Boundless Journeys Secures one of Europe's Rising Star Chefs for Cooking Class on its tour of Spain's Rioja Region.

STOWE, VT"”December 10, 2004"”Food and wine aficionados will experience a rare encounter with culinary fame on their Boundless Journeys tour of Spain's Rioja region this year. Noted chef, Francis Paniego of Hotel Echaurren (where guests will be staying) will oversee the cooking class scheduled as part of the Boundless Journeys itinerary.

As the adventure travel industry expands to include adventures of the cultural kind, many travelers seem eager not only to see something new, but also to do something new, actively experiencing authentic elements of the host culture. Company founder Matt Holmes explains the inclusion of this type of experience on Boundless Journeys' active adventure trips as follows: "The core of Boundless Journeys philosophy has always been to choose the world's most intriguing destinations, and then develop our trips to best showcase each destination's highlights. So it was really a natural fit to include culinary classes and wine tastings on our trips to the world's great gastronomic centers."

Chef Paniega and guests And La Rioja, of course, has long fit the bill. Chef Paniego was named to this year's Food and Wine list of "Europe's Rising Star Chefs" (July 2004), but for many foodies this is no surprise. Hotel Echaurren has been a culinary destination for some time, winning Spain's National Gastronomy prize in 1987. Echaurren is unique in that it has two restaurants, run by the mother and son team of Paniego and Marisa Sánchez, Paniego's mother who has been at Echaurren for many years. While Sánchez's side of the kitchen offers traditional Riojan recipes, handed down through generations, Paniego is garnering a reputation with his creative, modern, often playful interpretations of culinary classics. Despite his new vision of traditional dishes, Paniego's techniques satisfy the high standards of European traditionalists for whom fine food and wine are part of a daily norm. Traveling diners as well have come to expect superlative food from Paniego, and now Boundless Journeys guests will have an exclusive opportunity to learn from this burgeoning master.

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