Come On in My Kitchen
Blame it on the Naked Chefsuddenly everyone wants to know how to roll the perfect lumpia. Here are four resorts where you don't have to forgo active pursuits just to don your toque.
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THE PALMS CLIFF HOUSE INN, BIG ISLAND, HAWAII
A Guide to Cooking SchoolsCHOP, EAT, PLAY, REPEAT: Erna's Elderberry House, near Yosemite
What's Cooking: Ask to tour family farms, including a vanilla plantation, then learn how to make Pacific Rim dishes, like ginger-infused scallop lau lau. Can't Stand the Heat? Take a sunset paddle on Hilo Bay in a double-hulled canoe. Bedding Down: Most of the eight guest rooms have private lanais. Be sure to indulge in the lomi lomi pohaku massage, a vigorous Hawaiian technique using hot stones.
Four-hour sessions, including dinner, cost $110 per person (plantation tours by request). Doubles, $175–$375, including breakfast; 808-963-6076, www.palmscliffhouse.com
COMIDA DE CAMPOS, NEW MEXICO
What's Cooking: At this 17-acre sustainable family farm an hour north of Santa Fe, students help harvest ingredients for green chile stew and salsa fresca. Can't Stand the Heat? Explore 700-year-old pueblos in Bandelier National Monument. Bedding Down: Rancho de San Juan is a luxe, Mexican-tiled 15-room adobe hacienda on 225 acres about 18 miles south of the farm.
THE GREENBRIER, WEST VIRGINIA
What's Cooking: Grill guru Steven Raichlen runs BBQ U, a series of three-day intensives in the art of smoking and grilling that include Memphis baby backs, cedar-planked salmon, and grilled corn chowder. Can't Stand the Heat? Bike the Greenbrier's 6,500 acres in the Allegheny Mountains or raft the Gauley's Class V rapids. Bedding Down: Stay in one of 803 opulent guest rooms.
The last session for 2004 is September 19–22. The cost is $2,978 per couple, including three nights' lodging, three half-day classes, and use of all facilities at the Greenbrier. Greenbrier Cooking School, 800-228-5049, www.greenbrier.com
ERNA'S ELDERBERRY HOUSE, CALIFORNIA
What's Cooking: Whip up lemongrass risotto in a one- or three-day session at this estate in the Sierra foothills. Can't Stand the Heat? Hike, rock-climb, or fly-fish in Yosemite National Park (20 minutes away) with Southern Yosemite Mountain Guides (800-231-4575, www.symg.com). Bedding Down: Get in touch with your inner aristocrat in one of ten European-style rooms or a villa at Château du Sureau.
Tuition for the three-day session is $1,250 per person, including three luncheons and three six-course dinners. Discounted rooms for students start at $315 per night. Saturday one-day classes, $230 per person. 559-683-0860, www.chateaudusureau.com