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We are dedicated to providing our clients with a travel and cooking class experience that includes understanding how it all fits the culture, the land, and the people. 

Travel transforms us, makes us multifaceted human beings, and ultimately takes us outside of ourselves to better understand the world. Understanding the unique gastronomy of the country we visit, with all of its complex traditions, is a layer of awareness that takes us above and beyond our ordinary observations during our travels. What is often missing in culinary travel is the backstory, the culture that surrounds the food that people prepare for themselves, that is, the traditions that they follow as they prepare and serve it. 

Gilda Valdez Carbonaro

Founder of Culinarian Expeditions


The idea of culinary travel percolated in my head for as many as 15 years. The two countries in mind were those two near and dear to my heart: Italy and Mexico. Italy is my 'adopted' country, having lived there with my Italian husband. Mexico is the country of my forefathers, my upbringing was steeped in its rituals and traditions.  More importantly, it should be noted that these two countries are among those that have the most complex and varied regional cuisines in the world.  And even though examples of the cuisine of Italy and Mexico can be found in the oddest and most remote corners of the world, it puzzled me that there is little understanding of what they are about, even among those who have taken expensive cooking classes and traveled extensively.

What better way to understand a country and its people than through its gastronomic traditions?  A cuisine does not exist in a vacuum. Every mouthful of a dish is steeped in the history of its people. So let us spoil you!  Our groups are like family, small and intimate; our participants become lifelong friends, sharing memories of an experience they will treasure forever, especially when they return and prepare for their families the dishes they learned to make. 

Fluent in English, Italian, Spanish, French

Cynthia Carranza
Cynthia is charge of planning and organizing all the aspects of the different tours in Mexico.  She has an MBA from the Universidad Tecnológica de México and lives in Mexico City.
Fluent in English and Spanish.


Elizabeth Gonzalez

Elizabeth (Eli) Gonzalez arrived in Florence in 2019 from Mexico to do a Masters in Brand Design Management in Food, Wine and Tourism. In addition, she completed another Masters in International Marketing of Wine.  Eli is passionate about Italian culture and gastronomy, but most of all, she is an avid oenophile who enthusiastically shares her vast knowledge of the wines of Italy with the participants of Culinarian Expeditions.

Fluent in English, Italian, and Spanish.

Sandra Carrillo
Sandra is a licensed tour guide for the city of Florence and its province. A native of Hidalgo in Mexico, she is married to an Italian and lives in Florence with her husband and two daughters. Sandra helps us with planning and logistics for our Italian culinary tours. She has an MBA from the Instituto Tecnologico de Estudios Superiores in Monterrey, Mexico with a background in marketing, and a Masters in Tourism from ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Spain
Fluent in English, Italian, and Spanish.

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