individuals of all ages – whether they’re traveling solo, as couples, friends, or family. We travel in very small groups, which gives us flexibility to enjoy serendipitous experiences and true insider access. You may start your cooking tour as strangers, but we’re sure that you’ll end your vacation as life-long friends.