The cuisine of a country offers a clear expression of cultural identity. Food represents the history, lifestyle values and beliefs of a region and its people. Family recipes passed down through generations weave a story, preserve culture, and provide emotional comfort. When we eat the food of a place we taste and digest its essence and connect to the growers, cooks and those with whom we sit down to eat.
Chef Liezie Mulder and her sister Thelma Schempers see food as an essential ingredient in any travel experience. They have been inspired by their own gourmet globetrotting adventures to create “Thelma & Leez: Fabulous Food Escapades”, and have 2 food tours to Tuscany planned for June and October 2019. Small groups will stay in a beautiful villa in the heart of Tuscany and enjoy mouthwatering, hands-on food experiences that are unique, informative and playful. From farmers to truffle hunters, from homemade pizza to Michelin star restaurants – Liezie and Thelma wish to share an authentic experience of Italian food and lifestyle with their guests.
Thelma and Liezie have travelled together extensively and share a love of exploring, eating, meeting people and seeking out beautiful and creative ideas and flavours. Liezie recalls a trip with chef Jody Adams: “ We toured Sicily on a biking and food experience. I wasn’t very bike fit so was always the last one to arrive or loaded my bike in the van and waited at the destination with a glass of wine! We visited food artisans, bakeries, and wineries, ate gelato, cooked, made pasta and enjoyed a Michelin star dinner. It was fabulous!” More recently the sisters travelled through France and Italy with chef Jan Hendrik who shared his favourite food haunts. Of their joint travels Thelma says “It is always an experience, we just laugh a lot more if we travel together!”
Liezie lists her visits to Vietnam and Japan as some of her most memorable food culture immersions: “In Vietnam, the food was so fresh, light and delicious, with handfuls of fresh herbs in most dishes. The people were equally gentle and “light” hearted – humble and friendly. Our recent trip to Japan was overwhelming – such unique flavours, technique, people and craftsmanship. Many of my best food memories are from Asian trips, because of the use of ginger, lemon, salt, chili and umami flavours that are vibrant and punchy. Thelma cites her trip to Istanbul “ My very first food tour was a “kebab crawl” – an afternoon street food tour of amazing street foods. We loved it so much we ended up doing two more!”
Both Liezie and Thelma talk of the impact of travel on their own cooking and living environment. Liezie brings inspiration into the menu at île de païn and the meals she cooks for the family. Thelma is stimulated by the rich sensory experiences, which inform her style as a designer of spaces and events. They both speak of how food brings together friends and family as an enriching, shared and joyful experience.
Join “Thelma & Leez” for a fabulous foodie adventure in Tuscany in June or October 2019.