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About Coastal Food Tours

Coastal Virginia is an area dotted with quaint historic towns, miles of bountiful green fields, the picturesque Chesapeake bay, vibrant cities, and the majestic Atlantic ocean. Its natural beauty forged by the water, has been a crucial part of the area's commerce and sustenance since modern man inhabited the area. about coastal food tours of virginiaIts mild climate also offers a bounty of fruits and vegetables year round. Some, such as the peanut and sweet potato are long time staples, as others, such as kiwi are newer additions.

The culinary history goes back hundreds of years, from the native American roots, to colonists, to the diversity found in the port cities that thrived for generations. Classic dishes can be found throughout the area, as well as a variety of modern, ethnic, green, and sustainable cuisine developed by inspired chefs.

We are devoted to preserving and continuing the culinary heritage of each city in Hampton Roads. Your participation on our food tours helps to support each restaurant and shop we visit.

We hope to open your mind and palette to the sights, sounds and flavors that Virginia Beach and Norfolk has to offer. The area best known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant urban areas, and quaint historic neighborhoods, offers a wide range of cuisine that will change your expectations of Hampton roads.

John Ickes - Director of Partnerships and Development

john’s quarter-century Navy career took him from Pacific islands to the stark Iceland landscape, from Germany to Scotland, and from Groton, Connecticut to the Persian Gulf, with any number of fun-filled stops at ports-of-call along the way. During that time, he developed a deep appreciation for the many styles and variations of dining that are important elements of so many cultures.

He’s reveled in shrimp fresh from the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, lobster in Maine, sausages too many to number in Germany and, yes, even haggis in Scotland (hey! It’s really pretty good!).

His not-so-secret ace in the hole is Vonia, his long suffering wife of more than four decades. Herself a Clinical Dietitian, she’s taught him how to say ’phytochemicals’ and ’betacarotene’, which appear in his speech from time to time (sometimes even accurately).

John holds a degree in Hotel/Restaurant Management from the State University of New York at Delhi, one in History and Political Science from the University of the State of New York, and an MA in International Studies from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA.

He’s been a staff member of the Virginia Beach Neptune Festival for eighteen years, and enjoys literature, travel, and music, especially Celtic music (yup, that’s him in the kilt, playing the bagpipes).

John directs the choir in his church and works and plays well with others (for the most part).

John started his work with Food Tour Corp as a guide, which has allowed him to enjoy two of his major passions; meeting new friends and talking about Virginia and food (not necessarily in that order).

His role has increased over the years and as the Director of Partnerships and Development he is able to use his expertise in the area, combined with creativity to help develop dome exciting events for the company.

John currently resides in Virginia Beach manages Coastal Food Tours team members in both Virginia Beach and Norfolk.

check our calendar to see what tours, activities and events you can do today!