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Mexican food is healthy and Chef Ana can show you the way to use delicious traditional ingredients in your daily life. This special week includes 4 cooking classes focused on healthy traditional Mexican cuisine and how to use traditional ingredients wherever you are. Cook and prepare healthy soups and salads, use traditional herbs and spices, cook time-honored dishes that you can use at home using locally grown ingredients such as chile, squash, avocados, corn, rice, and beans. Learn time-tested techniques to eat healthily.
Welcome to Chef Ana´s mountain home that was specially designed for her culinary program. The property consists of 6 guests rooms all with private baths. Each room has a different design and are very comfortable. All rooms have a king bed and some rooms have the possibility of 2 twin beds or 1 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 the 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.
During this week, you will take part in 3 mediation and yoga sessions (Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday) with Chef Ana’s personal Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga coach, Lulu Becerra and you will also have daily walks to enjoy the beauty of Tepoztlan. You do not need to be an expert at yoga to join in, just need to have the desire to learn!
Please note that the schedule and lineup of dishes may change to take advantage of seasonal dishes, local celebrations, ingredients or the interests of guests. La Villa Bonita reserves the right to modify this schedule and the dishes contained therein.
Guests arrive at MEX (Benito Juarez Mexico City International) with airport pickup included. 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 tortilla chips.
Later that afternoon / evening guests will enjoy Chef Ana’s 4-course chef’s table gourmet dinner made from primarily local ingredients grown in the garden or from local providers. Dinner is served within our 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 starts 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. Guests will go to the local Tepoztlán market to select the best ingredients from Chef Ana’s local providers and bring them back for your first cooking session in the open-air kitchen.
Today guests will learn how to do a pozole rojo as the main dish of the day. This classic Mexican meal / soup is a wonderfully healthy way to start the week filled with oyster mushrooms grown locally. You will also make oven-baked tostadas, potato, and nopal salad along with a zapote negro mousse or guavas in a light syrup. The “agua fresca” will be cucumber and mint. The cocktail of the day will be an ancho reyes pineapple.
Today Chef Ana will teach you about the “nixtamalization” process as well as testing out your tortilla-making technique using 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.
Tepoztlan is a town full of culinary history that is preserved in the family. Today is a day to learn the local Tepozteco dishes. Guests can have breakfast and take a yoga class at La Villa Bonita. You will then have time to shower and freshen up and return to the kitchen to cook up a storm - dishes such as a Tepozteco mixiote de pollo with hand-made tortillas, a vegetable consomme made from the mixiote broth with carrots and chickpeas, fresh mango gelatin from scratch, with the agua fresca of the day - Jamaica flower with guayaba. The cocktail of the day is jalapeno strawberry mezcalita.
The mixiote is created by making a banana leaf, maguey leaf or parchment paper pouch that is filled with vegetables and sauce that creates the most tender and flavorful chicken as well as other meats. This mixiote comes from the Aztecs who learned that the thin outer skin of the maguey plant was both resistant against weight and heat so it worked well as a pouch.
Guests enjoy lunch of dishes prepared with drink service in the open-air kitchen or the elevated terrace. After late lunch, guests will have an opportunity to take a walk into the downtown, relax around the pool with a good book or take a great nap! You are on vacation, it is up to you!
Today guests 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.
Later in the day, guests will witness a demonstration of how to make traditional lead-free artisan pottery from an artisanal producer in Tlayacapan by the name of Doña Chayo. Her family has produced pottery in the traditional way for generations. Almost all of Chef Ana’s earthenware in the house Doña Chayo. Learn how these noble vessels are made! Guests will have an opportunity to purchase his traditional rice and bean pots, flatware, cazuelas among many other great items.
After a hearty breakfast, guests will have the option of a leisurely morning or have a yoga class with Lulu Becerra. The honored foodie guests will dedicate the day to the ancho chile creating chiles rellenos stuffed with vegetarian picadillos with requeson. Guests will also make tomato and tomatillos salsa with a watermelon sorbet for dessert. The agua fresca of the day is pineapple and mint water and the signature cocktail of the day is a tamarind margarita. Learn how to properly prepare a dried ancho to make the useful vessel for so many dishes in Mexican cuisine.
You will start with a fabulous breakfast and start planning for the day’s meal. Today you will begin with a savory lentil soup, a berros salad with nopales, and the star attraction main dish - pork in adobo sauce. Guests will get to practice their tortilla-making technique. The dessert of the day will be pineapple empanadas and the agua fresca will be lime and chia. Today you will also visit the tortilla mill to grind your nixtamal into masa.
After your delicious breakfast and yoga class, 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 or Chef Alejandra as she prepares a 4-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, your return to Mexico city airport will be organized and you can start counting the days until you return for a new culinary adventure.
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 1 hour and 15 minutes south of Mexico City making transportation easy (the organizer picks you up in the Mexico City airport and brings you back). Because of its incredible “eternal spring” climate, Tepoztlan is a year-round destination where award-winning packages take place.
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. There is only a 15-minute walk to the central downtown circuit so there is not an excessive amount of traffic in front of La Villa Bonita but you will be just minutes away from the centro and zocalo.
Due to its year-round average daily temperature of 83 degrees Fahrenheit / 28 degrees Celsius, 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 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 cheese maker, 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.
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.
This is not strictly a vegetarian menu but there is a focus on the use of fruits, vegetables, and grains. Vegetarian and vegan options can be accommodated.
Included in the price you have daily breakfast, arrival dinner, and 4 meals (lunch or dinner) from the dishes you cook during the 4 cooking classes. Please contact the organizer prior to arrival so that they may accommodate your diet. There is dinner on the first night which is prepared prior to your arrival. Please let the organizer know through Whatsapp if you have anything you do not eat.
Mexico City International Airport
Please book your flight to arrive at Mexico City International Airport (MEX).
Airport pickup and return are provided to the Mexico City Benito Juarez International Airport (MEX) if you can meet the guidelines for the group shuttle. The trip will take about 1.5 hours depending on traffic on a very nice toll road. Once you have made a reservation, you will be send specific instructions on how to meet the shuttle.
For arrival in MEX, please arrive before 4:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. is ideal. You may arrive earlier, but there may be some wait time as other guests arrive. You can wait in the Urban Corner restaurant in terminal 1 which is the pickup point. The organizer will give you detailed instructions on how to get there.
If you cannot meet the pickup requirements, Uber is very good, reliable, and reasonably priced. If you do not want to wait for other guests or arrive after 4:00 p.m., you can take an Uber at about 60-70 USD which can fluctuate depending on demand or exchange rates. The fare does not include tolls which are reimbursed to your Uber driver through the app afterward (about 10 USD). So do not pay your driver for tolls as you will be charged twice. If you want to tip your driver feel free to do so. A tip of 100 to 150 pesos is recommended for good service.
Airport departure has more flexibility. If you would like to use the shuttle, your departure time should be after 12 noon. You may leave earlier for an additional fee. You will also have an Uber driver on call who charges 1300 pesos per trip (currently about 68 USD).
For this organizer you can guarantee your booking through BookCulinaryVacations.com. All major credit cards supported.
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