Seattle, WA – MIR Corporation is thrilled to announce two unprecedented culinary tours to Russia and the Republic of Georgia. On the “A Chronicle of Russian Cuisine & Culture” tour, led by a passionate Russian foodie, allows guests to eat their way through Moscow and St. Petersburg, visiting definitive cultural sites and meeting famous chefs for hands-on cooking classes. The new “A Taste of Georgia: Wine, Cuisine & Culture” tour traverses a country of lush valleys and heart-stopping vistas alongside an organic winemaker and a Georgian ethnologist.
“We believe these to be the first-ever culinary tours of Georgia and Russia offered by an American travel company,” said MIR Corporation founder Douglas Grimes. “Our clients will discover the history and living traditions of each country through interactions with chefs, winemakers, artisans and musicians.”
On the 10-day culinary tour of Russia, guests will discover that Russian cuisine goes far beyond borscht and blini as they explore enduring open-air markets and the new trend of czarist/nouvelle cuisine restaurants, retro-Soviet cafés and vodka bars of modern Russia. They’ll join famous chefs for hands-on cooking classes and dine in a smorgasbord of restaurants, family homes, and a country dacha, where home-cooked cuisine and traditional Russian culture come together.
“In Moscow you’ll attend a master cooking class at the Taste of Russia cooking school, where expert chef/instructors lead a hands-on lesson in purchasing and preparing classic Russian dishes,” said Grimes. “A private tour and tasting at the Cristall Vodka Museum and a visit to Perlov’s Tea House to learn about the history of tea-drinking in Russia are also highlights of our time in Moscow.”
In St. Petersburg, travelers will meet a celebrity chef, take a class on traditional Russian cuisine, and indulge in Soviet nostalgia by exploring local vodka bars. Additionally, they’ll venture to an organic farm that supplies LavkaLavka, a modern whole-foods collective, with some of its products and enjoy a festive home-cooked dinner at a dacha.
The 14-day culinary tour of Georgia navigates a mountainous country peppered with cave monasteries dug out of the living rock. Georgia overflows with wine and abounds in hospitality. Guests will learn how artisans make qvevri, the huge earthenware vessels used in traditional Georgian wine-making; prepare a memorable meal with the chef at the organic Pheasant’s Tears winery; sample natural wines made by monks according to traditional Georgian methods; and witness an electrifying polyphonic performance by dynamic Svaneti singers.
“Georgia is a wine lover’s paradise,” said Grimes. “You’ll sample wines from across the country and learn about the heritage Mtsvane grape and the rare amber-colored wines it produces.”
Guests will indulge in the full spectrum of Georgian cuisine, from the mouthwatering cheese-stuffed bread called katchapouri to the classic “Georgian Table” feast, and savor home-cooked meals sourced from local gardens, fields and rivers.