Crete's Culinary Sanctuaries at the Adventures in Travel Expos

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Crete's Culinary Sanctuaries organizes distinctive educational travel programs covering all that Crete has to offer – ancient history, culture, wild nature, organic agriculture and cuisine. CCS founder, Nikki Rose, is speaking on the panel, “What’s Hot in Adventure Travel” at the Adventures in Travel Expos in Chicago (January 7, Stephens Convention Center), New York (January 14, Javits Convention Center) and Washington, DC (January 28, Washington Convention Center). CCS will also have an exhibition booth at the Chicago and DC shows.

Crete's Culinary Sanctuaries organizes distinctive educational travel programs covering all that Crete has to offer – ancient history, culture, wild nature, organic agriculture and cuisine. CCS founder, Nikki Rose, is speaking on the panel, “What’s Hot in Adventure Travel” at the Adventures in Travel Expos in Chicago (January 7, Stephens Convention Center), New York (January 14, Javits Convention Center) and Washington, DC (January 28, Washington Convention Center). CCS will also have an exhibition booth at the Chicago and DC shows.

CCS programs are tailored to small groups and presented exclusively by resident experts. Intensive classes in Crete’s renowned healthy cuisine and organic gardening, including the seasonal production of olive oil, cheese and wine are intertwined with visits to ancient sites, botanic treks and optional sports such as rock climbing and paragliding. “We instinctively follow sustainable tourism guidelines,” said Rose. “We collaborate with local groups that specialize in a wide range of activities. Our guests join us in villages they may never find on their own and really get to know residents who are passionate and knowledgeable about the rich history and culture of their island. Any place we visit, whether it be New York or Nepal, is much more memorable when we spend time with local people. That’s the connection we make in Crete, while sharing valuable cultural, culinary and gardening information with our guests.”

Rose is a Greek-American, professional chef and writer (primarily for Slow Food) who lived in Crete for four years. She now divides her time between the U.S. and Crete, working on a book and documentary that mirrors CCS programs in Crete. She has designed cultural-culinary seminars since 1997, featuring prominent chefs from the diplomatic sector, culinary schools and fine dining establishments from around the world.

Kostas Bouyouris, the Greek co-designer of the CCS project, is a noted agronomist and founding member of the Mediterranean Association for Soil Health. Bouyouris lives on Crete and has worked for over a decade on innovative projects to encourage the expansion of sustainable organic production in Crete. His training programs and cooperative incentives link organic farmers directly to restaurant kitchens and create an essential bridge between the two primary industries in Crete – agriculture and tourism. MedASH is involved in many ancillary community projects, such as training young farmers and organizing children’s gardens.

“Alternative travel has evolved into cultural immersion travel,” said Rose. “We often hear that climbing a mountain in a foreign land was exhilarating, but getting to know local people was the most memorable part of the journey. Travelers are searching for more than an ideal climate, natural beauty or extreme sports in places they choose to pass through in their lifetime. They are also more concerned about the impact their visit may have on the local communities. It’s wonderful to be a part of such a dynamic group at the Adventures in Travel Expos who are working on programs like ours to create a lasting bond between visitors and residents. Crete has a significant ancient past, but people still live there and they can be quite fascinating, when we make the time to know them.”

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