Food + Wine

Global Culinary School

by Robin Cherry

Trout Point Cooking and Wine School

Where: Southern Nova Scotia

The food: Creole and Cajun dishes with a Maritimes flair

Back home you'll be whipping up: Creole-style wild mushroom étouffée

The dish: What do you get when three guys from Louisiana open a culinary school in Nova Scotia? You get the Trout Point Cooking and Wine School, where Creole and Cajun flavors are married to the North Atlantic's bountiful seafood. This makes more sense than one might guess: The original Cajuns were French settlers who were kicked out of this part of Canada (Acadia) by the English and found their way to Louisiana. Daniel Abel, Charles Leary, and Vaughn Perret did a reverse migration, moving to Nova Scotia in 1998 after starting a successful organic farm and café in Louisiana. They used local logs and granite to build the Trout Point Lodge, modeling it on the Adirondack Great Camps, equipped the kitchen with Viking stoves, and invited guests to learn unique Louisiana/Nova Scotia hybrids: finnan haddie jambalaya (a paellalike dish with smoked haddock, rice, and vegetables) and shrimp Creole (made with the holy trinity of Cajun/Creole cooking: finely diced onions, green bell peppers, and celery). The owners teach you to smoke seafood in their outdoor smokehouse, and recently started cheese-making classes. If the great North–Northeast isn't your speed, consider catching up with the boys during the winter months in—where else?—Costa Rica. From January to April they run a Creole Cooking School there, specializing in dishes with a Latin twist. Creole-spiced grilled chicken with a banana-cream sauce, anyone?

Accommodations: Guestrooms are rustic-luxe, with log walls, handmade furniture, and river views.

When: May–November

Trout Point Lodge
Tel: 902 482 8360
$675 for two days, including lodging, classes, and excursions. Max class size: 14

Costa Rica Creole Cooking School
Tel: 902 482 8360
$750 for three days, including instruction, lodging, and excursions. Max class size: 8

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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