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Learn how to prepare a whole hog in this special week at La Villa Bonita. Chef Ana comes from a long line of butchers that are traced back well beyond the Mexican Revolution. Her great grandmother was a revered butcher in the central Cuernavaca market. Let Chef Ana teach you all of the secrets as you learn how to butcher and prepare a whole hog and then prepare classic Mexican pork dishes as well as side dishes, drinks, and desserts.
During this holiday, you will stay at La Villa Bonita. La Villa Bonita is located on the upslope of the Tepozteco mountains with a privileged perch above the town and an incredible view of the convent below. It is 15 minutes' walk to the central downtown circuit, so there is not an excessive amount of traffic in front of La Villa Bonita, but they are just a few steps away from the centro and zocalo.
Stay on-site on the grounds of La Villa Bonita as Chef Ana's personal guest. Enjoy the beautiful six guestrooms complete with private baths and rooms with a choice of king or two twin beds. Spend your time on the upswing of the Tepozteco Mountains, enjoy the heated pool, and organic orchard. The spacious kitchen, where you can enjoy your classes, just steps away as well as the wonderful gourmet meals offered on the elevated terrace.
Pork is one of the most important principal ingredients in a litany of incredible Mexican traditional dishes. Learn how to use the entire pig in dishes such as pozole, chorizo and other sausages, carnitas, cochinita pibil, Tepoztlan green mole, guasmole, pork rinds, broths, northern beans, and achiote grilled pork leg, among many other dishes. This is your chance to do super farm-to-table, Mexican style.
You will pick the pig from the free-range provider. Then you will take a class from master butcher Don Domingo to learn how to create the finest cuts. You will also learn the secrets of how to make the freshest and crispiest pork rinds, traditional Mexican sausage and chorizo, prepare pork in a myriad of ways as you have never done before with wonderful side dishes as you have grown to love at La Villa Bonita. As an added plus, learn how to smoke your own bacon and ham. Learn a “secret scrumptious pork technique” from Chef Ana that will make will make your taste buds sing.
You will select your hog from the free-range producer, Georgina. The hog will be cleaned and brought to La Villa Bonita. From there you will learn all of the cuts that can be produced from the hog under the supervision of Chef Ana and Tepoztlan master butcher Don Domingo. La Villa Bonita will make everything from cochinita over an wood oven, the best carnitas you have ever had, pozole, pork in green sauce with verdolagas, pork in adobo, chicharones. You will smoke your own ham and bacon. This is just a small sample of the dishes to be prepared!
Guests arrive at Mexico City International Airport (MEX), airport pickup is provided. The trip takes one and half hours from Mexico City to La Villa Bonita and guests will be greeted upon arrival with a delicious homemade cocktail such as Chef Ana’s famous margarita made with her own Calamondine orange liquor.
Later that afternoon or evening guests will enjoy Chef Ana’s four-course gourmet dinner made from primarily local ingredients grown in the garden or from local providers. Dinner is served within their ample open-air kitchen with view of the valley below or above the kitchen in the elevated dining area with 360-degree view of the mountains. Chef Ana will explain her dishes to the guests and also discuss how the week will unfold.
The day begins with Chef Ana’s famous big breakfast with fresh fruit, biscuits, homemade jams and jellies along with a new traditional Mexican main dish each morning. Today is the day that you visit the pig producer, George Anne, in Tehuixtla to select and slaughter the free-range pig. George Anne will tell you about her environmentally sustainable operation while her field hands prepare the pig for transport.
At that time, Chef Ana will teach the guests how to make a traditional delicacy in Tepoztlan called relleno or a blood sausage with mint, chile serrano, onion among other ingredients. The pig will then be brought to the house and prepare a taco feast with the blood sausage, the most delicious, fresh tortillas made from local corn, and salsas.
Today is pozole day! So after your abundant breakfast guests will begin the preparation for Pozole Rojo. Guests also begin the butchering process sectioning the pig into primals, skinning the pig for use in pork skins or chicharron, lard, and chales, and cooking the head to be used in the pozole.
You will then enjoy a lunch fit for a king consisting of tacos dorados with requeson and also with potatoes, along with all of the joy that comes with a delicious pozole and the fabulous condiments such as radishes, lettuce, oregano, limes, avocado, and dried chile. Also, a new dessert will be prepared with each cooking session.
After a hearty breakfast, you make your way for a hike up to see the Tepoztecto pyramid. Those who do not want to do the hike can meet La Villa Bonita at the market after the hike to select ingredients for the rest of the week, get to know Chef Ana´s providers, and take a walking-eating tour of the market. This is one of the farmer´s market days so the selection, colors, and smells are incredible.
You will learn about the local produce! Chef Ana then brings guests back to La Villa Bonita to continue deboning and sectioning the primals and also to begin the preparation and curing of bacon. Tonight’s dinner is on your own. La Villa Bonita can suggest restaurants for you as well as meals (chicken, tacos, pizza) that can be delivered to La Villa Bonita.
The cooking fun continues after breakfast with preparation of different cuts of the pig and ingredients for everyone´s favorite – Carnitas! Later in the morning, Ana will take guests to meet Doña Chayo in Tlayacapan to participate in a traditional, lead-free pottery demonstration. You will learn the ancient techniques as well as have the opportunity to purchase pieces from their store.
These beautiful, rustic pots, bowls, plates, cazuelas are a fabulous addition to any kitchen. Guest then return and finish the carnitas preparation and have a delicious lunch of the day´s main dish as well as sides, dessert, and traditional drinks.
After a hearty breakfast, you will begin the day with a trip to master butcher, Don Domingo to see how chicharrones or pork skins are made as well as chales and lard. You haven't lived until you have tried a quick taco made from freshly-crisped chicharron with lime, a bit of salsa, and pure deliciousness.
Later in the morning, guests will come back to prepare today's main dish of Cochinita Pibil in Doña Chayo's earthenware cazuelas and covered with banana leaves. This fabulous mainstay of Mexican cuisine is then placed over a wood grill and cooked to perfection. As well you will make a variety of side dishes, drinks, and dessert.
After your delicious breakfast, you have a day to enjoy on your own. Take a hike, enjoy the weekend artisan market, go out for lunch or just relax. Today is a day to do whatever your heart desires. In the evening, enjoy your final farewell dinner with Chef Ana as she prepares a four-course chef’s table dinner. Feel free to come up to the kitchen as Chef Ana prepares the gourmet meal and enjoy a glass of wine as you reminisce about the week you had at La Villa Bonita.
After breakfast, La Villa Bonita will organize your return to the Mexico City airport and count the days until you see each other again for a new culinary adventure.
Please note, this schedule is posted to give the guest a general idea of the whole hog week. The schedule may change to take advantage of season dishes, ingredients, or the interests of our guests. La Villa Bonita reserves the right to modify this schedule and the dishes contained therein.
Ana Garcia is one of the most vivacious traditional Mexican chefs and teachers in Mexico today. The inspiration for Chef Ana’s recipes and hospitality grow out of her long, rich family history in central and northern Mexico. She has taken this extensive knowledge and incorporated it into a culinary repertoire that includes traditional central and northern Mexican specialties, as well as nouvelle Mexican cuisine using traditional ingredients in new and gastronomically adventurous ways.
This cooking holiday will be taking place in Tepoztlan, Mexico. Tepoztlan, Mexico's original Pueblo Magico (magic villages) and one of Mexico's most unique destinations, is located about 5280 feet above sea level and roughly one hour 15 minutes south of Mexico City making transportation easy.
Its wonderful adobe facades, incredible local festivals, and cobblestone streets attract Mexicans and foreign tourists from all over the world. Tepoztlan is one of the most unique, authentic, and safest places you can visit. You will get this impression in the first 15 minutes after setting foot in the village. It is a place that time seems to have forgotten with time-honored culinary traditions, wonderful local produce, and a very enjoyable pace of life focused on family and friends.
Tepoztlan is made up of stubborn townspeople and subsistence farmers who vigilantly guard their traditions from change which makes it an ideal destination for the foodie and the traveler who enjoys experiencing a rich culture. Tepoztecos, as they are known here, appreciate the foreign tourist because you appreciate their culture and are here for that reason.
You can walk anywhere day or night and people will say hello to you, be cordial, but not overburdening. This magic village with its mystical vibe is known as the Sedona of Mexico and consists of a very small, tight-knit community where people are very content with their lifestyle - a full social calendar that consists of constant cultural events, celebrations, and festivals during both the week and weekend.
While the media tends to paint Mexico with broad strokes without definition, Tepoztlan is a piece of art without comparison - exquisite but not commercial. In Tepoztlan, you will hear the enveloping sounds of the community, the church bells, the rooster crowing, the occasional fire cracker and the music wafting through the valley. So, enjoy your stay and when you go home, please tell everyone about your experience in the hidden culinary jewel of Mexico.
Every day during this culinary holiday, you will be served with daily breakfast, four lunches, and two dinners, along with alcoholic as well as non-alcoholic beverages during the included meals.
This culinary vacation is all about the food and using food as a window into a beautiful culture. You will cook, but you will also understand the significance of food in traditional Mexican society. Cook as a member of the family as Mexican's have done for generations in a fun and relaxed environment in the spectacular open-air kitchen with a view of the valley below.
The fabulous breakfast at La Villa Bonita are included, and consist of biscuits made from scratch, locally made pastries, home-made jams and jellies, a different main breakfast dish every morning, fresh fruits of the season, coffee, fresh juice, yogurt, and granola. Upon arrival, you will be treated to a gourmet delight as Chef Ana builds a menu based on local seasonal ingredients for her welcome dinner.
This week is dedicated to the understanding of butchery, charcuterie, and the making of traditional dishes using pork but that doesn't mean everything is pork! You will make many other dishes, side dishes, desserts, and drinks. On Saturday night, you will also be invited to recount the week's events with a bon voyage meal prepared by Ana in the culinary mountain sanctuary that you have called home.
During this holiday, guided hiking in the mountains is also available with a local biologist, or you can go rappelling in the mountain waterfalls during the summer season. Walking around this lovely ancient town is highly recommended. You will get a chance to see the local chapels that mark each barrio, visit the ex-convent and museum in the main cathedral, shop in the wonderful artisan stores in the center square, and also attend local celebrations throughout the year and as a local.
In-room massage is available upon request and for an additional fee. Traditional temazcal or sweat lodge experience are also available upon request for an additional cost. Please reserve at least 48 hours prior, to assure availability.
Mexico City International Airport
Book your flight to arrive at Mexico City International Airport (MEX). La Villa Bonita will pick you up from the airport. The pick-up is included in the price.
For this organizer you can guarantee your booking through BookCulinaryVacations.com. All major credit cards supported.
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