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Travel: Cooking Out

Learn home cuisine without the mess in your kitchen.


“I conduct cooking demonstrations and everybody in the workshop gets to try each dish as I am finishing it off,” Loos explains. “We try to make it user-friendly. We want everyone to leave the class and know how to make the dish once they get home.”

Classes cover everything from scones for your afternoon tea to beer and barbecue for a neighborhood picnic. “I’m excited about the beer and barbecue workshop,” Loos admits. “It’s going to be down-to-earth fun.”

Boasting old-world décor accented by beautiful furnishings and antiques, the Founders Inn has the charm and appeal of a country inn. In the winter, gas-burning fireplaces in the rooms add warmth and romance. In the spring and summer, the property’s lake and English gardens offer quiet solitude. For those who don’t want to skip their workouts, the inn has a two-story fitness center with a team of certified instructors. You can take advantage of aerobics classes and saunas, as well as advanced strength-training equipment. And, since it’s in Virginia Beach, there will be lots to do when you’re not in class, ranging from sun worshipping on the beach (only a few miles away) to sightseeing and golf.

If you find the beauty of Virginia’s mountains more enticing, the Homestead in Hot Springs offers a culinary school staffed by guest chefs. The next session, from May 7-9, features Roberto Donna, chef and owner of Galileo in Washington. The restaurant was named one of the “10 Best Italian Restaurants in America” by Wine Spectator magazine, and one of the 20 finest Italian restaurants in the world by the president of Italy. An award-winning chef and restaurateur, Donna is a native Italian committed to introducing his students to authentic Italian cuisine.

Surrounded by the natural splendor of the Allegheny Mountains, the Homestead is a throwback to Southern elegance and hospitality. With lofty marble columns in the lobby, the elegance of its traditional décor and romantic carriage rides, the hotel stands as a tribute to its Southern heritage. Along with world-class golf, you can enjoy horseback riding, hiking, biking, fly fishing, shooting sports and more. If that’s not enough, a fitness center, spring-fed indoor pool and nightly movies should keep you occupied for a while.

The Founders Inn

5641 Indian River Road, Virginia Beach

(800) 926-4466

April 24: Springtime Tea in Southern Virginia. Features scones, favorite tea sandwiches and petit fours with tea selections. $22 per person, plus tax and gratuity.

June 5: Summertime Beer & Barbecue. Includes Virginia microbrew Legend with favorite barbecue sauces and rubs. $24 per person, plus tax and gratuity.

Sept. 11: Local Virginia Harvest. Enjoy Prince Michel Winery of Culpeper, paired with favorite produce from Pungo, Matthews and Franklin. $24 per person, plus tax and gratuity.

The Homestead

US Route 200, Main Street in Hot Springs

(800) 838-1766

May 7-9: Culinary Class with Roberto Donna. The Culinary School package is $308 per person, per night and includes resort accommodations, breakfast and dinner daily, welcome reception, cooking school, group luncheon, dinner with guest chef and a keepsake chef’s coat and hat.

April 15-18: Tenth Annual Food & Wine Spectacular. Nationally renowned chefs and master sommeliers will gather to present their best offerings at the Homestead’s 10th annual Spectacular. The weekend will kick off with a Tasting Extravaganza on Friday and culminates with the Grande Finale Dinner on Saturday


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