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Welcome to Mexico’s best farm-to-table experience focused on all of the wonderful things that pork provides and incredible dishes such as pozole, chicharrones, carnitas, cochinita, relleno among many other wonderful dishes. This is snout-to-tail at its finest and Chef Ana will show you the best techniques.
Welcome to Chef Ana´s mountain home that was specially designed for her culinary program. The property consists of six guest rooms all with private baths. Each room has a different design and is very comfortable.
All rooms have a king bed and some rooms have the possibility of two twin beds or one king. All rooms have french doors that open up to a common courtyard with incredible views of the surrounding mountains and steps from the open-air kitchen.
La Villa Bonita is built in a citrus orchard on a hectare of terraced land, complete with an herb and vegetable garden. The specially-designed open-air kitchen is complete with a living area, three sinks, lots of cooking and prep space as well as a 360-degree view of the majestic mountains.
Above the kitchen sits our 16-person-capacity glass table with an incredible panoramic view of the Tepozteco mountains, the ex-convent, and the town below. La Villa Bonita is located in a very quiet residential area of town away from the downtown hum.
Chef Ana’s great-grandmother Josefina was one of the most revered butchers in the Cuernavaca market. Chef Ana knew her great-grandmother until she passed away when Ana was 18. It has always been a desire of Chef Ana to keep the tradition of pork butchery alive in her family and teach it to others.
During the week, you go to the farm to select your pig with free-range producer Georgina and them come back to learn about all of the preparation and cuts that come from the whole hog. As well, learn how to make your own bacon and ham without nitrates. Learn how to render lard and prepare chicharrones with master butcher Don Domingo. Learn it all with Chef Ana!
Guests arrive at MEX (Benito Juarez Mexico City International) with airport pickup. The trip takes 1.5 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 as well as snacks such as guacamole, cheeses, home-made salsa, and totopos.
Later that afternoon/evening guests will enjoy Chef Ana’s four-course chef’s table gourmet dinner made from primarily local ingredients grown in the garden or from local providers.
Dinner is served within the ample open-air kitchen with a view of the valley below or above our kitchen in the elevated dining area with a 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, you will accompany Chef Ana to visit the free-range pig ranch El Troje with Georgina.
The pigs live a great life and are slaughtered in as humane a way as possible. Today you will field dress the pic with master butcher Don Domingo and create relleno (blood sausage).
You will bring the pig back to La Villa Bonita and make a selection of guisados for tacos as well as salsas. Learn how to use red, white or blue masa made from ancestral corn varieties produced locally and make your own tortillas and place them on the comal with Mari your “ama de llaves” during your stay at La Villa Bonita.
The day begins as always with a fabulous breakfast and a trip to the market to select ingredients and to meet the local butcher and cheese vendor. Guest return to LVB to quarter and section the pig, learning about all of the respective cuts of the pig and learning how to extract them. Today we will make Pozole Rojo which is a rich full-meal soup prepared with different parts of the pig. We will also learn about skinning the pig which will be used for chicharron and also start the process of curing our bacon and ham which will be salt-cured and brined. Cooking each day generally goes from 11 to 2:30 in the afternoon with lunch of dishes prepared in the open-air kitchen or the elevated terrace with wine and beer service as well as coffee or tea with dessert. An agua fresca made with fruit or horchata, Jamaica, or tamarindo accompanies each lunch.
Today, you will join Chef Ana on a walking/eating tour of the Tepoztlan market, visit the Ex-Convent and museum as well as try a wide variety of local delicacies in the market. Walk, learn and eat like a native, delicacies such as itacates, pancita, cecina, and traditional Morelos quesadillas. This is the farmer’s market day in Tepoztlan with an opportunity to see the wide variety of ingredients and dishes that Tepoztlan has to offer.
After breakfast, you will visit with master butcher Don Domingo to learn how to make the most incredible chicharrones (fried pork skins).
After a hearty breakfast, guests will dedicate the day to preparing a traditional Yucatecan treat – cochinita pibil made from pork ribs and cooked over a wood flame, wrapped in banana leaves in a clay pot sealed with masa – delicious! Today you will also continue the process of preparing bacon and ham.
You start with a fabulous breakfast as usual and begin the preparations to enjoy the simple grandeur of pork carnitas. This sweet and tart dish will leave you wanting more. You will also try out ham and bacon which you will have slow-smoked throughout the week.
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 an optional farewell dinner (additional fee) 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, the staff will organize your return to the Mexico City Airport and count the days until you see each other again for a new culinary adventure.
This schedule is posted to give the guest a general idea of the seven-night package schedule on a normal week. The schedule may change to take advantage of seasonal dishes, ingredients or the interests of guests. LVB 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.
Tepoztlan, a “Pueblo Magico” (magic village) 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 (La Villa Bonita will pick you up in the Mexico City airport and bring you back).
Because of its incredible “eternal spring” climate, Tepoztlan is a year-round destination where La Villa Bonita's award-winning packages take place.
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 ex-convent below. The villa is a 15-minute walk away to the central downtown circuit so there is not an excessive amount of traffic in front of La Villa Bonita but it is just minutes away from the centro and zocalo.
Due to its year-round average daily temperature of 83 F/28 C, Tepoztlan has become an off-the-beaten-path destination for those who want a wonderful climate with a picturesque, authentic, and traditional Mexican backdrop.
Tepoztlan’s temperate climate with prevailing sunshine, its wonderful adobe facades, incredible local festivals, and ancient cobblestone streets attract Mexicans and foreign tourists from all over the world who seek a traditional, small-town environment.
Tepoztlan is one of the most unique, authentic, and safest places you can visit and has a lower crime rate in most cities and towns in the US. You will get this understanding 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 seeks to experience a rich culture. “Tepoztecos,” as they are known here, appreciate the foreign tourist because you appreciate their culture. 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.
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 firecracker 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.”
Chef Ana Garcia offers you a glimpse into a world that few outsiders ever experience. Become a part of Chef Ana’s culinary family for a week at her specially designed culinary hotel in the foothills of the Tepozteco mountain. Access a rich side of Mexico that few outsiders have ever seen - not as a tourist - but as a real member of the family.
As you select your daily ingredients, you will be warmly greeted by the butcher, the cheesemaker, the fruit vendor, the baker, the strawberry producer as if you have lived in Tepoztlán forever.
Take your corn to the mill with the local Tepozteco women to make the freshest tortillas you have ever tasted. Pick fruit on the grounds of La Villa Bonita’s organic orchard to use as an ingredient in the day’s meal. For Chef Ana, every great meal starts with great ingredients and at La Villa Bonita you will learn from the expert.
Learn the mouth-watering dishes that have made Mexican cuisine one of the world’s best: chiles en nogada, red and green mole, chile atole, cochinta pibil, and a varierty of delicious tamales among many others traditional dishes from which to choose.
Chef Ana will suggest seasonal dishes and all-time favorites to make your experience fun and informative. Make your first corn tortilla starting with ancient varieties of corn grown right in the village. Spend the day with Chef Ana in La Villa Bonita’s open-air kitchen with a view of the majestic convent in one of the world’s most delicious year-round climates.
The local kids will say "buenas tardes" to you as you walk the ancient cobblestone streets in search of the perfect gift to bring home. Maybe after lunch, you will take the hike up to Tepoztlán’s pyramid perched on a mountain top. Or maybe you will just relax by the pool carved out of volcanic rock with a good book. La Villa Bonita offers a fun, safe, and culturally-interesting vacation all in one.
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.
For this organizer you can guarantee your booking through BookCulinaryVacations.com. All major credit cards supported.
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