About Us

Debbie Rodriguez

Debbie Rodriguez is the founder and president of Culinary Arts Tours. She has traveled extensively throughout Europe for more than twenty-five years.  Her love of European culture and food began in 1989, while living in London and pursuing her degrees in Journalism and International Relations from the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles. 

She is a former news anchor and reporter for the ABC and NBC news affiliates in St. Joseph, and Kansas City, Missouri.  In 2002 she studied tour design and planning at The Travel School in Toronto, Canada.  She has been designing and leading tours throughout Europe since 2004—combining her passion for travel with her love of food and wine. The result is many happy travelers! 

Her philosophy is simple—provide a first class, hands-on experience in a small group setting, and focus on delivering the most authentic and unique experience possible.  Her goal is for her tour members to truly connect to the country, its people, and its customs—and for them to return home with an enriching and rewarding unforgettable experience, filled with life-long memories!

John Castañeda Rodriguez

John Castañeda Rodriguez is the chief executive officer & founder of several businesses including Culinary Arts Tours which he co-founded. John has traveled extensively throughout Europe, Eurasia, Australia, Africa and Central and South America and his love for different cultures, foods and fine wines has made him well suited to be a part of our unique and memorable tour experiences.

Through his extensive business skills and knowledge spanning more than 20 years John has been a part of several other flourishing ventures in addition to Culinary Arts Tours. He began his successful business career with Altec Industries, an international company headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. He has also held several executive level positions with some of America’s largest charities, most notably with Hand of Hope based in St. Louis, where he served as the organization’s Chief Operating Officer.

He owns a luxury custom clothing line, an Aveda Boutique Lifestyle Salon and Spa, a financial solutions group as well a thriving business consulting firm. John is a true entrepreneur at heart.