The Grand Gourmet aims to expose our guests to the most mind blowing culinary experience upland South East Asia has to offer. Food is one of the major social lubricants in China and various forms of food preparation and consumption play a huge role in daily life. With its lowest and highest points respectably 70 to almost 7000 meters, the land is truly mind-blowingly diverse and in turn inhabited by the most colorful assortment of ethnic tribes the continent has to offer. It goes without saying that this province is not only the holy land for the sourcing of fresh and wild ingredients, it also sports some of the ablest cooks and kitchens, adding verve and passion to the mind-blowing variety of fresh ingredients. On this trip, we will take you into these kitchens for a truly hands-on experience!
The border town of Mangshi is most famous in China for its BBQ. First thing in the morning we’ll be visiting the biggest wet markets in the area and meet a local BBQ master. We’ll be shopping together for all kinds of exotic wild herbs, flowers and get the freshest cuts of local free-range meats. After this, we’ll be taken to a giant outdoor kitchen where we will be taught in an interactive workshop on how to operate the infamous Mangshi fire grill. Also, we’ll be learning all the secrets of a Yunnanese wild herb salad.
On the way to Tengchong, we’ll organize a visit to a Pu’er tea plantation in the foothills of the Gaoligong Mountain. We’ll get a chance to walk around the tea fields and learn about tea cultivation, processing and consuming. We’ll press our own personal piece of Pu’er cake! Afterwards, we’ll have a comprehensive tasting in which we learn about all the different varieties of local tea.
Most of the real insiders know it for sure: Tengchong is the capital of Yunnan food. We won’t only take you to all the best restaurants, we’ll also learn how to make the town’s most famous dish: fried rice cake. The course will be combined with a visit to the exciting weekly market and a very local rice cake workshop. And the place has more to offer than food. We will take you to some of back alleys in trading towns to view fermented tofu factories, dip in Yunnan’s best hot springs, and investigate the rich local history through some of the most intricate Ming dynasty architecture!
To move east from this fascinating western outpost, we will cross the enthralling forested slopes of the Gaoligong Mountains. Then our route will take us through one of the most amazing sub-tropical hot spots of SW China, the Salween Valley.
A road trip along Baoshan and Yongping will take us through some serious off the beaten path gastronomic hot spots. We’ll invite you for a gigantic tribal feast at the best Jingpo restaurant of the province. Our destination is further west, to the source of the Red River. Right here, we’ll find a lively Muslim community. People will have the doors of their historic courtyards open for us to join them in the kitchen and show us all the ins and outs of local Halal Cuisine.
The road leads south to Yunnan’s most ancient county towns called Weishan. Here we’ll check into a comfortable and nicely renovated courtyard hotel and try all the different street snacks we can find in the authentic old trading street. To digest our meal(s), we’ll visit one of the most sacred Daoist mountains in China in the morning before heading to Dali.
Our tour culminates with a grand finale in Dali, where Luxi will take you to on one last culinary super tour. We will organize all different cooking workshops that are possible in the cooking school. Next to that, we’ll be going to interesting markets, all of the best restaurants, tea places and workshops where they produce local delicacies. Our last meal together will be a home made hot pot, all the ingredients sourced ourselves in a nearby market and all the know how on how to reproduce this at home!
We hold the authority to make slight changes to the program depending on the conditions.
WEATHER AND PACKING INFO