Relish Culinary Tours

Relish Culinary Tours

November 21, 2007 11:00 ET

Toronto Company to Launch Luxury Culinary Tours to Europe

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 21, 2007) - Canadian travel agency Helen Thompson Travel is partnering with a culinary travel host to offer luxury gastronomic adventures to an elite clientele of food and wine enthusiasts, with the first two excursions planned to southern Italy and northern Spain in spring 2008.

Relish Culinary Tours, based in Toronto, specializes in providing privately escorted small-group adventures for foodies interested in travelling the world in search of celebrated Michelin-starred restaurants and world renowned wineries as well as treasured local eateries you wouldn't find in a guide book - all while taking in the iconic sights and idyllic landscapes that Europe has to offer.

Part of the inspiration for the tours came from Relish's commitment to give back to the countries' local food artisans, agricultural industries and culinary associations, to help preserve gastronomic and cultural heritage.

"We're hoping to incite a new kind of tourism, one that promotes international cooperation, respect and a renewed appreciation for truly culturally immersive experiences," says Annie Sibonney, Toronto-based chef and Relish escort. "It's important to us to leave the country more bountiful than when we arrive, enriched with truly memorable relationships and experiences."

The price for these inaugural 10-day trips starts at CAD $8,500 per person and includes luxurious accommodations, meals and cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, guides and travel within the countries. Airfare to Rome or Barcelona is not included.

"Trends have changed and luxury travellers want to live unique and authentic experiences," says Sibonney. "Today more people expect the meals to be to just as unforgettable as the sights."

Highlights of the Italy trip include the majestic surroundings of the Amalfi Coast and the Isle of Capri, Rome's stunning monuments, an afternoon with famed Italian chef and grandmother Mama Agata in the picturesque hilltop town of Ravello, a visit to where the pizza Margherita was invented in Naples and an unforgettable meal at the Michelin-coveted Don Alfonso 1890 restaurant in Sant' Agata.

In northern Spain, the focus turns to Catalonia, La Rioja and the Basque region, which boasts the most Michelin-starred restaurants per capita than anywhere else in Europe, where world-famous chefs such as Juan Mari Arzak, Martin Berasategui and Pedro Subijana call home. Travellers will indulge in everything from unforgettable traditional delicacies such as tapas to the experimental "molecular gastronomy" that has put Spain on the world map of culinary innovation.

Future destinations include Chile and Argentina; Japan; Australia and New Zealand; and Morocco.

For a preview of the tours, including trip highlights and photos, visit:

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