Just back from hosting my 18th culinary tour -- this time to Charleston SC., October 11 to 15, 2012 and thrilled to read that it's been voted the top destination in the world by Conde Nast Traveler magazine.

It's easy to see why this city is rated so highly. Its history is so diverse, the climate is wonderful, it's a walkable city and the food is exceptional. Young chefs have embraced the history of low country cuisine (food of the lower country/marshland areas) and with their geography, their food history includes fish, seafood, pork, corn, rice, beautiful vegetables and fruit. Did you know that Charleston is the home to the last and only Tea Plantation in the US and just prior to the Civil War, it was the richest city in the US exporting rice to China! Yes, rice, a culinary tradition learned from slaves originating from Sierra Leone Africa. Some of the best rice pudding I've experienced came from Charleston! It's amazing what you'll learn on one of my culinary tours!