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Eat your way through America's music cities

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One of the biggest influences of my career, and what I enjoy the most, is the inspiration and interaction of people.

To put it simply, we all have taste buds and eat food every day, so we have a common denominator; we can connect and relate.

For me, however, it goes beyond that. Food is life in so many ways and I find it brings out the best in people, and thus gives me a window of opportunity to experience their personalities and what makes them tick.

It is because of this passion I have for people and food that I have become a culinary travel host along with all the other hats I wear. Normally my connection with a certain individual is quite short, during a cooking class, book signing, or public appearance, so I truly look forward to spending extended timeframes with people.

This gives us a chance to broaden our shared passion and our connection with each other.

I have partnered with Collette Travel to bring you my next culinary tour scheduled for October, and you have an opportunity to travel with me as we eat our way through Nashville, Memphis, and New Orleans.

It is aptly named the Chef Dez “Spoons & Tunes” Culinary Tour because of the vast musical reputation and history of these cities in America.

So many people assume that a culinary tour is just about food and cooking classes. But for me and my tours, it is much more than that. My travel consultant and I create adventures that take people to an area of the world to not only celebrate and experience cuisine but also history, art, architecture, lifestyle, and more.

Basically, to sum it up, we go to an area of the world to experience how they live.

With me as their host, we already have taken people to beautiful and historic Savannah, Ga. in 2014, toured the deep-rooted state of Texas in 2015, and submersed ourselves in the cuisine and agriculture of Prince Edward Island in 2016.

The experiences we have had, and the ones to come, fall well into the realms of “bucket list” journeys. With the connections that we have in the travel and culinary worlds, we create experiences that you could not do for the same price.

We do our best to give you the best experience possible, and I know you will be impressed with the itinerary and accommodations we have lined up for this 2018 tour.

Return airfare from Vancouver is included in the itinerary price. But if you live in a different area, my travel agent will arrange this change for you.

Her contact info is on the itinerary found on my website at www.chefdez.com

Going on a travel vacation with an organized tour has so many benefits. The research has been done for you, all of the most important details have been taken care of, and you get ample time on your own to explore.

This, along with all of the friendships you will form during the process, makes for an unforgettable holiday and life experience.

Also, with Big Green Egg Canada as a sponsor, one of our travel guests will win a large-sized Big Green Egg (complete with stand and shelves), valued at more than $1,600 (Cdn.), through the official Chef Dez Scavenger Hunt.

Whatever way you choose to broaden your gastronomic horizons is a step in the right direction. Even if it is not in your cards to go on a culinary tour, food can be used as a catalyst to enhance people's lives and enrich relationships in many different ways—and that is never a bad thing.

Even if you don't want your adventures to leave the comfort of your home, you can live and experience in what seems like endless cuisines just from your cookbook collection and resources like the Internet.

If you're in a cooking rut, break out of it. Everyone is different and so are our perceptions.

Find what inspires you and go after it because chances are you will be cooking and eating food for the rest of your life.

Send your food/cooking questions to dez@chefdez.com or P.O. Box 2674, Abbotsford, B.C., V2T 6R4.

Chef Dez is a chef, writer, and host. Visit him at www.chefdez.com

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