7 Days Mexican Home Cooking Holiday in Tlaxcala

  • Mexican Home Cooking School, Apdo. 64, 90000, Tlaxcala, Mexico

Overview

Mexican Cooking Vacation

More than just a cooking school this is an experience of Mexico and its cuisine that is rarely found. Give yourself the pleasure of a quiet haven of cooking and relaxing; a wonderful way to spend a week with others from around the world, glass of wine in hand swapping tales and hearing stories about Mexico, its culture, cooking and tasting its food. Sightsee in the afternoon and return in the evening for cocktails and a candlelit gourmet dinner. If the evening is cool relax in front of the fireplace in your room with that book you never have time to read at home.

Highlights

  • 5 cooking classes
  • Welcome cocktail hour
  • Traditional Puebla cuisine
  • Meals with beer, wine, margarita
  • Printed recipes & a culinary memento
  • 6 nights accommodation
  • Daily lunch, dinner
  • 5 days with instruction
  • Spanish, English
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Casa Carmelita is the "hacienda style" home of Doa Estela and her American husband Jon. It is a comfortable family home where you will experience the routines of a Mexican family in its kitchen. The accommodations include your choice of a double room, detached garden cottage and a two room suite. Each is unique, built and furnished using local materials in the traditions of indigenous, Spanish, Moorish, and French cultures that mixed in this area. Each accommodation is spacious with private bath and a fireplace for cool evenings. All rooms have daily maid service. Each room is the same price and reservations are made on a first come first serve basis.

Blue room

  • Double room
  • Fireplace
  • King-size bed or two singles
  • Private bath
  • Private patio

Casita

  • Detached cottage
  • Fireplace
  • King-size bed or two singles
  • Private bath
  • Private garden

Stone suite

  • Fireplace
  • King-size bed or two singles
  • Private bath
  • Two room suite

Mexican Home Cooking invites you to join them for a week of immersion in Mexican cuisine and life in their house, Casa Carmelita, where you will cook and experience the routines of a Mexican country home. What they teach is the traditional cuisine from the city of Puebla. They are passing on what has been kept alive in their family of these dishes and traditions.

Their desire is to offer a special experience and open a door to Mexico that is rarely available to tourists. The wonderful part is that you don't have to be an advanced cook to learn this type of cooking. They base the classes on the ability of each person and make the techniques simple to learn. You'll be surprised how complex the flavors turn out and you will return home able to reproduce these dishes in your own kitchen.

Day 1 - Arrival

  • Arrival.
  • Enjoy cocktails and dinner.

Day 2-5 - Cooking class, free time

  • Classes are 2 - 2.5 hours each day. You will be preparing lunch and dinner.
  • Each day will include a soup, two main dishes, sauces and usually a dessert.

Day 6 - Cooking class

  • Last day of cooking class.
  • On this last night enjoy cocktails and live music in the evening.

Day 7 - Departure

  • Breakfast and morning departure.

The City of Tlaxcala is located in a valley surrounded by three majestic volcanoes - Popocatpetl, Ixtaccihuatl and La Malinche. It is a two-hour drive from Mexico City and 45 minutes from the Puebla airport. You can tour the city on foot or on a tram ride, the main form of transport for the citizens of Tlaxcala in the 19th Century.

The lovely colonial city of Tlaxcala was founded in 1524 by the Spaniards and Franciscan monks. Its heart is the Zocalo or main plaza, considered one of the prettiest in Mexico. Fountains play beneath old trees and a 19th century wrought-iron bandstand is surrounded by gardens reminiscent of Renaissance Europe and bordered on two sides by 16th century colonnades shading shops, sidewalk cafes and strolling musicians.

Magnificent colonial buildings dating from the 16th and 17th centuries enclose the other two sides. A second plaza (Xicohtencatl) is the site of an art and crafts fair each weekend. On the hill above, reached by a cobblestone path, is the 16th-century Franciscan cathedral.

Apart from a small chapel in Veracruz it is probably the oldest church in Mexico. It is particularly exquisite, with its cedar ceiling and baroque golden altar. Next door in the cloisters is Tlaxcala's regional museum, with exhibits of pre-Hispanic artifacts and colonial religious paintings. Near the river, close by, is the Museum of Arts and Popular Traditions, with spirited folkway demonstrations and a museum shop.

Long before there was "Mexican Cuisine" the Olmecs, Zapotecs, Totonacs, Toltecs and Aztecs came and intermixed their cultures, customs and kitchens. For thousands of years before the Europeans arrived, before Rome was even a village, a sophisticated cuisine was developing here. When the Spanish came in 1619 the mixture of kitchens began.

Many indigenous dishes were accepted and adapted but many more were lost. The most common ingredients for the endless varieties of today's "Poblano" Cuisine include tomato, onion, cinnamon, tortilla, chiles - including anchos, pasillas, mulattos and chipotles - pumpkin seeds, raisins, cloves, sesame seeds, almonds, tomatillos, oil, garlic and salt.

Nearly half these ingredients arrived in the New World with the Spanish. What is not often noted is that all the forms of "Spanish" culture came with a strong "Middle Eastern" influence due to the Moorish rule of Spain for 500 years. The influence of the Middle East and Persia are particularly apparent in the cuisine of Puebla in its use of numerous fruits and spices - such as cinnamon, ginger, sesame seeds, cloves, cumin and nutmeg.

In 1863 the French invaded putting Maximiliano on the throne and a French Court to Mexico City. Puebla took in the French adding a touch of their cuisine to ours making our sauces, soups and pastries even more complex and unique. The real gourmet cooking here was kept in households as "Home Cooking" for special occasions; it is never found in restaurant kitchens and nearly lost to the present generation of Mexicans as the culture is changing from outside influences.

Sample menu

  • Almond chicken or duck
  • Beef in Chile pasilla sauce
  • Fiances sigh, a dessert with walnuts covered in syrup, lemon and cinnamon
  • Pork, lamb or rabbit in adobo sauce
  • Squash blossom soup

Your afternoons are free for sightseeing or relaxing. The colonial city of Puebla famous for Talavera tiles and dishes is just 45 minutes away for an afternoon visit. Sightsee in the afternoon and return in the evening for cocktails and a candlelit gourmet dinner. If the evening is cool relax in front of the fireplace in your room with that book you never have time to read at home.

There are a wide variety of local events and festivals throughout the year, such as a state fair, bull fights, Mexican folkloric dances, concerts and the running of the bulls and flower carpets in the streets of nearby Huamantla. To round out your Mexico vacation we will be glad to help you with arrangements to take part in any local activities. Other trips also available in the afternoon on request.

Various types of in room massage available at various prices.

  • 5 days culinary course
  • 6 nights accommodation
  • Airport pickup and return via shuttle bus
  • Daily maid service
  • Free Wi-Fi internet service in the main house
  • Live music night
  • Lunch and dinner with beer, wine or margarita
  • Printed recipes and a culinary memento
  • Welcome cocktail hour on arrival
For information about the booking conditions, please send Mexican Home Cooking an inquiry.

Verified BookCulinaryVacations.com reviews

  • Review by Jane Maushardt

    "I had a great time. Good trip, great food and very nice people. Want to give them credit."

    BookCulinaryVacations.com, edited

Testimonials

  • Review by a traveler

    "My Mexican traveling partner and I spent two days and three lovely evenings here with hosts Estela, a fabulously versed chef, and her delightful American husband, Jon. The half-day cooking class gives one the chance to explore the delightful town of Tlaxcala just fifteen minutes away. The authenticity of the setting in true México allows one the delight of observing a typical day of a Tlaxcalan, whether it's dancing in the town square on Friday afternoon or attending Mass with their family at a lovely colonial church in their neighborhood. To return to the lovely accommodations and feast on one's own-prepared authentic Mexican delights is sensational travel in a sensational country."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Sid W. from California, USA

    "We spent 3 nights and 4 days with Jon and Estela and were treated like warm friends learning about Mexican cooking and the local culture. The food was amazing and often unexpected in type of ingredients used to produce the rich flavors. Each day we prepared about a half dozen dishes with Jon and Estella leading the team of the two of us. Jon did a great job in teaching us in the various techniques they used and suggested ways to incorporate them into our kitchen at home. Jon was also very helpful in helping us through the rest of our trip (up to Cuezalan) by arranging transportation and working out the reservation at the hotel (our Spanish at times is a bit sparse). Be prepared to stay in a rural environment where the two dogs, cat and bird are part of the family and the neighbors like to play music and set off fireworks most of the - to remind you that you are in Mexico!"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from California, USA

    "My husband and I attended the school in last part of May. The food was very healthy and tasty. I think our favorite part of the day was having the best coffee ever outside on a beautiful patio with flowers everywhere, and fountains and birds singing. Then being served an amazing breakfast every day. Now that is my idea of heaven. John and Estela were so much fun, the classes are very detailed and they show you how to do everything. Alsom John makes a mean Margarita! The food and ingredients were very authentic, not Americanized, lots of great recipes you can make at home. We highly recommend John and Estela for a truly warm, welcoming Mexican experience."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Jane from California, USA

    "Estela and Jon's classes were fun and the food was delicious. We cooked every morning using the freshest ingredients, made 6-8 recipes, and ate them for lunch and dinner. With the exception of a few fried items (which were delectable-rellenos, bunuelos - worth the calories) the food was very healthy and, as Estela said they would be, the flavors were complex, but the recipes not difficult to make. That said, there are tips you get in class that you need to make the recipes taste right (how to roast some types of peppers the right way, for example). You cook in their home's kitchen, so it feels like cooking with friends. The first thing you learn is the various peppers and their characteristics, a key piece I was looking for. In the afternoons, we went to town or went on short excursions to Puebla and Cholula. Very historic and interesting places off the typical tourist path. If you want to learn to cook great, authentic food, and feel like you're in "real Mexico", this is a good choice."

    "I stayed in an absolutely lovely casita separate from the house. The furnishings were charming and I had my own fireplace, which I used a couple of times since it was winter in Mexico at 7000 feet. Certainly not cold, but just a bit chilly some nights. I would get up in the morning and walk outside to see the nearby volcanoes and many birds, and would have coffee surrounded be Estela's and Jon's wonderful dogs and cat. I recommend going in a small group. Jon and Estela don't eat meals with you so, if you go by yourself, you're on your own. I went solo to this class and I was lucky to have another guest there that I liked very much. "

    "Some people express safety concerns about going to Mexico these days. Couldn't have been further from my mind going to Tlaxcala and this school. A wonderful driver picked me up at the Mexico City airport and delivered me to the house. Same on the return. The town and region seemed as far away from danger as possible. I would not let those worries keep you from a wonderful and delicious experience. I would certainly do this again sometime and highly it recommend it to others."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Torrance, USA

    "If you enjoy cooking Mexican food and want a good understanding of cooking with chillis plus want time to enjoy the Puebla area, this cooking school is for you. Each day we cooked for about three hours, making our own lunch and dinner. Lunch was usually a soup and an entree and dinner was an entree and side. Everything was hands on instruction. You could participate in as much as you wanted to. The instructor took us through the entire process so we could replicate the dish once we got home.After lunch we were on our own until dinner. There were a number of optional activities - some were included, others were at a minimal cost. Two options I felt were worth the cost and time were a hacienda tour and an archaeological tour. Taxi fare to Puebla or Tlaxcala was very reasonable and the Zocalo and old town areas were very interesting. The accommodations were spacious and comfortable - no TV's. We had WiFi in the patio and beautiful living room. Overall this trip was informative and relaxing. Jon and Estela are wonderful hosts and talented chefs."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Dixie H. from Virginia, USA

    "What a wonderful week my friend and I enjoyed at Casa Carmelita! It was the perfect mix of learning new cooking skills, exploration of a beautiful countryside and historic sites, enjoying delicious and freshly prepared foods, meeting interesting people, and relaxing. Jon and Estela are fantastic hosts and great teachers. Jon makes sure that the kitchen is well-run and Estela exhibits so much passion about the traditional Pueblan dishes that it's impossible not to get swept up in the simplicity and beauty of that cuisine. The classes are very small, allowing for a lot of personal involvement and attention. The accommodations are as beautiful as they look in the photos and the views are breathtaking. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit and look forward to showing off some of our new cooking skills."

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by Karyn from British Columbia, Canada

    "Can't voice enough positive comments to describe my traditional Pueblan cooking school experience. I had a checklist of specifics I wanted to learn about; each and every one was dealt with Estelle's professional and deep knowledge of the cuisine or Jon's learned 'sous chef' skills. I came away with a new appreciation and growing confidence for all the diverse nuances of flavor that are part of Mexican cuisine.On the accommodation front - 'my' little stone casita was a cozy delightful home away from home. All the meals were 'exceptional', but since I helped prepare many of them in class, I admit to being biased. They were served with every little detail thoughtfully taken care of by Armando, Estella or Jon. After dinner I looked forward to evenings spent reading in front of the fire; glass of wine in hand. Hopefully a return visit is in my future. "

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from California, USA

    "Where in the world can you eat amazingly delicious home cooked Pueblan Mexican food? Here! And by you! These friendly professionals, Jon and Estella, will teach you everything you need to know about where these unique dishes come from and the special love that goes into their preparation.Pueblan food is such a treat to cook and savor! You won't be disappointed. Their home and kitchen are spacious, luxurious and inviting. You will stay in a lovely and comfy traditional Mexican room or casita which may even have a fireplace! The gardens are lush and relaxing and the margaritas made by Armando are tasty!There is a special Fiesta of traditional Mexican singers that will serenade you at the end of your incredible week. And if its your birthday, watch out! Jon and Estella won't disappoint - so get your aprons on and get ready for the fun"

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Arizona, USA

    "I arrived in Puebla several days prior to my arrival to the Casita to explore that city...then on to the cooking school. Lovely, cozy accomodations that were private as well as home-like. Cooking lessons were well-organized and the results were consumed with delight.Jon and Estela and their staff were so friendly and gave me and my new friends plenty of ideas about local sidetrips for the afternoon. They looked after us in a lot of ways and made sure we returned safely to the airport and the end of the week. Highly recommended for those love to cook and try new things!"

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Hamilton, New Zealand

    "Many thanks to Estella, Jon and Armando for a great week. We enojoyed the professioanlism of the mornings lessons and the consuming of the outcomes (thankfully spread over lunch and dinner!). We have taken away the recipies and only hope we can turn out the dishes to the same high standard without your guidance.Our stone cottage was gorgeous and we loved making a fire in the evenings (althu its not really that cold!!). Your afternoons and evenings are your own and so good visit some of te local attractions. Managed to read a whole book which was great. Wifi is only available in the main house. Many thanks."

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from New York, USA

    "My boyfriend and I arrived in Mexico City on Sunday, May 4th. With Jon's great directions we were able to find our way to another terminal to meet up with our driver who took us back to the cooking school. Our Casita was absolutely beautiful and "everything" was so colorful!We enjoyed a nice Margarita before our dinner & retired early as it had been a long day. The next morning we were up and every morning we got some great pictures of the sunrises. Breakfast was served to us outside with fresh picked flowers on our table every day.All of our breakfasts were different and very good served by a wonderful woman by the name of Inez. What a jewel she is! Usually around 10:00 we start cooking our dishes for lunch and dinner that day.We learned so much from Jon & Estelle who were so good about giving us tips and squashing some old wives tales. We definitely cooked with things we've never used before eg. Squash blossoms, cactus, and numerous chilies. We would take our excursions in the afternoon after cooking classes and lunch.We went to two archeological sites, visited downtown Tlaxcala and it's people, went to the Talavera "factory", went to the open market on Friday which was amazing. Mexico was definitely a culture shock and we experienced so much.Our last night we enjoyed the Tlaxcala Trio Mariachi band. Our time & experiences in Mexico were great and we got to experience the "real" Mexico, not a resort. Thank you so much Jon & Estelle for opening up your home to us! See you next year!"

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by Sandra from California, USA

    "Thank you Jon and Estella for inviting us to experience all the wonderful cooking, hospitality and sights Tlaxcala has to offer! We had wonderful, fresh food to cook and eat every day. We visited different towns and archeological sites daily with a safe and friendly taxi driver to guide us.The accommodations were clean and well decorated. The host, Jon, made sure we had everything we needed and was very welcoming. Estella and Jon taught each cooking class together and gave a lot of valuable insight on how each recipe should be made. My friend and I really enjoyed ourselves, so thank you again!"

    Trip Advisor website, edited

Tlaxcala, Mexico

Participants explore the influences of Spanish and French cuisines on the Mexican cuisine. Cooking classes include lodging and meals.

Speaks English

from --

7 days / 6 nights

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