I used to spend my days in high school staring out the window, waiting to get home so I could read my Rick Steves travel guides and watch Ian on Lonely Planet. Then my parents took me to Europe for my graduation present and it had me hooked. As soon as I could, I took the option to study abroad and ended up in the Cote d’Azure, in a town called Antibes. Which just so happened to be the yachting capital of France. I finished my year in school and jumped on the first boat I could as a stewardess, then cook, which lead to years working in yachting and traveling throughout the Mediterranean, Red Sea and Eastern Coast of the USA. I will always miss early morning market runs in Cannes, meeting fishermen Sardinia to collect the recent catch…getting rides back to the yachts through the Venice canals with bags of fresh produce.
I did return to the USA to get my undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina in Wilmington (in Political Science) and ended up working at a B2B travel media company. I missed the sea though, and decided to get my French Culinary degree from Ferrandi-PARIS in order to get back into yachting in a more professional role as chef. After culinary school, I was able to stage in different Michelin restaurants in Paris and I eventually worked at Verjus, with a really great team. Unfortunately, I fell and broke my back after work one night. The next few months were spent learning how to walk again and get my muscle strength back. Long hours on my feet was out of the question and my career in kitchens ended.
A friend who worked for Paris by Mouth told me to try leading a food tour in Paris, and I was hooked. This job has been so fulfilling, working for Context Travel in Barcelona and eventually also in Bordeaux. I had also been helping my father who was a chef and culinary instructor in the USA. Every summer we would bring groups of students to Europe to experience the local cuisine and culinary culture. Unfortunately, that ended in 2020 with covid, but I do look forward to the day when I can share Europe with students again.
In 2018 I created Aquitaine Travel Guide to give high quality food tours to the Bordeaux region. Our food tours embrace slow food and have plenty of farm to table style tours in the beautiful Gironde countryside. I can make a tour for any clients needs, for families or groups, or personalized itineraries with a focus on local cuisine. The other guides I work with are well versed in local cuisine and culinary culture. We look forward to seeing you and sharing the incredible products and people of Aquitaine!
“This is our second trip to Bordeaux, and both times Anne has worked with us to arrange a tour that meets our interest in local food production…and consumption! Our guide for the entire day was Nicole, fluent in English and French and an expert on wine tasting. She picked us up at the train station as scheduled and we were on our way to visit Sabine, whose family has been licensed to catch and process lamprey eels from the Dordogne River for generations. Perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea, but fascinating and an important part of culinary history. After a brief driving and walking tour of the town, we settled into a fabulous restaurant serving creative local cuisine. Then it was off for a private wine tasting at a nearby chateau, with a driving tour to understand the local topography, politics, and wine production. Nicole provided so much information about the history of the region and wine production that we developed a much deeper understanding than reading a tour book might have given. Having Anne make all the reservations and arrangements meant it was a easy day for us. I would highly recommend her company. They listen to your interests and suggest itineraries to meet those interests. She has met with the proprietors of the stops, and all are ready for you to arrive. Her guides, in this case Nicole, keep everything moving on schedule. Just enjoy the day!” – S.Quandt / March 2022
“We absolutely loved EVERYTHING! The Chefs were amazing, every restaurant was fabulous esp :Le Cpq Sauvage! We enjoyed the wine festival but enjoyed the Gran Cru event the last night the most. Arcachon/Cap Ferrat was my FAVORITE Day! Thank you for setting that up for us.” – J.Brooks, June 2018
“I was just on the trip with the school! I just wanted to say thank you for everything and all the hard work and organizing you did to wrangle the group! We all had a blast!” – A.Barton, May 2018
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