Travels with Doc Sconz

Miami & The Keys – April 15-22, 2016


Join Dr. John Sconzo and chef/author Norman Van Aken on a culinary exploration of Southern Florida highlighting its dining trends and the chefs that make it shine.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join food experts to explore Miami and Key West and to see where Fusion cuisine originated.
During this 7-night tour, you will be treated to an intimate experience in gastro-tourism with many special treats throughout the week.
The trip will consist of 5 nights in Miami and 2 nights in Key West.
Restaurants include Alter, Eating House, gastroPod, Bachour Bakery and Bistro, and others.


Trip Information

Planned Highlights:

  • Learn about Florida cuisine with the “Father of New World Cuisine”, chef/author Norman Van Aken, who will be a co-leader for this trip
  • Get the inside scoop and visit Little Havana with the chef from gastroPod, Jeremiah Bullfrog
  • Explore the ethnic food undercurrents in Wynwood with the chef from Alter, Brad Kilgore
  • A cocktail workshop highlighting the Miami vision with Giorgio Rapicavoli, chef of Eating House Miami and Miami Chopped Champion
  • A pastry workshop with Antonio Bachour, chef of Bachour Bakery and Bisto
  • A morning of fishing off the Keys
  • An afternoon pig roast with Chef Martin Liz
  • A coffee clinic at Panther with blind cuppings based on different roasting styles and brewing methods.
  • A visit to Homestead and its famous fruit markets.
  • A cocktail reception
  • Many other special treats

PRICE: $3,995.00 per person (deposit of $1,995 required to save a spot on the trip) – LIMITED SPOTS AVAILABLE


  • 7 overnights (5 in Miami and 2 in Key West)
  • Trip Leaders: Dr. John Sconzo and chef/author Norman Van Aken
  • Air-conditioned transportation (both in Miami and to Key West)
  • Meals and beverages as specified in the itinerary
  • Visits to local markets and neighborhoods
  • Dining at Alter, Eating House Miami, Gastropod, the Bachour Bakery & Bisto, and others
  • Comprehensive Sightseeing including all admissions
  • All taxes

Not Included

  • Drinks with some meals
  • Airfare before or after trip
  • Tips to driver

Recommended for:

If you are passionate about fine dining and experiential culinary visits, traveling with Doc Sconz and Travel Directions is for you. 

This special, once-in-a-lifetime experience will bring you to the finest that Miami and the Keys have to offer.  

Your Trip Leaders

Trip leaders are Dr. John Sconzo, a leading food writer and photographer, and chef Norman Van Aken, whose restaurant Norman’s was nominated as a finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Restaurant in America”.

Dr. John Sconzo

Dr. John Sconzo is the author of His passions include food, dining and photography and he has journeyed around the globe developing relationships with chefs and writers in the food world. John is located in Glens Falls, NY.

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Chef and author Norman Van Aken is the “founding father of New World Cuisine,” a celebration of Latin, Caribbean, Asian, African and American flavors.  He is also known internationally for introducing the concept of “Fusion” to the culinary world.  His restaurant “NORMAN’S” was nominated as a finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Restaurant in America”.

Trip Details

Miami, at Florida’s southeastern tip, is a vibrant city whose Cuban influence is reflected in the cafes and cigar shops that line Calle Ocho in Little Havana.  Miami Beach, on barrier islands across the turquoise waters of Biscayne Bay, is home to glamorous South Beach, famed for its colorful art deco buildings, white sand, surfside hotels and trendsetting nightclubs.

Key West, an island city, is part of the Florida Keys and the state’s southernmost point, lying roughly 90 miles north of Cuba.  Famed for its pastel-hued, conch-style houses and laid-back attitude, it’s a cruise-ship stop also accessible from the mainland via the Overseas Highway.  It’s known more for its coral reefs – destination for diving and snorkeling – than for its beaches.

5 nights in Miami and 2 nights in Key West

Miami & Key West Cuisine:  

Alter, Eating House, gastroPod, Bachour Bakery & Bistro, Hogfish Bar and Grill and many others.

Experiential Culinary Visits:  

Pastry workshop at Bachour Bakery & Bistro, Cocktail Workshop at 660 Anglers, Coffee Workshop at Panther Cafe, a pig roast in Key West, and many others.

The hotels for this Southern Florida journey were picked for their excellence in both quality and location.

The Angler’s (A Kimpton Hotel):  

With only 45 rooms spread across four builings, The Angler’s is an exclusive getaway than anything close to ordinary.  The intimate grounds are fill of cozy enclaves, lush gardens, and rooftop terraces.  All with an inviting pool to plunge in or lounge beside with chilled cocktails in hand.

The Angler’s Hotel

The Cabana Inn:  

The Cabana Inn is an oasis in the heart of Old Town Key West, just one block from Duval Street.  A historic conch estate with cottages meticulously converted to a modern and comfortable inn featuring the best amenities including lush interior courtyards, lagoon pool, spacious in-ground jacuzzi, and a large sun yard with treetop walkways and more.

The Cabana Inn

5 Nights in Miami, fly to Key West for two nights.

Miami Map

Itinerary Summary
Friday, April 15 – Arrival into Miami, Evening Cocktail Reception
Saturday, April 16 – Gastro Tour to Little Havana with chef Jeremiah Bullfrog and chef/author Norman Van Aken, Dinner at Alter (B,L,D)
Sunday, April 17 – Gastro Tour to Wynwood with chef Brad Kilgore, Dinner at gastroPod (B,L,D)
Monday, April 18 – Morning coffee clinic at Panther Cafe, Lunch at Eating House, Cocktail Workshop with chef Giorgio Rapicavoli at 660 Angler’s (B,L,D)
Tuesday, April 19 – Morning visit to Homestead with chef/author Norman Van Aken, afternoon pastry workshop with chef Antonio Bachour, dinner at Bachour Bakery and Bistro (B,L,D)
Wednesday, April 20 – Fly to Key West for two nights, afternoon and evening Gastro Tour with chef/author Norman Van Aken in Key West (B,L,D)
Thursday, April 21 – morning fishing charter off Key West, afternoon pig roast with chef Martin Liz and chef/author Norman Van Aken (B,L,D)
Friday, April 22 – return flight to Miami, end of trip (B)
Breakfast (B) – 7, Lunch (L) – 6, Dinner (D) – 6

Please use the Contact Form below to receive a detailed Itinerary and Reservation Form.

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