Cooking Vacations & Culinary Tours
O.A.R.S. offers Culinary Adventures on the following trips:
Chef Bob Anderson
From our blog - Master River Chef: Bob Anderson
Executive Chef, Bob Anderson, of the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park, is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America as well as an outdoor adventure enthusiast.
“After a great trip, they (guests) will take home not only a cook book full of recipes, and a special O.A.R.S. Wilderness Gourmet apron, but the memories of the sensual flavors of the foods they prepared on the river.” states Chef Bob. “You don't have to be a gourmet chef to enjoy this mouth-watering river trip.”
“I like to refer to it as a vintner dinner interrupted by white-water rafting,” said Mr. Anderson, whom guests call Chef Bob. He uses Dutch ovens to make braised chicken, flambées steaks in Jack Daniels sauce, and fills black Mission figs with Point Reyes blue cheese and wraps them in bacon.—Bonnie Tsui, The New York Times.
Chef Cristián Vargas
Cristián is a professional chef having graduated from the University INACAP in Santiago, Chile, with a degree in Administration of Gastronomic Production and International Cooking. He worked in many high-end Santiago restaurants (trained and worked at Agua restaurant—named by Condé Nast Traveler magazine as "one of the 50 best restaurants in the world") before heading to San Sebastian, Spain to serve as head chef in an avant-garde restaurant.
Although he loved the fast paced, exciting life of working in big city establishments, Cristián was drawn to the outdoors. He was able to combine his passion for food with his passion for adventure by traveling to Futaleufu, Chile and working as head chef for a fly fishing lodge. Cristián has worked as Head Chef for Bio Bio Expeditions in Chile since 2005. He creates the menu, places the food orders and arranges delivery—a daunting task in the middle of Patagonia!
Cristián began with O.A.R.S. working on the Chilko River in British Columbia. Since then he has worked with O.A.R.S. in Idaho and Oregon on a number of our gourmet trips, pairing Asian and classic cuisine with regional wines and award-winning micro-brews. He transforms the dining experience to truly gourmet with a Latin American flair and he creatively and deliciously meets a wide range of dietary requirements, from vegetarian to food allergies.
Cristián is always happy to share his skills with our guests, from how to make Chilean empanadas to dancing the salsa—Cristián adds fun and flair to any rafting trip!
Culinary Adventure Trips
For those with a passion for great food, exquisite wine and a palate for adventure, O.A.R.S. Culinary Adventure series brings an elevated epicurean experience to the Wild & Scenic Rogue River in Oregon and Idaho's Main Salmon River in the Frank Church—River of No Return Wilderness.
Epicurean Adventure with Whole Foods Market® on the Main Salmon River
Our Main Salmon Epicurean Adventure is a river-loving foodie’s dream: gourmet, fresh and often organic meals prepared by the renowned Chef Cristián Vargas, paired with regionally sourced wines and micro brews. Produced with Whole Foods Market® 365 Everyday Value®, organic and regionally sourced products from the new Whole Foods Market store in Boise, Idaho, the impressive cuisine will be restaurant quality, matching delicious food and cooking demos with exciting whitewater and gorgeous scenery on this all-inclusive adventure.
These unique packages combine mouth-watering fare and the appeal of the wilds into magnificent culinary adventures.
Wilderness Gourmet on the Rogue River
If the idea of learning how to prepare world-class cuisine while pairing it perfectly with a glass of superb wine sounds intriguing, imagine doing it along the banks of the Rogue River with instruction from celebrated gourmet chef, Bob Anderson on our Wilderness Gourmet Adventure.
Gourmet Adventure Trips
Rogue Wilderness Gourmet | August 3; September 1: The Wild and Scenic Rogue River, just a short drive from the renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, is the ideal setting for our Wilderness Gourmet trip on the Rogue. Featured wines for our culinary adventure will include an eclectic selection of California, Oregon and Washington varietals guaranteed to pair perfectly with the delicious riverside fare.
Main Salmon Epicurean Adventure | August 23: Savor the Main Salmon River on an adventure that honors the culture and tradition of food and fine beverage. Guests will enjoy gourmet meals prepared by Chef Cristián Vargas with Whole Foods Market® 365 Everyday Value, organic and regionally sourced products from Idaho and the Pacific Northwest.