Ever wish you could meet and eat with your favorite celebrity chef? Now you can choose from a growing number of gastronomic getaways designed to let ordinary cooks rub (and sometimes bend) elbows with the superstars of the kitchen. It's a tasty way to learn the tricks of the culinary trade. --By Lisa McLaughlin
NEW YORK Name: The Gourmet Institute Dates: Oct. 21-23, '05 This venerable cookaway program offers a weekend in the test kitchens of Gourmet magazine and features seminars with editor Ruth Reichl and classes by some of the world's most celebrated chefs, including Floyd Cardoz, Eric Ripert and Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
MIAMI Name: South Beach Wine & Food Festival Dates: Feb. 24-26, '06 A Moët & Chandon "BubbleQ" with grillmaster Bobby Flay kicks off this foodfest featuring the cooking of Michael Mina, Scott Conant and Laurent Tourandel, plus a dinner with host Anthony Bourdain in honor of revered Spanish chef Ferran Adria.
ASPEN, COLO. Name: Food & Wine Classic Dates: June 16-18, '06 Registration begins in November for three days of seminars, tastings, cooking classes and reserve-wine sippings with master sommelier Andrea Immer Robinson, cheese expert Laura Werlin and chefs José Andrés, Mario Batali, Bobby Flay, Wolfgang Puck, Jacques Pépin.
AUSTIN, TEXAS Name: Saveur Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival Dates: The first weekend each April Todd English, Diana Kennedy and Tyler Florence were this year's featured chefs. Also on the table: a showcase of Texas culinary talent and a cowboy breakfast with Czech and German touches from the hill country.
BERMUDA Name: Bermuda Culinary Arts Festival Dates: Oct. 21-24, '05 Such top chefs as Bourdain, Pino Maffeo and Michael Lomonaco will converge on the island, known for pink sand beaches and a growing culinary scene, for seminars on organic farming, chef demonstrations and a Bermuda fish-chowder competition.