South Australia's capital city of Adelaide and the surrounding wine regions, the Barossa and Adelaide Hills, offer the Top 5 Cooking Schools in Australia's Wine Regions for the hungry culinary traveler.
Casa Carboni (pictured above) – Just an hour drive from Adelaide, the Barossa Valley - Australia's most famous wine region - offers the chance to blend authentic Italian and South Australian flavors by enrolling in cooking class at Casa Carboni. The Carboni family, who moved from Parma, northern Italy to the Barossa Valley in 2012, welcomes visitors to enjoy a true Italian food and wine experience. The cooking school is designed for intimate groups to learn to make pasta and other Italian fare in a completely hands-on cooking class using the best of the Barossa Farmers Market's seasonal produce and fresh local free range eggs. Students can accompany Matteo on his outings before class to farms and markets to meet the local characters and learn about the history of where he sources his produce - and then return to the kitchen to prepare meals with it.
- Favorite Class: A Taste of Italy: Tuscan Long Lunch Menu – Participants of this class are invited to join Matteo for a tour of the nearby Barossa Farmers Market at to meet wonderful producers and collect produce for the class. After, students will learn to prepare a traditional long lunch menu from Tuscany using his morning pick of farmers market produce including an antipasto, fresh pasta, gnocchi or risotto and dessert. Recipe booklet included.
Price: $185; www.casacarboni.com.au
Food Luddite – South Australian chef, culinary educator, restaurateur, and former Appellation executive chef Mark McNamara is passing on his culinary secrets at Food Luddite in the beautiful Barossa Valley. Changing with the seasons, classes at the Food Luddite Kitchen Studio are all about food, where it comes from, how it grows, and the simple ways to make it delicious. Conducted in small groups for up to eight people, classes are available year round at the Kitchen Studio, a bright creative space designed to make cooking and learning enjoyable.
- Most delicious class: Everything's Ducky – Chef McNamara aims to change the perception that cooking duck at home is too hard for the average person. Starting with a whole bird, students learn how to portion and make the most of the duck with dishes that include a classic confit, Vietnamese style braise, crisp breast, liver parfait and a hot smoked breast ham. The 4 hour class ends with a shared table meal.
Price: from $175; http://foodluddite.com/learn-2
Sticky Rice Cooking School – An Adelaide Hills cooking school where guests learn how to create restaurant quality dishes in hands-on cooking classes with Australia's masters of Asian, Spanish and Moroccan cuisine. One such class is taught by Sydney guest chef Ty Bellingham, in which students will learn how to cook his award winning Thai cuisine. Dishes include pork dumpling soup, prawns simmered in lemongrass and galangal spice paste, and a spicy southern curry of beef with galangal shoots and black pepper. Finish it off with dessert, which includes caramelized bananas with sweetened white sticky rice. Classes usually run for 4 hours, including time to sit and enjoy the unique and delicious recipes, alongside complementary wine and beer.
- Stay over in picturesque Stirling, Adelaide Hills - the Sticky Rice Cooking School also boasts 3 new villas, where visitors can choose to extend their stay one or more nights. With an abundance of things to do in the area, including over 50 cellar doors in the Adelaide Hills Wine region and gourmet weekend packages that include food tours and private classes in the villas, guests with an interest in cooking and wine won't ever want to leave.
Price: $145; www.stickyricecookingschool.com.au
Udder Delights – Based in Adelaide Hills, Udder Delights Cheese Maker, Sheree Sullivan, has been teaching home cheese making classes since 2007. Sheree's great knowledge, experience, and sense of fun make the class exciting and educational for everyone.
- Easy Cheesy Home Cheese Making Class: Held in the underground cellar, this class will teach students two different styles of cheese making. Learn how to make Quark, Cream Cheese, Feta and Camembert, and take home 1 container of quark, 1 cream cheese, and 4 Feta made in the class. The class includes an extensive cheese tasting, coffee, light lunch and wine. Participants don't have to provide anything other than a willingness to have fun and learn- Sheree provides the rest!
Price: $180, class is 4.5 hours http://udderdelights.com.au/cheesemaking-class-details/
Jacob's Creek – Cooking classes are held in the outdoor kitchen at the historic Jacob's Estate Cottages in the Barossa, an inspirational setting for a hands-on cooking experience. Work in small teams, using produce from the kitchen garden, to produce a gourmet meal. This 4-hour experience is led by Jacob's Creek Visitor Centre Executive Chef, Genevieve Harris, an experienced cooking school chef. After your cooking skills have been put to the test you will enjoy a leisurely lunch matched with Jacob's Creek wines.
Price: $165; www.jacobscreek.com
South Australia offers some of the best cooking schools around the world, and travelers won't want to miss the opportunity to experience first-hand the growing epicurean culture down under.