Cuisine is easily one of Argentina’s greatest draws, making it a natural choice when it came to curating destinations and their culinary scenes as part of our exclusive Tasting Notes series. But to really bring Argentinian gastronomy to life, that requires getting behind the kitchen pass to gain expert insight. With that in mind, we have teamed up with one of the country’s top chefs, the internationally-renowned Fernando Trocca, to co-curate a taste of Argentina unlike any before. From the cities to the pampas, from the vineyards of Mendoza to the lakes of Patagonia, this is a trip where your dinner reservations have been curated by Fernando himself to reflect his inspirations and influences, where you will be meeting local winemakers in Mendoza, joining top chefs on local barrio food tours in Buenos Aires – and maybe even spending some time in Fernando’s kitchen. This foodie foray will certainly leave you hungry for more.
The flavours of Buenos Aires
Touch down in Buenos Aires and after a quick pit-stop at your hotel in Palermo, you’ll head straight out to the city’s famous Parilla Don Julio for a first unforgettable taste of Argentinian steak. Tomorrow, you’ll join Chef Ezequiel Gallardo for a tour of the local food markets, picking out the freshest ingredients for an exclusive cooking lesson with him at his restaurant, Treinta Sillas, where you’ll master the art of making the perfect empanada. In the evening, Fernando suggests dinner at one of his favourite’s, and one of the top 50 best restaurants in the world, Tegui, before a night exploring Buenos Aires’ colourful speakeasy scene. Make sure you pay a visit to Frank’s, the cocktails there are the best in town.
Follow your tastebuds
In the morning, you’ll head to Las Pampas to live a day in the life of a gaucho. From a traditional asado to mate tasting and a game of polo, you’ll spend the day at an authentic Argentinian ranch brushing up on gaucho know-how. Back in Buenos Aires, head out on a private taste tour of San Telmo, sampling everything thing from vermú to picada at the historic Café Dorrego, before finishing up at La Brigada steakhouse. For those with a sweet tooth, be sure to round it all off with a couple of generous scoops of helado – dulce de leche is our favourite. Before you leave the city for Mendoza, swing by Fernando’s restaurant Sucre and, if he is in the kitchen, you may even get the chance to join him for the country’s most exclusive cooking class.
Mendoza means Malbec
From Buenos Aires, you’ll then head out of the city, over the Andes and into the world famous wine region of Mendoza. Here, you’ll get things started with an exclusive winemaking and tasting experience as you channel your inner sommelier to create your own brand of wine. Blended to create your own completely unique flavour and with a label personalised just to you, it’s a bottle no-one else will drink again. Tomorrow, you’ll delve deeper into the Uco Valley as you join an expert guide for an exclusive wine tour and blind wine tasting. For lunch, head to Fernando’s favourite restaurant in Mendoza, Piedra Infinita, where the chef, a good friend and collaborator of his, will personally introduce the menu to you. Letting you in on his culinary process will no doubt leave you itching to get back in the kitchen, so join the chef and take a trip into the winery’s orchards where you will pick fresh ingredients to rustle up something delicious and Argentinian in a private cooking class. For your final Mendoza meander we will then whisk you off for a touch of indulgence with a six course gourmet lunch at Renacer Winery, before heading down to Patagonia.
Embrace your Patagonian palate
No trip to Argentina would be complete without a few days in Patagonia. The Lake District of South America, spend your final few days exploring the beautiful region of Bariloche from Hotel Llao Llao. Home to powdered pistes by winter and sun-dappled lakes in summer, take it all in as you join an expert guide to visit some of the most breathtaking vistas, before swinging by a local brewery and enjoying an exclusive dinner with the owners of top restaurant, Il Gabbiano. To end your Argentinian gastronomic adventure, you’ll enjoy one final goodbye cooking class to put all you’ve learned to practice, before dinner at the innovative Cassis Restaurant, where the dishes, jellies, dressings and syrups are all made using colourful Patagonia fruits and herbs such as cassis, calafate, elderflower and lemon verbena.
It is hard to leave a country as diverse as Argentina without completely falling in love with it, and after this unforgettable culinary adventure, who could blame you for whipping out your own hand-blended Malbec at every dinner party after serving empanadas as hors-d’oeuvres? We’d do the same.