New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans Food, Culture & History Tour
March 8 – 14, 2020
Join Chef Charlie and his amazing New Orleans cooking friends for a dynamic and unforgettable week of amazing food and culture in the "The Big Easy." Named one of the best food cities in America, this is a not-to-be-missed tour for anyone wanting to experience the unique fusion of life, music, food and cocktail culture!
Tour highlights include:
DAY 1: Sunday, March 8: Departure / Travel Day: Arrive New Orleans airport. Transfers to our luxury French Quarter accommodations at the enchanting, Hotel Mazarin. Welcome evening begins at Arnaud's, (the "grande dame" of Creole dining since 1918), at the French 75 bar for classic cocktails, appetizers and a visit to their Mardi Gras Museum. A private dinner will follow in the secluded, underground wine cellar at the beautiful Rib Room. Chef Amy Sins will join us for dinner and visit with us while she prepares, live, a classic Cajun Gumbo and demonstrates a flambé. This evening will get you comfortable with the ins and outs of Cajun & Creole cuisine, we will tell ghost stories, and have lots of fun! Beyond our dinner, Chef Amy will share a taste of her gumbo!
DAY 2: Monday, March 9: Breakfast at the hotel. We begin our week with an historic 3-hour French Quarter walking tour and visit to St. Louis Cemetery #1 with New Orleans native Naif Shahady. We will become oriented with the layout of the French Quarter as he brings to life the people, food, music, and mystic that is New Orleans. Shortly after, we meet Chef Amy to visit the Westwego Shrimp Lot, where you never know what will happen, the morning might even start with an eye-opening cocktail at Hollywood’s Bar! Together we will meet and purchase seafood from the local vendors, and then head over to Chef Amy’s house in the French Quarter to prepare an authentic Southern dinner in her home and share the meal in her lovely courtyard!
DAY 3: Tuesday, March 10: Breakfast at the hotel. Today, it's time to give back...
Our morning begins with a 3-hour, hands-on "giving back" cooking class at Second Harvest Foodbank. Working with Chef Susan and her team we will help to prepare meals for families in need throughout South Louisiana; a unique way to learn about Southern cuisine, and impact the community at the same time! After our efforts, it will be time to relax with Chef Jason Seither at Seither's Seafood. Chef Jason will lead us on a tour of his kitchen and prepare a fabulous Louisiana seafood feast. In the evening, we will visit City Park and Morning Call to savor the BEST beignets in the city!
DAY 4: Wednesday, March 11: Breakfast at the hotel. Morning free to sleep in, or explore on your own, maybe we will take a ride out to the Ninth Ward Living Museum. The afternoon is devoted to an unscripted, culinary entertainment experience in the Garden District with Chef Octavio Ycaza of Crescent Culinary and Standing Room Only: a walking tour that takes us behind the scenes to a number of local restaurants, with history, stories and more! The evening concludes with front row seats for a set at the legendary Preservation Hall!
DAY 5: Thursday, March 12: Breakfast at the hotel. Free morning to explore. Exclusive, private dining room lunch at the legendary Commander's Palace Restaurant in the Garden District; always a must-stop on a New Orleans visit! Afternoon free to shop and relax. Dinner and music at Bacchanal, where food, wine and culture collude to create an exceptionally, unique evening in the Bywater District. Courtyard dining under the stars while listening to some of the best original jazz in New Orleans. For those up to it, our evening ends on Royal and Frenchman Streets for jazz and dancing!
DAY 6: Friday, March 13: Breakfast at the hotel. Free morning to relax, or shop, or eat, or visit or re-visit favorite spots. Our farewell dinner is a unique, private dining experience at the Mosquito Supper Club, "a Cajun experiment created to celebrate the bounty of shrimpers, oyster fishermen, crabbers and farmers that define the cuisine."
DAY 6: Saturday, March 14: Departure / Travel Day. Breakfast on own. Free morning to relax, or shop, or eat, or visit or re-visit favorite spots. Afternoon transfers to the New Orleans airport for departures.
Airfare / Travel Insurance:
Guests to purchase own airfare using miles and preferred class and upgrades. Guests are free to arrive earlier or stay longer than the published itinerary, but are responsible to meet the group at stated times. Travel insurance is highly recommended.
Ground Costs Included:
• Round-trip transfers from airport to hotel and return
• 6 - nights premium lodging at Hotel Monteleone, French Quarter, New Orleans
• 1 breakfast together on our first morning at the Ruby Slipper Café
• Most lunches and dinners (excluding cocktails and wine), as described in daily itinerary
• 5 full or partial-day tours / cooking classes with local guides / chefs during stay
• Epicurean Exchange custom apron for cooking
• Total ground cost: $2,995 (per person, double occupancy). Single supplement available, for an additional fee of $750.
Ground Costs Not Included:
• Cocktails and wine
• Late-night (after dinner) snacks, desserts and beverages
• Personal Lunches / Snacks when we are out-and-about and have planned dinner meals, and other personal food not described on the itinerary
• Personal / shopping expenses
Deposit: $1,395 for each traveler to secure space and reservation.
Balance Due: Friday, January 5th: $1,600 for double occupancy; $2,350 for single travelers.
Payments: Cash or checks accepted; PayPal invoicing for credit / debit card payments
Tour is limited 12 guests. Reservations are secured by deposit on a first-come, first-served basis.
Cancellation Policy: We are willing to work with all our guests should situations arise that require guests to cancel plans with us. Please understand we have guidelines to ensure that both the operator and our guests are treated fairly. With that, travel insurance is highly recommended, to reimburse you should cancellation be necessary. Epicurean Exchange reserves the right to cancel a tour due to low enrollment or other circumstances which would make the trip non-viable. Deposits and balances paid will be refunded if the trip is canceled by the operator. Travelers can cancel up to 60 days prior to departure and receive a full refund of their deposit. Understand that as a small, boutique operator, even one last-minute cancellation can be an issue for the operator and other travelers. Therefore, after deposits and tour balances are received (all 60 days or less prior to departure) they are non-refundable. Travelers have the option to recruit another traveler to take their place or file with their insurance carrier to recover costs of the trip.
Accommodations at the Enchanting,
the Diamond of the French Quarter
Meet your Chef and Culinary Guide
Chef Charles Vollmar
Meet our NOLA Culinary Partner
Guide and Chef Instructor, Amy Sins
Chef Amy Sins is a born-and-raised South Louisiana girl with Cajun and Creole cooking woven into her culinary DNA!
Amy didn’t follow the typical path of a New Orleans chef. No years in culinary school or kitchen stints at marquee restaurants. She was wired for cooking and entertaining as a kid, watching her parents’ elaborate southern dinner parties unfold. In 2005, Amy did some deep-down soul-searching and walked away from a career in pharmaceutical sales to pursue her true love: cooking, teaching, and entertaining. In 2012, Amy opened Langlois as a next-generation interactive dining restaurant in the Marigny. Four years later, Amy took Langlois “mobile” to reach a wider audience, and closed the brick-and-mortar restaurant. Today, Amy is the ringleader of the Langlois traveling culinary circus.
Langlois has received local, regional and national praise, including selection as one of the “Best Cooking Schools Around the World” by Travel + Leisure. Amy was named one of Southern Living magazine’s “Southerners of the Year” in 2016. In 2015, Amy was honored in Gambit’s annual 40 Under 40 list in 2015, and nominated for “The Best Chefs of Louisiana: Up and Coming Chefs” (2014) by the prestigious American Culinary Federation. In 2012, Amy won the GSN’s reality show cooking competition, “Beat the Chefs.” Amy is also the author of the award-winning “Ruby Slippers Cookbook: Life, Culture, Family & Food after Katrina.”
When she’s not cooking, traveling, or hosting private culinary events around New Orleans, Chef Amy hosts “New Orleans by Mouth,” a weekly radio program on WRBH 88.3 FM.
Chef Charlie with our amazing NOLA partners Chef Amy and Chef Melisande
Bourbon Street, French Quarter
"Music Around Every Corner!"
Arnaud's: the "Grand Dame" of Creole
dining since 1918
Preservation Hall since 1961
Protect. Preserve. Perpetuate.
Traditional New Orleans Jazz