Zicasso’s 11-day custom food and wine vacation through Argentina takes guests from the cosmopolitan city of Buenos Aires, to the mountains and glaciers of Bariloche and to the wine country of Mendoza, all while indulging in Argentina’s gastronomical history and renaissance.
Travelers will have the opportunity to shop in local food markets, participate in authentic cooking classes, enjoy home-cooked meals with Argentine families, discover great Argentine wine, dine at a trendy closed-door restaurant, and speak with locally renowned chefs who are creating a new national cuisine based on sourcing locally-grown ingredients. Prices start at $3,825 per person, double occupancy and include hotel accommodations, all breakfasts, domestic flights, guided city tours, food market visits, wine tastings, wine tour, cooking class, asado barbecue, curanto lunch, dinner at a closed-door restaurant and cultural activities.
Upon arriving in Buenos Aires, the first culinary adventure begins with a food tour: A local chef will take guests to explore a traditional bakery, butcher shop and bustling outdoor market. Here they will learn about different types of Argentine pastries (facturas) and various cuts of Argentina’s renowned meats. Later, guests will join their local guide in her rustic kitchen, learning to prepare crispy beef and corn empanadas while discussing the influence of indigenous food preparation on contemporary Argentine cuisine. The afternoon ends with an exceptional four course meal and wine tasting. In the evening guests will enjoy a traditional dinner followed by a sultry tango show.
On the third day, guests will travel south to Bariloche, where they will experience a traditional Argentine barbecue, known as an asado, with a local family. While in Patagonia, food lovers will also have the opportunity to try an age-old Patagonian curanto, originating in Chile, which involves cooking meats, fruits and vegetables on hot stones above an outdoor pit. On the last day here, guests will embark from the port of Puerto Tunquelen to sail Lake Nahuel Huapi and explore deep glacial fjords, numerous waterfalls, and the dense Valdivian rainforest.
On the sixth day, travelers will head to Mendoza, a wine lover’s paradise, where they will spend the next two days visiting local wineries and touring three iconic bodegas to taste and learn all about the origins of local wine making and innovations. The next day will be spent touring landmarks in Mendoza, such as the city museum, and the ruins of San Francisco before an afternoon visit to a local vineyard. Here guests will attend a cooking class with chef Cristina Brino where they will learn to prepare local delicacies using local ingredients from a finca, or estate home, such as clay oven empanadas mendocinas and caramelized fruit desserts.
Guests will return to Buenos Aires for the final two days where they will embark on an historical tour of this city of contrasts, where European and Latin American elements converge. To top off this unique culinary experience, guests will enjoy a final dinner at a “closed-door restaurant,” one of the world’s hottest growing gastronomic trends in which innovative chefs create exclusive menus, often featuring farm-to-table produce, and serve them in intimate venues to private audiences. At Casa Coupage, one of the best such restaurants, guests will dine on modern Argentine haute cuisine paired with carefully selected wines in an intimate setting that delights all senses.
For those who particularly want to explore Argentina’s high-end gastronomy, guests can have the option to spend a day with a gastronomic chef. The experience can include the chef showing guests some favorite markets and buying food to prepare their own private dinner. Then, the chef can either cook for the guests at a special “chef’s table” or guests can cook with the chef.