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A Sustainable Future for Food Tourism: Promoting the Territory through Cooking Classes

Marina Bardolet-Puigdollers
1 and
Francesc Fusté-Forné
Faculty of Tourism, University of Girona, 17003 Girona, Catalonia, Spain
Department of Business, University of Girona, 17003 Girona, Catalonia, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Gastronomy 2023, 1(1), 32-43;
Submission received: 21 October 2023 / Revised: 9 November 2023 / Accepted: 10 November 2023 / Published: 14 November 2023


Food tourism is becoming more popular because of the growing interest of people in organic products and achieving healthier habits. This paper aims to analyze the potential of cooking classes for the planning and development of a sustainable future for food tourism. The research is based on six interviews with providers of cooking classes and six interviews with food tourists in the region of Catalonia. Results show that cooking classes contribute to the process of awarding tourism value to local products and recipes, creating and authentic and educational experience. This engages producers and consumers in a sustainable, and regenerative experience, that appreciates local people, places and practices. Cooking classes are activities that can create a tourism attraction factor, and consequently, allow locals and visitors to know the culture of the country they visit from a unique point of view, which this paper analyses from both perspectives.

1. Introduction

Who does not enjoy traveling and immersing themselves in the food of the country they visit? Who would not want to learn how to cook typical dishes from their own or another country? Cooking workshops are increasingly popular and attractive activities for tourists [1]. Recent research has explored the role of cooking learning tourism (CLT), an innovative type of culinary tourism [2], as a way to learn about the destination and a more sustainable approach to food tourism. Spain, being a global powerhouse in both tourism and gastronomy [3] is a highly sought-after destination for foodie travelers [4], individuals who are deeply passionate about food. This trend, like many others, presents a significant opportunity for national and international tourism. Cooking classes allow tourists to integrate more deeply into the culture and traditions of the visited country. Therefore, this fosters a connection and respect toward the destination and is a source for a sustainable future in food tourism. This paper adds texture to this conversation from the supply and demand perspectives and reveals the relevance of cooking classes for food tourism management and marketing.
Cooking classes help to face the seasonality of tourism, which is currently one of the main issues in tourism management and marketing, especially in regions of Spain that highly rely on summer visitors as is observed in some coastal destinations in Catalonia [5]. This is because these activities can vary according to seasonal products, which aligns well with local cuisine and recipes. Throughout this paper, various topics are discussed regarding cooking classes, such as what they are, their offerings in Catalonia, the profile of their consumers, as well as the future of these activities. While some articles have investigated cooking classes in the context of food tourism (for example, [6]), cooking classes focused on tourists are a relatively lesser-known activity at the moment. However, they can contribute to a sustainable future for food tourism if they are promoted and managed effectively. In this sense, “the contribution of these food tourism offerings to authentic and sustainable experiences sought out by contemporary food tourists” and “in the context of the movement toward small-scale, niche, local, and sustainable forms of tourism that appeal to both the local and the global tourist” [7] (p. 59).
The main objective of the paper is to analyze the supply and demand of the cooking classes market as a tourist activity. Stemming from this primary objective, the research also aims to examine the supply of cooking classes for tourists in different gastronomic regions of Catalonia and to understand the key characteristics of individuals interested in cooking classes.

2. Cooking Classes as an Example of Sustainable Food Tourism

Food tourism refers to the discovery of destinations through food and drinks [8]. While food tourism is sometimes considered a type of cultural tourism [9], previous research shows that food (also called culinary and gastronomy) tourism has been consolidated as a type of tourism [10,11] where visitors search the sense of place through the taste of place [12]. In this sense, the concept of food tourism involves understanding the connection between people, places and practices in the local food culture of a region or country [13]. Food is a part of the identity of each culture [14]. Food tourists “are not only interested in food but also want to learn about the history of foods, their production, and the process leading to the final dish” [15] (p. 20). Therefore, tourists who are interested in getting to know a region from a food perspective also uncover its identity, as well as a portion of its cultural heritage through tourist activities which also include the still unconventional cooking classes.
Food tourism can be manifested in various ways, such as eating and drinking at local restaurants, attending gastronomic festivals, food fairs, visiting farms and food production centers, participating in cooking classes or demonstrations, product tastings, during home exchanges (staying at a local’s house), at municipal markets, or any other tourist activity related to food [8]. In this sense, food tourism is not only carried out when eating out, but there are many activities and spaces where this activity takes place [16,17,18,19], and many people are not aware that they are consumers of this type of tourism many times when they travel, for example, when they buy a product in a local market [20].
The food tourism activity generally brings positive impacts in the destinations, such as promoting economic development through the creation of routes, fairs, and local events, safeguarding food heritage, and assisting in combating the seasonality of tourism, among others (see for example, [21,22]). Seasonality, indirectly, causes environmental and sociocultural impacts that greatly harm the territory and its residents. In Spain, also considering the ongoing drought situation, tourism is an activity that peaks during the summer months, coinciding with the period of least rainfall in our region. As a result, water planning is a crucial issue in sustainable tourism [23]. On the other hand, a sociocultural impact of mass tourism is gentrification. In this process, the central and historic neighborhoods where long-time residents have lived end up being vacated or pressuring residents to leave [24]. This occurs because property owners prefer to rent their apartments to tourists, as it generates higher income due to elevated prices.
Food tourism is also influenced by these dynamics. However, it can also contribute to facing them. Enriched by activities like classes featuring the local cuisine of the host country, food tourism experiences can make tourists feel that they are engaged in something truly unique [25]. Cooking classes are dynamic activities involving the preparation of one or several dishes. Throughout the process, participants get to know the local products being used, where they come from, the required techniques and preparation processes, as well as the origin and history of the dish. It is a comprehensive and educational experience. These tourism-oriented classes have a highly positive impact on the destination where they take place, as mentioned earlier, aiding in combating seasonality and promoting the consumption of local products, contributing to the protection and promotion of sustainable food tourism which cares for the connections between the production and consumption [26,27].
Cooking classes have been described as the third generation of food tourism experiences, reflecting the evolution of this tourism type over the years through various changes and stages [6,16,28,29]. Several cooking schools have been established in tourist destinations worldwide, whether as small restaurants offering this activity along with a meal, as part of accommodation packages, or as professional cooking schools [19]. Previous research on cooking classes is still limited, but it highlights that “the findings from cooking class experiences are diverse and are based on a variety of dimensions: hospitality of locals, value/price, memorable experience, authentic experience, culture learning experience, social interaction, culinary characteristics, and instructor attributes. As a result of in-depth examination of the cooking class experience, it was concluded that cooking classes can be a tool in learning a new culture” [1] (p. 1). Furthermore, previous research emphasizes the value of cooking classes for specific segments such as seniors [30] and even in relation to virtual experiences [31].
Based on a cooking school in Bangkok, Walter explains that “tourists took on multiple roles, had rich sensory experiences, felt a sense of play and space–time transcendence, and revelled in close social relations with hosts and other tourists” [32] (p. 365). However, “the school made no particular claim to expertise in Thai history, place or culinary culture, and tended more towards touristic entertainment, and less towards accurate historical and cultural visitor education” (ibid), which also needs attention in terms of the authenticity of the experience (see, for example, [33,34,35]). Another paper focused on tourists’ participation in cooking classes in Cinque Terre shows that the tourist experience evoked four dimensions, which are strongly linked to each other: involvement, hedonism, local culture and knowledge [19]. Also, in some local markets, these types of activities are offered [1]. Professional chefs who work or own their own restaurants sometimes collaborate with cooking classes or showcooking events, as they indirectly benefit from them. Participants in the classes might be encouraged to visit their restaurants after experiencing the workshop. Countries like Thailand attempted to position themselves in food tourism a few years ago by promoting Thai cuisine on an international scale through governmental initiatives [36,37].
Currently, the most prominent countries for experiencing this type of food tourism, based on cooking classes, are Thailand, Peru, Vietnam, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, and India [38]. These destinations offer distinct flavors, whether due to unique spices, meticulous preparation, or striking contrasts. Most of the tourist experiences also involve visiting local markets or shops to purchase the necessary ingredients for the classes. Guided by a professional chef from the host country, participants then prepare the dishes (typically a menu with two or three courses) step by step. Finally, once all preparations are complete, participants enjoy a meal together with other food enthusiasts [39] who were part of the workshop, consuming the dishes prepared during the activity.
In this sense, Suntikul et al. [36] conducted a study in the Thai city of Chiang Mai, a significant northern hub of the country. The study involved 300 participants from various cooking classes in the area and provided interesting results. It was observed that 53.3% of workshop participants were female, 59% were aged between 20 and 39, with a high level of education (university degree or higher), 40% were solo travelers, and 62.7% were first-time visitors to Thailand. The main motivations for choosing these cooking workshops were, firstly, social interaction with local people to tangibly and experimentally experience the culture, and secondly, to better understand the local culture and acquire new knowledge. This highlights the importance of understanding the motivations of these participants, as effective promotion of cooking classes requires aligning with their interests. This paper contributes to this conversation through the understanding of both the supply and demand perspectives.
During the classes, participants experienced various sensations, which included entertainment and a break from routine, engaging in a new activity they would not normally do, and learning new concepts. Participating in a cooking class stimulates the brain with numerous visual inputs, as the use of colors and textures plays a significant role in food tourism [40]. After the experience, the majority of participants in the study indicated that they would recommend the activity to others, that they would prepare the dishes from the workshop for their friends and family back home, and that they would also try Thai restaurants in their home country, focusing on the cuisine taught in the workshops.
Based on this study, it can also be affirmed that the profile of travelers interested in these activities tends to be young, educated women who engage in solo travel. On the other hand, their interests lie in interacting with local people in the country they are visiting and learning more about their culture. When these travelers return home, they recommend the activity through word of mouth, thus advertising it. In this sense, “the creation of food experiences co-created by tourists and suppliers contributes to the evolving destination foodscape. These processes contribute to the invention of new food offerings; the inclusion of tourists in the local food space and the expansion of the local gastronomic horizon” [41] (p. 1). Also, other studies show that through cooking classes “the tourists had an intense education and entertainment experience through the cooking courses. Moreover, although not as intense as the education and entertainment experience, some tourists were found to share their esthetics and escapism experiences” [42] (p. 145). This also means that destinations may use cooking classes as a tourism attraction factor in pre-trip stages, and to enhance the competitiveness and differentiation of destinations [6].

3. Methods

This study is based on a qualitative methodology which is based on interviews. In this context, the empirical part consists of two sections developed using the same method, involving a total of twelve interviews. The first section is centered on the analysis of cooking classes from a supply perspective. The first part involves six interviews with businesses that offer cooking class experience products to tourists, aiming to analyze the offerings of these products in the Catalan territory. This analysis includes aspects such as advertising, demand, types of products offered, etc. Within the Catalan territory, there is a wide range of cooking workshops available, but those specifically tailored for an external audience (tourists) are not as abundant. This is due to the seasonality of tourism demand. While the tourism season is gradually extending, it is still insufficient. Additionally, the authors have observed that there is not a high awareness of these activities among tourists.

3.1. The Study Sample

Drawing on desk research, the most comprehensive supply of cooking classes in Catalonia is found in the city of Barcelona. However, the activities available there are largely tourist-oriented, focusing less on the local territory or Catalan culinary traditions. The offered activities revolve around learning how to make paella, gazpacho, tapas, and sangria. Looking at the reservation calendar for these activities, it is evident that there is considerable interest in these workshops. Many of these courses also include a visit to La Boqueria, the renowned municipal market of Barcelona situated on La Rambla, where participants are introduced to local products.
The characteristics of cooking class providers show that they are closely tied to the local culture. In the Girona region, specifically in Palamós, there is a project called the “Espai del Peix” by the Fishing Museum, which is focused on this type of food tourism. Located in the Palamós port, it aims to showcase lesser-known fish species that hold high culinary value but might not have significant commercial demand. The project encompasses three distinct spaces: a training workshop area for classes and courses, a gastronomic classroom for demonstrations and tastings, and a fishing interpretation center, which includes a fish auction display from the same port, offering insights into the fishing heritages and traditions. The analyzed areas in the territory include the Baix Camp (Reus), Central Catalonia (Vic), Costa Brava and Gironès (Palamós and Sils), Garrotxa (Olot) and Segrià (Lleida).
These zones were chosen because they exhibit a higher presence of cooking classes and although the Barcelona area also offers such workshops, it is not a representative sample of the entire territory due to the high influx of tourists compared to other areas. The interviews conducted with 6 individuals offering products related to cooking classes were conducted both virtually (3) and in-person (3) at the location where the workshop takes place. This approach allowed for the observation of facilities and the development of activities. A brief explanation of the offered activity was given by the participants, followed by the interview questions.
The study sample is also focused on demand analysis through interviews with 6 individuals who have food as a main motivation for travel. The participants were selected using a non-probabilistic convenience sampling method. These individuals are passionate about food and travelers, therefore, potential consumers of cooking classes as tourist experiences. The interviews with foodies aim to analyze the knowledge and potential demand for cooking classes. In this section, the sample consists of six individuals from different regions of Catalonia, particularly focused on the Alt Empordà, Baix Camp, Gironès, and Osona regions. The interviews were conducted mostly in person, except for two participants who were interviewed via video call.

3.2. Data Collection and Analysis

All the interviews were conducted between February and May, and they lasted between 15 and 30 min. The 12 interviewees are five men and seven women, ranging from their twenties to their sixties. The authors, based on previous research, developed two interview protocols, one for the supply and one for the demand.
The interview template for the supply comprised the following questions:
  • Where did the idea originate? How did it come about? How long have you been offering this product?
  • In how many languages are the classes offered? Which ones? At what price is the product offered? Do you have fixed schedules or do you adapt to demand?
  • How is your product advertised? Through which channels are reservations made?
  • What type of cuisine is taught?
  • What is the target audience for this activity? How do people become aware of your product? What do you believe are the interests of the demand? What are they seeking?
  • Do you think a product exclusively targeting tourists would work, and what would it require?
The questions posed to each interviewee in the demand were as follows:
Why do you consider yourself a food enthusiast (foodie)?
When you travel, do you delve into the country’s gastronomy? Why and how? Do you cook your own meals when you travel?
Have you ever been on a gastronomic journey? Where? If yes, what activities did you engage in?
Have you ever participated in a cooking class in another country? Why or why not?
Were you familiar with this type of activity as a tourist? Do you think these activities are useful from both the tourist’s and the destination’s perspective?
Do you think Catalonia has the potential to offer this product? Why? Do you know any examples?
All the participants, both individuals offering products related to cooking classes and foodies were asked about their opinions about the relations between food and tourism through cooking classes. In particular, in the last question they offered their perspectives about the potential of this product and its role in the future of food tourism.
All the interviews were transcribed and a thematic analysis was conducted to observe the relevant topics for the supply and the demand. Results are presented in the next section with quotes from the interviewees, which are translated from the original language (Catalan) to illustrate the results.

4. Results

4.1. The Supply

As a result of interviewing the different providers, businesses and people, who offer cooking classes, we observed that the use of local products and recipes is crucial for the delivery of this activity. The six participants have a slightly different offer because there are some of them who focus more on traditional cuisine, be it maritime or mountain cuisine, and others are more based on practical preparations that are applicable on a day-to-day basis, but still follow a Mediterranean diet. In this sense, all of them make the preparations with local and seasonal products, where the proximity of the food is crucial to offer an authentic experience. As one of the participants says, “I am a really big fan of the Mediterranean diet and so, it is my cuisine”. From an environmental perspective, this is very positive, since cooking with local and seasonal products contributes to the richness of the territory and helps to face local-global tensions emerging from food that travels far distances from the production regions. One of the suppliers points out that “using seasonal products is a must but most importantly, understanding why we use these products and learning its seasonality”. While this is evident in products such as fruits and vegetables, it also refers to the changing tastes of other products such as milk and meat, used as raw products to elaborate traditional sausages (Figure 1).
According to the participants, customers interested in these workshops are both local and visitors, and the providers are open to offering the activity to both of them because the cooking classes are a way to learn about the culture, and this is also of interest to locals who want to explore their own culinary heritage. In this sense, one provider (the Espai del Peix—Fishing Space—in the Fishing Museum) also targets schools and universities, as part of a pedagogical objective as part of a co-created experience (Figure 2). The workshops are offered in different languages. They all agree that Catalan and Spanish are the most used, followed by English and, also, French, due to the tourists that come by car from the southern regions of France to the northern regions of Catalonia. In the Espai del Peix they recognize that “we have to improve in this area because the minimum amount of people to offer the workshop in a specific language is 10–12 people and sometimes it is difficult to reach, but it’s easier when it’s in Catalan or Spanish”.
Most of the cooking classes are offered on demand while few of them have a schedule throughout the year. Prices range from 25€ to 50€ per person. This price includes the workshop and a tasting or a meal. The cheapest activity is the one where customers make “fuets” (a traditional Catalan sausage), which costs 17€. In the current economic context, these prices seem reasonable since a menu in a mid-scale restaurant already has this cost, and here there is the added value of the workshop, as explained by the participants. The duration of the activities ranges from an hour and a half to two and a half hours. In the case of cooking classes for visitors, they have a shorter duration, because the motivation for the educational experience is sometimes eclipsed by the motivation for the tasting experience.
The places where the cooking classes are carried out are small or medium-capacity kitchen classrooms in adapted spaces, such as the basement of a house, in a doctor’s office or a butcher’s workshop. The most professional classroom is the Espai del Peix, as it is a large and modern equipped space. It should also be noted that all the cooking classes are in a showcooking format because the investment is smaller than equipping an entire classroom with all the appliances and elements necessary to cook for each person who participates, even though on some occasions rooms are fully equipped.
All the interviewees agreed that demand is highest when the weather starts to become nicer, so summer, spring and in some cases, autumn. One of the participants says that “when the temperatures rise, people tend to move around more and consequently they look forward to experience new things such as making their own fuet”. This seasonality coincides with the high season and the low season when we talk about tourism in Spain. Therefore, results show that while cooking classes are emerging as a tourist activity, they are largely influenced by tourism fluxes, which also requires the suppliers to work with local customers.
The promotion of cooking classes is unstructured and often conducted through the profiles of the participants on social media such as Instagram. Also, some of them are promoted through the regional tourism boards, which “is really helpful because they publish our activities in their profiles”, states one of the participants, and this increases the visibility of the activity. One of them even affirmed that “we don’t even advertise our product” and relied on word-of-mouth. Customers who want to book most of the workshops must do so via email or the website of the provider. This could be one of the elements that make participation difficult since there is no platform where the offer is compiled. There are only platforms that offer workshops at the Barcelona city level, but they do not include the rest of the territory.

4.2. The Demand

The customers interviewed consider themselves foodies. They all recognize that they have an interest in the world of gastronomy, as a leisure and tourist activity, they enjoy good food, they like to try different types of food, they are always open to trying new things and usually, they tend to cook. As one of the participants says, “gastronomy and good food is a source of health”. When traveling, they try to immerse themselves as much as possible in the cuisine of the country they are in. Many do it through restaurants, which is the most accessible food tourist experience for everyone. Some of them also do it through local markets, and therefore, they are able to know the products of the area more thoroughly, also through tastings or more experiential activities.
One of the interviewees who has an interest in wine says that she always tries the typical wines from the places she travels to, and she also visits the vineyards. When going to the restaurants, the interviewees tend to select places that are not too touristy, and they look for dining places that are local, and whose offer protects and promotes the identity of the area in order to have a more authentic experience linked to the territory. One of the foodies mentions that “I look for restaurants that offer homemade food which is authentic of the territory”.
In relation to cooking their own meals, most of the participants agree that when they are on a trip, they do not tend to cook, although some say they do. The ones they do, they like to cook with the products found in local markets and try to imitate the food of the country where they are. It is also a way to discover new foods and new recipes that may not be available in their own territory or are not that common. One of them explains a trip to Sicily, as an example, “in a local market we found a vegetable that we had never seen before, it is called tenerumi and we learnt how to cook it in a traditional way”. Through these actions, a richer gastronomic culture is achieved, as a result of the local knowledge attached to cuisine, not only through the places you visit but also the people (for example, the sellers) and the practices (for example, a recipe).
The participants do several gastronomic activities as part of their trips, such as one of the interviewees, “I have participated in gastronomic activities like for example cheese and wine tasting”. However, they still have little experience in cooking classes. The interviews show that they are interested in local products and recipes as a basis to engage with the destination from an authentic experience. Also, they like to cook, which is a requisite for the planning and development of cooking classes. In this sense, they all agree that Catalonia has the potential to offer cooking classes as part of its tourism activity. They think that the culinary wealth and local products from Catalonia, and its regions, allow them to create a portfolio of workshops that contribute to the protection and promotion of the local identity, as explained in the previous section. One of the participants stands out that there are products only found in Catalonia “from the Figueres onion to Girona apple or Santa Pau beans and a long list, we have everything, in addition to the climate and the territory!”. This shows the basis for the sustainable development of the relationships between production and consumption through cooking classes.

5. Discussion and Conclusions

This paper underlines the role of cooking classes in the future of food tourism [11]. This could lead to a tourism approach that gives more consideration to local food culture, directing more efforts towards the sustainable development of the relationship between food and tourism [22]. This paper has analyzed the supply and demand perspectives of the role of cooking classes as a sustainable activity in food tourism (see Figure 3). The interviews with the suppliers have revealed the relationships of cooking classes with the territory, where a strong connection between people, places and practices is manifested through them. Also, even though many of the interviewed individuals have never participated in cooking classes during their trips, they have acknowledged the potential of this type of experience to engage with the local culture and gain new knowledge through the connection between production and consumption.
The offer of cooking classes in Catalonia has been analyzed in this paper in line with previous research [2]. In some cases, the spaces where the workshops take place have also been visited by the authors. Based on these interviews and site visits, it can be concluded that there is a lack of professionalization in the sector which is also due to that cooking classes are still emerging as a tourist activity. Many of those offering this product present it as a supplementary aspect of their main activity, and therefore, they do not allocate enough resources to it at this stage. This may cause these activities to not evolve; however, it also shows the potential they hold in the context of sustainable food tourism futures. Results show that the peak season (from April to October) in terms of tourism coincides with periods of higher demand for these activities, and the same applies to the off-peak season (from November to March), with a lower demand which can also inform domestic tourism (see, for example, [43]). This suggests that the tourist target, both national and international, also has an interest and contributes to the demand for cooking classes in Catalonia. This could be enhanced with the distinction of Catalonia as a World Gastronomic Region in 2025 which could serve as a significant sustainable boost for the sector and all food-related activities currently present in Catalonia that lack sufficient prominence, as is the case of the cooking classes. Achieving a cuisine based on local products that both producers and consumers could co-create would contribute to the economic, environmental and social well-being of the local communities.

5.1. Theoretical and Practical Implications

This paper shows that destination management organizations need to play a crucial role in the management and marketing of cooking classes. If cooking classes are advertised by the destinations themselves, at the local level but also at the national level, it is easier for people to find and book these activities. As mentioned by the interviewed individuals, this posed an obstacle as they had difficulty finding this experience. This is, in turn, one of the practical implications of the paper, which calls for increasing the tourism value of cooking classes which can also be targeted to locals, who as part of their leisure activities, strengthen the ties with the places where they live through food [1]. Also, cooking classes represent a sensory experience that can contribute to the improvement of accessible tourism, “such as engaging visually impaired tourists’ other heightened senses in experience design and marketing” [6] (p. 3417).
From a theoretical perspective, the findings of this paper complement recent research on cooking classes and destination management and marketing. Local products often contribute to creating a destination brand. Examples like Palamós and prawns or rice and the Delta de l’Ebre illustrate this. Thus, within each region of a territory, distinct areas can be identified and characterized by a local product. This, in turn, leads to variations in gastronomic culture compared to the overall culinary culture of the encompassing country. Cooking classes could also serve as a powerful tool to showcase the differences within the same territory [25]. While this research is based on a qualitative study which does not allow the generalization of the results, it provides an exploratory analysis of the situation of this food tourist experience and Catalonia and informs a way to the development and planning of a sustainable future for food tourism, where the bridges between production and consumption are based on the local products, local people and local practices. Cooking classes allow participants to immerse themselves in the culinary culture. By learning to cook a typical dish from another country, one can also replicate it at home, spreading it within their social circle. While this concept is not yet widespread, it will gain traction as a regenerative approach to food tourism [44] which may also lead to the future of food tourism.

5.2. Limitations and Future Research

While previous research about cooking classes in food tourism is limited and this paper offers a new approach to its study based on a qualitative method that includes both the supply and the demand, this paper has limitations. The research is based on the context of Catalonia and the number of participants does not allow for a generalization of the results. However, it presents the challenges and opportunities for the sustainable future of food tourism through cooking classes. As explained in the previous sections, cooking classes play a significant role in food tourism management and marketing because they provide immersive experiences for participants, allowing them to engage with the local culture through their recipes. This creates a first-hand experience with people (i.e., a chef), places (i.e., apple growing areas) and practices (i.e., how we cook a Palamós prawn).
Future research in the context of sustainable food tourism futures could focus on assessing the impacts of cooking classes, such as their contributions to local communities from economies, environmental and social well-being, and also in relation to the preservation and promotion of culinary heritage. Exploring educational aspects, cultural exchange, and the empowerment of local communities through cooking classes could also provide insights that inform food tourism management and marketing, for example, in relation to the planning and development of food narratives and memorable experiences. In addition, research into tourist motivation and experiences would be useful to improve the marketing mix strategies of cooking classes and increase positive word-of-mouth. Added to the case of Catalonia, future studies could also analyze other regions in Spain and other countries in Europe, to understand the similarities and the differences in cooking classes as sustainable food tourism practices.

Author Contributions

Conceptualization, M.B.-P. and F.F.-F.; methodology, M.B.-P. and F.F.-F.; formal analysis, M.B.-P. and F.F.-F.; investigation, M.B.-P. and F.F.-F.; writing—original draft preparation, M.B.-P. and F.F.-F.; writing—review and editing, M.B.-P. and F.F.-F. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.


This research received no external funding.

Institutional Review Board Statement

Not applicable.

Informed Consent Statement

Informed consent was obtained from all participants.

Data Availability Statement

Data are contained within the article.


The authors would like to thank the participants.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Figure 1. Bucket with fresh meat ready to make sausages and fuet (own source).
Figure 1. Bucket with fresh meat ready to make sausages and fuet (own source).
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Figure 2. Principal area of Espai del Peix where the cooking classes take place (own source).
Figure 2. Principal area of Espai del Peix where the cooking classes take place (own source).
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Figure 3. Cooking classes in food tourism (own source).
Figure 3. Cooking classes in food tourism (own source).
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Bardolet-Puigdollers, M.; Fusté-Forné, F. A Sustainable Future for Food Tourism: Promoting the Territory through Cooking Classes. Gastronomy 2023, 1, 32-43.

AMA Style

Bardolet-Puigdollers M, Fusté-Forné F. A Sustainable Future for Food Tourism: Promoting the Territory through Cooking Classes. Gastronomy. 2023; 1(1):32-43.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bardolet-Puigdollers, Marina, and Francesc Fusté-Forné. 2023. "A Sustainable Future for Food Tourism: Promoting the Territory through Cooking Classes" Gastronomy 1, no. 1: 32-43.

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