Active Gourmet Holidays
Active Gourmet Holidays

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December News from Active Gourmet Holidays

  Active Gourmet HolidaysGreetings from Active Gourmet Holidays!

The holiday season is upon us and what better gift to yourself or a loved one than a foodie vacation! Try our fabulous new  "Slovenia and Croatia Food Journey". Delve into the Slovenia food scene through foodie walks, cooking classes and outstanding wines. You'll even go for a truffle hunt in Croatia with specially trained dogs. And if cycling is of interest, try our new "Biking and Cooking in Portugal" tour marrying activity with cooking classes and gourmet food. Last but not least, we feature our talented chef who invites you to her beautiful art deco apartment in the heart of Cannes and she also shares this month's recipe with us (see below).  "Culinary Cannes". 

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Dec 2016 News - Slovenia-Croatia Food JourneySlovenia and Croatia Food Journey 
Slovenia/Croatia- 7 nights  
Available May to September - Friday to Thursday

Enjoy a night out in the capital as you eat where the locals do during a comprehensive 'foodie' walk of Ljubljana. Savour five courses of regional specialties paired with award-winning wines in beautiful Goriska Brda. Check out a 1000 year-old castle and taste traditional cakes by gorgeous Lake Bled. Sniff around for truffles in the forests of Croatia with specially trained dogs. Roll out traditional fresh pastas and create dishes with herbs, locally-sourced foods and olive oils and top it all off with some terrific wines that you've never tasted before.
Dec 2016 Active Gourmet Holidays newsBiking and Cooking in Portugal 
Alentejo, Portugal - 4 nights
Available March to November  (excluding August and November)
Delight yourself with the diversity of the rich Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park Biodiversity. Bike around the most fantastic Portuguese beaches. This tour, along the Southern Portuguese sea coast, is like a banquet for your senses. Let us help you help you enjoy and discover the Alentejo.

Dec 2016 AGH News Culinary CannesCulinary Cannes
Cannes, France
Available February to November - Tuesday to Sunday 
Enjoy a cooking class at a multi award winning venue in Cannes, France. The classes are taught by a trained professional chef who is also a published author working on a recipe book. You will go shopping to choose your ingredients for the morning cooking class at the local market and then have a hands-on lesson with lunch in a stylish, yet casual, Art Deco apartment in the heart of Cannes. This is a great way to discover the culinary delights of Southern France and to get an insider's view of the Cote d'Azur. 
  "Hi Jo-Ann, We are home and want you to know that we LOVED the trip. The weather was perfect -75 and sunny everyday. We thank you for organizing this wonderful trip....special time with special friends."
Carol W., Ponte Vedra, Florida
(" Culinary Cannes"  Program
Check out this sophisticated velvety and smooth soup from our talented chef in Cannes, France.


1 oz dried ceps (porcini mushrooms)
4 cups boiling water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup Cognac
1 lbs button mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 medium leeks, thinly sliced, white and tender green parts only
1 medium size carrot, peeled & thinly sliced
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon very finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 1/2 cups freshly roasted chestnuts or store bought peeled roasted vacuum-packed chestnuts
3 cups homemade chicken stock
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 oz fresh ceps (porcini mushrooms) thinly sliced
*Ceps are the French equivalent of porcini mushrooms*

Dec 2016 News - Recipe Culinary Cannes


In a large heatproof bowl, soak the dried porcini in the boiling water until softened, about 20 minutes. Remove the mushrooms. Strain the liquid into a bowl through a sieve lined with moistened light cheesecloth or a paper towel. Rinse the porcini to remove any remaining grit and finely chop.

In a saucepan, melt the butter and add the chopped porcinis, button mushrooms, leeks, carrot, celery and rosemary and cook over moderate heat while stirring occasionally until the vegetables are nicely browned, 15 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the cognac and scrape any browned bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. Reduce liquid until you have 1 tablespoon left, about 2-3 minutes. Add the chestnuts and stock. 

Add 3 cups of the strained porcini soaking liquid and season with salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil and simmer over moderate heat until the chestnuts are very tender, about 30 minutes. Add the cream and let cool slightly. Puree in a blender until completely smooth and keep warm until ready to serve.

In a medium sized skillet, heat the oil. Add the sliced porcinis, season with salt and pepper and cook over medium high heat until lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the sautéed porcinis and a drizzle of crème fraiche and good quality olive oil. Serve hot with crusty French baguette.

The soup can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 3 days.


Contact Information
Active Gourmet Holidays
Jo-Ann Gaidosz
Phone: 1.203.732.0771
Fax: 1.203.732.5125
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Skype: active.gourmet.holidays  


Hi Jo-Ann - We wanted to let you know that we had an AMAZING time at the cooking school. My mother and I could not have had a better time. Paola and Simonetta were such wonderful hosts and teachers. We were treated like family. The house and property were beautiful. The hands-on cooking classes were so much fun...we learned so many great recipes that I cannot wait to test on my friends back home. I will definitely be recommending this experience to all of my friends and colleagues. Thank you so much for all of your help in setting up this once-in-a-lifetime dream vacation. It is something neither one of us will ever forget!


Best, Erin S. and Flor V.,
New York, New York

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