Steal the Latest Tinseltown Trend: Culinary School Vacations

03/06/2014 at 06:10 PM ET

Matthew Kenny Raw Cooking School
Courtesy Matthew Kenny/Instagram

It’s a tradition in the making. Drew Barrymore, Reese Witherspoon, Cameron Diaz recently holed up at a Napa culinary school to learn the art of pasta-making. It turns out this is a yearly event for the actresses, who previously palled around at a bikini bootcamp in Mexico in 2013.

Did someone say girls’ trip? Borrow their great idea and gather your friends for a foodie bootcamp. Below are a few picks for gourmet getaways.

Pizza-Making at Verace Pizza Napoletana
The Food Network’s Katie Lee recently perfected her pizza skills at L.A.’s Verace Pizza Napoletana, an intensive three-day course taught by Neapolitan pizzaiolis on how to make an authentic homemade pie with fresh ricotta and mozzarella (including the correct technique for drizzling olive oil — who knew?). “But by the end of my three days, they had set me straight and I was on my way to being a pizzaiola,” Lee wrote about her pizza bootcamp.

Culinary Bootcamp at The Biltmore Hotel
Miami’s Biltmore Hotel has its own bootcamp-style culinary school, focused on techniques like knife skills, broiling and roasting. The three-day course promises to get you up to speed on the fundamentals and build appreciation for flavor combos while making and eating roasted Cuban pork tenderloin, chicken curry stew and coconut rice.

Matthew Kenney Raw Cuisine
If raw foods are more your cup of kale, this leading raw food chef offers weekend intensives at his Santa Monica, Calif. studio. Get the scoop on whole, organic, unprocessed, plant-based dishes using the likes of grains, fruit, sprouts and leafy greens. There are even raw chocolate desserts!

Chef Joe Randall’s Taste of Savannah
Welcome to a three-day culinary vacation filled with authentic Southern fare. Your weekend kicks off with a Friday night lesson on how to cook a classic Savannah dinner, then continues with a Saturday picnic lesson — learn how to master an easy do-ahead menu of portable foods. Sunday means Low Country brunch, at which point you’ll have to roll home.

The Cooking School at Blair House Inn
Instructors send you out to pick and collect the herbs you’ll later use at this cooking getaway in Wimberley, Texas, where you’ll master Texas Hill Country cuisine by prepping two breakfasts, two lunches and two dinners over three days. Their goal: to make you a more confident cook by teaching you how to shop, prepare and present. Leave with a recipe book so you can impress your friends back home with your newfound skills.

League of Kitchens
These intensive five-and-a-half hour N.Y.C. workshops put you straight into the home kitchen of chefs native to Korea, India, Lebanon, Greece and more. There, you’ll be immersed in that country’s cuisine — from mastering unfamiliar spices to learning about longstanding dining traditions — as you chop, slice, dice, sautee and more. Finish with a meal around a kitchen table; when you leave, you’ll feel like family.


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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms


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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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I seemed to be on the cusp / learning curve as spouse and took a a culinary vacation before the “stars” even though about it.
Back in 1995, spouse and I took a wonderful trip to the south of France for a memorable ~culinary vacation.~ We stayed in French woman’s home for one week where ea day we ventured to the various market places in the region, taught her class how to look for and shop for the freshest ingredients. Ea night we learned how to prepare the cuisine of the region in her quaint kitchen, then feast afterwards and drink the wonderful wines of the region. Our newly found friend, the french cook, was featured in House Beautiful , New Yorker Magazine.
A trip of a lifetime!

Anonymous on

Last I checked Savannah was in Georgia

Guest on

Last time I checked Savannah was located in Georgia not South Carolina.