Food Guide: Basel, Switzerland

Fondue, pretzels, flammkuchen, leckerli, beer… there is no shortage of deliciousness in Basel! Along with Swiss specialties like fondue, there’s also great international food in this diverse culinary hotspot. Of course, you’ll taste influences from nearby Germany and France, but the result is a unique type of quality Swiss food that you can only find in Basel.

I ate my way around this city, from breakfast, to lunch to dinner, to many sweets, pretzels, cocktails and beer in between. Trust me–bring your appetite and check out this video for suggestions of Basel’s best, before you go.
Featured: Confiserie Bachmann, Berower Park, Kunsthalle Basel, Walliser Kanne, Ueli Brewery

Valais Luxury Switzerland

Luxury Guide of the Valais, Switzerland

24 hour travel guide to geneva switzerland

24 Hours in Geneva, Switzerland

    A mix of culture, history, luxury, great food, iconic sites and lakeside views–it’s not too hard to have a perfect day ins Geneva. I toured through this charming city, which feels more like a village, in order to share my favorite spots with you. The Old Town, or Vieille Ville, the Carouge neighborhood, […]

borgo santo pietro tuscan cooking school

How to be a Michelin Starred Chef in Italy: Tuscany’s Cooking School

If you like Italian food and think being a renowned chef could be an exciting career change for you, I’ll tell you how to do it. It’s easy… well sort of.

Step 1: Book yourself a ticket to Italy and then make your way to Tuscany.

Step 2: Enroll at a cooking school at a prestigious boutique hotel, where your instructors are all Michelin starred chefs. (I’d suggest either Borgo Santo Pietro, a flawless luxury boutique hotel with their own vegetable gardens and farm, or Il Falconiere, an inviting, family run high-end boutique nestled on an olive garden.)

Step 3: Put on the apron and roll up your sleeves because you will be getting pasta dough, ricotta and olive oil

Step 4: Follow your teachers examples and create culinary masterpieces, with your own personal spin of course.

Step 5: Wait for Michelin to call you.

Okay, it might not be that easy, but these courses definitely give you a start.
I’ve been to Italy over a dozen times and have lived in Tuscany and Umbria for extended periods. On my recent two week trip to Tuscany this past summer, my favorite memories were when my hair was covered in flour, my arm muscles burning from kneading pasta dough and mouth salivating from the Tuscan aromas wafting from our army of pots and pans in a working kitchen. I love EATING Italian food, who knew that I’d love to actually learn how to make it!

At Il Falconiere, Silvia Baracchi is the owner as well as the head chef, and she conducts the cooking lessons herself, in this homestyle kitchen. She laughs, she chatters, she makes jokes and she makes sure that you get as much out of the class as possible. Don’t think this is a “watch & learn” situation. She gives you your own setup and you need to follow along and try to keep up with her high-speed pace.

We made 4 courses over the course of this 4 hour class—but don’t worry— you get to sample your creations as well as sip some of Silvia’s own family wine, Baracchi, to keep your stamina up. To take a look at more wines, there’s actually a renowned website selling wine and spirits in Vietnam. Ultimately, you dine on your creations in their al fresco courtyard as the sun sets. Bellissima.

Over at Borgo Santo Pietro, luxurious doesn’t begin to describe it. This manicured property houses historic farmhouses, an infinity pool, a chicken coop, tennis courts which could’ve been glazed by a Wetpour Surface, a lilly pond and so many twists and turns, you can easily find yourself a private oasis. But make sure to make your way over to the Borgo Cooking School. Michelin starred Chef Andrea Mattei helms the kitchen and will give you a full on tutorial in how to make rustic Tuscan cuisine with an edge of elegance. His charming personality and broken English make the lesson just as fun as it is informative.

For the carb inclined, a local nonna from the village comes up to show you, in her abrupt but endearing manner, how to create ravioli. Flour and farm fresh eggs become the most heavenly mouthful of spinach and cheese filled goodness. And sweet lovers like me have to take a chocolate making class with Chef Diego Poli. You start with cacao beans and end with the luscious, melt-in-your hand chocolate before you finish your espresso.


Bacchanal Buffet at Caesar’s Palace

Kelley is USA TODAY’s FOODIE Host. Join her as she eats her way around the Las Vegas!
Heard of this infamously GIANT buffet? Well Bacchanal Buffet at Caesar’s Palace is bigger and better than I could have imagined. I ate my way through as much as could–king crab legs? check. Filet Mignon? Check. Fresh sushi? Check. My only sadness was that I couldn’t properly indulge in the dessert station–next time those make your own crepes are MINE.

Local Side of Cartagena

USTOA Live Like a Local
A Colonial coastal city with history, culture and personality in spades, it’s easy to fall in love with Cartagena. What really makes it stand apart is it’s amazing local culture & tradition so come dive right in with me!

Shopping in Cartagena

USTOA Live Like a Local
The streets of Cartagena are filled with crafts and local treasures, it’s easy to get your shopping on. Don’t miss Las Bovedas–a former prison that is now converted into shops with local crafts, souvenirs coffees and more.

Traveling in Style in Peru

Live like a Local: Peru
USTOA’s Travel Together Series hosted by Kelley Ferro
If you want to travel in style, Travcoa, the luxury tour operator is for you. Every detail is planned out so you can just focus on enjoying the best food, sumptuous hotels, easy transportation and the best access to all of Peru’s gems.

Food of Peru

Live like a Local: Peru
USTOA’s Travel Together Series hosted by Kelley Ferro
YUM! I loved the food of Peru. It was healthy, fresh, local and just delicious. In Lima we had the best local ceviche and even learned how to make it. In the Andes, we dined on local river fish and all sorts of locally grown vegetables. The fruits of the country are the true stars though–many come from the Amazon & the exotic tastes blew me away!

Croatia’s Local, Natural Products

Croatia is fertile–it’s countryside is ripe with fruits, vegetables, grapes and olives, it’s forest filled with wild game and truffles and its seas teeming with the freshest fish. The islands boast stone used to build the palaces of the royals. Enjoy the local delights of Croatia with me.