Above: Snacks of bread, olives from Katja's grove, local sweet cheese, figs and the zucchini coins we sautéed at our cooking class in Trsteno

An ideal cooking class introduces new culinary techniques and affords insight into the local culture, and it does these things somewhere beautiful. My private cooking class nearDubrovnik, arranged by local company Culinary Croatia, was close to perfect. A driver took us from Dubrovnik to Trsteno, where Katja awaited me at the entrance to the town’s magnificent botanical gardens. Her home was on the far side, and we strolled through the seaview gardens to her outdoor kitchen, complete with a fountainlike stone sink and a grapevine-topped pergola.

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Above: Snacks of bread, olives from Katja's grove, local sweet cheese, figs and the zucchini coins we sautéed at our cooking class in Trsteno

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