Culinary Tourism With Local Celebrity ‘Chef Dez’

Upcoming Culinary Tour Of Savannah Has Been Sold Out Since December 2013
Submitted. Twenty-four travelers are preparing to depart from Abbotsford, British Columbia, on October 21, 2014, for an eight-day culinary tour of Savannah, Georgia, with tour leader Caryn Zimmerman and Red Seal Chef, author, and local celebrity Gordon Desormeaux, better known as ‘Chef Dez’. The tour, organized by Calgary-based travel agency Some Beach Somewhere Ltd., represents a notable Western Canadian contribution to the burgeoning global trend of culinary travel.

Participants of the tour, entitled Chef Dez Does It Southern Style, are anticipating a unique, foodie-focused itinerary in the ‘Hostess City of the South’, including traditional southern-style cooking classes, executive kitchen tours of first class hotels, and various fine dining experiences. Desormeaux hopes to familiarize participants with Southern-style cuisine by ‘[traveling] to the beautiful, historic, and romantic city of Savannah, Georgia, and [showing] everyone what I’m talking about.’

Since 2001, when the World Food Travel Association founder Erik Wolf first published a white paper detailing a new trend towards food and wine tourism, the popularity of culinary travel has grown exponentially. Attributed to the rise of food-based television programming and an ever-expanding ‘foodie culture’, culinary travel allows food and wine enthusiasts to learn about a region’s culture and history by exploring local food trends and cooking techniques. Wolf estimates that the culinary travel industry generates an annual $150 Billion. Currently, food tourism accounts for 20% of the Travel Channel’s programming.

Desormeaux, who is well known for his lively Lower Mainland cooking classes and his food column, Chef Dez on Cooking, which currently runs bi-weekly in over 50 communities across Canada and Washington State, approached Some Beach Somewhere’s lead travel professional Caryn Zimmerman over a year ago with the idea for the food tour. Zimmerman and Desormeaux partnered with Savannah-based tourism outlets to create the Chef Dez Does It Southern Style tour, which has been sold out since December 2013. Brisk sales for the tour arguably reflect the growing demand for more culinary travel options for Fraser Valley-based tourists.

‘I’m told that Canadians traveling to Savannah isn’t that common and it’s very rare to have visitors come all the way from the west coast,’ says Zimmerman. ‘Because Some Beach Somewhere is a niche travel planning agency, we have the ability to make the personal connections with other niche tour partners and it’s like bringing your family to meet new family members.’

For more information about the Chef Dez Does It Southern Style tour, visit:

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