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Course Description

Ireland: A Cultural and Culinary Tour

2500 years ago the Celts were one of the most dominant cultural groups in Western Europe. Looked upon as barbarians (The word Celt comes from the Greek “Keltoi” meaning barbarian), they lived tribally throughout France and Spain and other parts of Europe. But they were slowly overtaken by generations of Romans, Moors, Vikings and other cultures so that today only six distinct Celtic peoples exist, mostly in northwestern France and parts of Great Britain.

In this program we’ll travel to Ireland, the land of the Gaelic Celts and to Brittany, the home of the Brythonic Celts. We’ll visit Dublin and Galway, Rennes and Vitre in a two-week exploration of Celtic culture and cuisine. We’ll visit Irish castles and French chateaux while learning the history of the area and how the Celts have helped shape contemporary Irish and French culture.

Along the way we’ll dine on fine Irish and French cuisine and sip a little Guinness and cider. And we’ll enjoy the current sights, sounds and tastes of contemporary Celtic culture in Ireland and Brittany.

View brochure (PDF)

Accompanying Instructor

John Gilchrist reviewed restaurants for CBC Radio in Calgary for 38 years, retiring in 2018. His restaurant column in the Calgary Herald ran for almost two decades and he authored eleven National Best-Sellers and three apps on dining in southern Alberta. He leads culinary travel programs for the University of Calgary Continuing Education, where he's taught Food and Culture programs for over twenty years.

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