Nothing beats true Italian pizza, so learn how to cook your own at one of these top culinary learning holidays.

We all know the gratification that comes with discovering a new culture by way of its cuisine, but there is nothing more disappointing then having to leave all the wonderful food behind. So what if you could bring the Italian pasta, Turkish delights and Thai curry dishes home to your own kitchen? Luckily, it is not that hard. If you have a passion for cooking and eating and are interested in the foods of the world, then take a look at these top culinary learning holidays where you will learn how to master all the local favourites.

Nothing beats New York

New York City is known to be a melting pot of different people, cultures, and most importantly, cuisines. This city is an ideal location to learn how to make all different types of food, and what better place to do so than at the Institute of Culinary Education. While this school is for chefs-in-training, they offer several recreational cooking classes for A$150, that are perfect if you are only in the city that never sleeps for a week or two. Sign up for ‘Techniques of Italian Cooking’ or ‘Vegan Donut Workshop’ and you will be heading back home with a whole new set of skills in the kitchen.

Dine with the French

Duck confit and foie gras are staples on any French menu, and making these delicacies at home is an easy way to relive your Paris getaway any night of the week. One of the best French cooking schools is Two Bordealis in Bordeaux—spend a week here for A$5700. This classic cooking school is run by a husband-and-wife team in their very own rustic farmhouse. These two do not venture far from the French classics, and make sure not to miss the private châteaux wine tastings so you can blow your guests even further away by presenting a divine French meal with a skilfully paired wine.

Enjoy a plateful in India

Phikipkutty’s Farm is the place to go if you want to immerse yourself in Indian recipes, styles of cooking and ingredients. Located in the scenic backwaters of the Malabar Coast, this cooking destination hosts a multitude of classes centred on traditional family recipes. Learn how to make everything from chutneys and classic appam bread to authentic vegetable thoran and delicious curry dishes all for A$285. This water-front culinary school is an ideal way to learn all about the Indian way of cooking with a magnificent scenic backdrop.

Have a taste of Thailand

World renowned Thai chef Jaiphak Na Chiang Mai runs the 137 Pillars House Hotel, where he produces exquisite Thai meals. Fans of Thai food who are eager to master classic dishes like prawn soup and green curry with chicken will not be disappointed. This colonial-style Hotel does not only teach you how to cook like a Thai native, but the school fully immerses you into the culture by allowing students to visit the Tanin Market, where you can shop for local ingredients before pulling out your mortar and pestle.

Open wide in Beijing

Lilian Chou, a famous Beijing chef, leads private day tours and cooking classes at Bespoke Beijing starting at A$700. Her cooking classes give visitors an authentic taste of the city as she guides you through Sanyuanli Market to sample regional specialities like rolled bean crêpes and candied hawthorns. While it may seem difficult, leave room for more after all the samples, because her Chef Chou’s courses end with a family-style meal of pickles, steamed buns, dumplings and braised goose.

Get your utensils ready for Australia

The Agrarian Kitchen is a working farm north of Hobart and is home to an extensive vegetable garden, a beautiful orchard and massive berry patch. This cooking school, starting at A$525, offers quite a variety of different lessons where students can learn everything from making pasta by hand to cooking with truffles. If you are interested in cooking, quite literally, farm-to-table, then do not miss out on the multi-day master classes on farming techniques that teach things like plucking chickens and whole-hog butchery.

‘Mi amor’ Italian

… Especially Italian pizza. Nothing truly beats an authentic Italian pizza pie with homemade tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese and hand-picked basil. Such a mouth-watering dish is easy to come by in Naples, Italy. If you are looking to take this traditional Italian meal back home, sign up for a weeklong class at Pizza Consulting with owner and master, Enzo Coccia, for A$1350. You will learn all the secrets behind famous Neapolitan pizza, from buying the right flour, to how to correctly fire a wood-burning oven.

Enjoy the south in New Orleans

While New Orleans may not be one the first places you think of when choosing a destination for an experiential cooking holiday, this southern city does not mess around with honest home-cookin’. At Langlois Culinary Crossroads, Louisiana cookbook author Amy Cyrex-Sins offers half-day courses starting at A$115 in her converted grocery store. This cooking school does not hold back and has its students whipping up chicken gumbo, red beans and rice, and other down-home classics that have made New Orleans one of America’s regional-food capitals.

Bite into Belize

A trip to Central America is most definitely not complete without tasting some of the best cacao in the world. Home to some of the greatest chocolate, Belize also offers outstanding cooking lessons with this delectable ingredient. Check out Belcampo to explore the world of cacao starting at A$1900 during a four-day master class. Learn exactly how chocolate is processed from roots-to-bar and then dive into the amazing recipes you can make with this delectable desert. Seriously, who would turn down an all-chocolate culinary trip?

Dish out on Vietnamese

If you are a pho fan, then during your next holiday to Vietnam you must venture to the Hanoi Cooking Centre led by chef and cookbook author Tracey Lister and her partner Linh Dinh Phung. Starting at only A$75, this cooking school is located near the city’s Old Quarter, and their hands-on, half-day lessons are on everything from authentic northern highlands dishes to tasty street-food staples. Make sure you schedule a lesson that includes a walking tour which allows students to stop for pho, French-colonial-influenced pastries and their famous ca phe, which is iced coffee with condensed milk.

In all the excitement of planning your culinary learning holiday, it is easy to get lost in the amazing recipes you will learn and delicious food you will get to create. However, just do not forget to purchase international travel insurance so you are totally covered on your overseas cooking experience.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Daniela Vladimirova; cropped from original