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5 Days Cooking Vacations in Mexico

  • Casa Caribe, Avenida Rojo Gomez 768, Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo 77589, Yucatan, Mexico

Mexico Cooking Vacation

Get ready for a fun-filled and inspiring food day! Mexican cooking classes are an adventure in preparing and tasting authentic and modern Mexican dishes. They are geared for curious travelers, who will learn about the traditions of these foods and drinks, as well as the methods used to make them. Whether you are a novice in the kitchen, or a gastronome looking to expand your repertoire, The Little Mexican Cooking School cooking course is a scrumptious food adventure you will not forget.

Highlights

  • Authentic hands-on Mexican cooking class
  • Full Mexican meal from The Little Mexican Cooking School
  • Introduction to the region of the day, its ingredients and flavors
  • 7 menus, each menu being one of the 7 different culinary regions of Mexico
  • Partings, souvenir recipe booklets and aprons included
  • Beautiful Caribbean scenery along Yucatan
  • 4 nights accommodation
  • 1 day with instruction
  • Spanish, English
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Casa Caribe Puerto Morelos, a seaside retreat, is a funky friendly bed and breakfast in an old hacienda style building. There are five large bedrooms facing the ocean, king size beds, private terraces with hammocks, refrigerator, coffee maker, private bathrooms and only 3 blocks stroll to the town square and all the restaurants and bars. It is right opposite to the wide white sand beaches of Puerto Morelos, where you can take a beach chair, relax and lounge on the terrace, enjoying the Wi-Fi.

The cooking class day starts at 09:45, with greetings and some pastry, along with Mexican coffee or tea. Then at 10:00, there will be an introduction to the region of the day, with its ingredients and flavors. At 11:00, the cooking class starts, usually ending around 14:30. You will have the chance to learn about various Mexican dishes, depending on the day's schedule.

Como en casa with chef J. Salvador Fernandez

This menu is not a menu of things you will find at fancy Mexican restaurants, or even in local street carts. These are home-cooked recipes you would find in a typical Mexican kitchen, dishes that can be multiplied and stretched no matter how many people show up. Start by learning 3-4 different kinds of salsas and how to use them. Then move on to an appetizer of enmoladas (tortillas filled with shredded chicken and topped with mole sauce), tortilla soup, shredded beef patties with a chile adobo sauce and Mexican rice pudding for dessert, all focusing on hearty and delicious dishes that everyone will enjoy!

Mexican seafood delicacies with chef J. Salvador Fernandez

Here, fishy fishy! Mexico is known worldwide for its tropical paradises. Bordering on the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, Mexicans learned long ago how to make delicious dishes from what they could pull from the sea. You'll learn 3-4 different kinds of fresh salsas and how to use them. Then, step into the kitchen and learn to make tostadas with octopus and chili oil, Veracruz shrimp bisque, Veracruz city style fish filet and a crispy wheat flour tortilla with Greek yogurt for dessert, all focused around recipes from Mexican's coastal regions. Even if you think you don't like fish, this class will make you a believer.

Oaxaca, Jewel of Flavors with chef J. Salvador Fernandez

The state of Oaxaca is known for its unique and diverse culinary culture. It is known to be the birthplace of the world famous mole. In this class, you will enjoy a main dish with mole. Start by learning 3-4 different kinds of salsas and how to use them. Then move on to an appetizer of molletes or toasted bread with melted cheese and pico de gallo, creamy black bean soup, pork loin with a red Mexican peanut adobo sauce, and coconut cake; all focusing on the state of Oaxaca!

Pure Puebla with chef J. Salvador Fernandez

The city of Puebla has had a huge influence on Mexican history and cuisine. Let the chef teach you all about the cuisine of his native city! In this class, you'll explore all things "poblano". Start by learning how to make 3-4 different kinds of fresh salsas and how to use them. Then move on to an appetizer of enmoladas or corn tortillas filled with chicken and topped with a mole sauce, a toasted chile poblano cream soup, an entre of stuffed poblano chiles and a lime and mango Mexican pie for dessert, all focusing on the historic city of Puebla.

Summer at the grill with chef J. Salvador Fernandez

Summer means grilling! Here in Mexico where it's warm year-round, cooking outside in the fresh air, over open flame has reached perfection. First you'll make 3-4 different kinds of salsas and learn how to use them. Then you'll move on to an appetizer, a soup/salad, entree and dessert. These recipes come from various regions around Mexico, but all center around the grill.

The Mayan Yucatan with chef J. Salvador Fernandez

The Yucatan region has a cuisine all its own! Chef will teach you what kinds of ingredients are native to this area and used commonly in Yucatecan cuisine, and you'll learn techniques and dishes that date back to the Mayans themselves. First you'll make 3-4 different kinds of salsas and learn how to use them. Then you'll move on to make papadzules, Yucatecan lime soup, Tikin Xiik (whole fish marinated with citrus juices & achiote paste) grilled in banana leaves, and a French bread dessert with cinnamon, vanilla and meringue, all focusing on ingredients and methods from this region.

Winter in the Mexican Mountains presented by chef J. Salvador Fernandez

Even though it's always warm in the Mexican carribean, there is still a winter season. In this class, you will start by learning to make 3-4 delicious Mexican salsas. After that, you will step into the kitchen to make a savory mushroom soup and spicy Chicken Tinga Poblana. Finish the class with a yummy pastel de elote or corn bread dessert. You won't want to miss this!

Puerto Morelos was originally built to ship out chicle (an ingredient in chewing gum) to the rest of the world. The town grew up around farming and shipping businesses at the turn of the last century. Nowadays, Puerto Morelos is a seaside village with an ever-growing population, mainly occupied with tourism. There is also a large expatriate community of many nations adding to the variety of the town. The community is strong and united in its desire to keep Puerto Morelos small and less commercial than its closest neighbors, Cancun and Playa del Carmen. The town is said to have a spirit of its own, accepting some people and not others. Puerto Morelos exerts a strange pull over some people (be careful, you may never leave).

Nearby places

  • Cancun International Airport (CUN) - 15 minutes
Activities
  • Bar
  • Beach nearby
  • Lounge
  • Mini bar
  • Restaurant
General
  • Cooking classes
  • Diving nearby
  • Fishing nearby
  • Hiking nearby
  • Horse riding / rental
  • Sailing nearby
  • Scuba diving nearby
  • Shopping
  • Snorkeling nearby
  • Yoga
  • Balcony
Services
  • Free bicycle
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi

During this holiday, you will experience a culinary feast of Mexicos best foods and drinks.

Botanas

In this part of Mexico, there is a strange and lovely tradition of snacking while drinking. The snacks are called botanas, and there are many restaurants that feature botanas in the afternoons and early evenings. What is strange about this tradition? Botanas come free with drinks. The waiter will bring you five or six small plates of botanas, with accompanying tortilla chips (totopos). The plates will have small portions of ceviche, guacamole, hot dogs with beans, spaghetti, or whatever the chef is cooking up. Keep ordering drinks and the botanas will keep coming!

Local fruits and vegetables

If you come from the great white north, youll notice the difference in the fruits and vegetables that are available almost immediately. Tropical fruits that are difficult to get and expensive to buy in other parts of the world are inexpensive and plentiful here. Have your fill of different types of mangoes, papayas, pineapples and bananas. You might even feel adventurous enough to try dragon fruit (pitayas), zapote, mamey and other fruits that you have likely never heard of. Oranges and fresh orange juice are everywhere, and so is the local bitter orange (naranja agria), which is used in many Yucatan recipes. Watermelons and cantaloupe melons are easy to come by, and make some of the most delicious aguas frescas (literally fresh waters) made with fruit juice and water (and usually sugar).

In the vegetable category, the most accessible vegetables are tomatoes, onions, chilies, peppers of all kinds and potatoes. Corn is in almost every meal in one way or another (usually in the tortillas), but corn on the cob is virtually unknown here. You may not find spinach, but there is plenty of chaya, a spinach-like leaf that is just as full of nutrients and grows wild here. Beans here are mostly black beans, but other kinds of beans from other parts of Mexico are easy to come by. Salads are becoming more common, especially in tourist areas, but salads are not a part of the indigenous diet here. There are vegetarian dishes that are common in the Yucatan Peninsula. One in particular is called papadzules, and is made with tomatoes, epazote (a local green that is known for combating parasites) and ground pumpkin seed meal.

Entradas

Main dishes are called entradas, and in this part of Mexico, people love their meat, as most main dishes feature either pork, chicken or turkey. Less common are beef dishes, but venison dishes are a traditional treat. Chicken or turkey are present in many of the favorite meals, including panuchos, salbutes and other taco-based meals, such as pavo en relleno negro (turkey in a black burnt chili sauce). Pork is the basic ingredient for one of the areas most famous dishes: cochinita pibil, as well as poc chuc (thinly-sliced pork chops) and lomitos (boneless pork chops).

Another favorite, especially here on the Riviera Maya, is fish. Local fish include grouper or jack fish. The fresh catch of the day can be prepared in many different ways, but probably the favorites are pescado frito (fried, often whole), ceviche (raw fish cooked in lime juice with onions and tomatoes) and tikinxic (fresh fish steamed in banana leaves with achiote paste, tomatoes, epazote, chilies, onions and the local bitter orange).

Of course, no meal would be complete without an accompanying salsa, and the local cuisine has plenty of those! Salsa habanero is ubiquitous, made from locally grown habanero chilies chopped fine and mixed with the juice of limes. Another famous salsa is the cebolla morada, pink onions soaked in the juice of naranja agria. Another local salsa is called xni pek (Mayan for dogs nose, because it makes your nose run like a dogs). Xni pek is made from chopped onions, tomatoes and habaneros, with a touch of cilantro in the sauce of those bitter oranges.

Postres

Desserts are called postres, and traditional desserts in the Yucatan start with flan: a traditional dessert in all of Mexico. There is also dulce de papaya, a candied papaya dish, caballeros pobres, a local kind of bread pudding with raisins, and many flavors of locally made ice cream. The ice cream made fresh here is light and airy, and flavored with everything from mamey and coconut to avocado or corn. You also might enjoy a great dessert, locally made liqueur, called xtabentun. Xtabentun is made from anise and honey, and is a sweeter, smoother version of the Italian sambuca. Of course, there is no shortage of tequila and mescal for before, during or after your meal.

Snorkeling

Great snorkeling on the second largest reef in the world is available. Licensed guides leave from the fishing pier daily.

Tour of the colonia

Enjoy a quick trip to look at the stores in the neighborhood and visit the fruit and vegetables market.

Botanic garden

Take a stroll through the lush botanic garden and discover the plants and herbs of the region.

Horse riding

Go for a gentle ride down the jungle paths at the El Rey Polo Country Club. Enjoy a light lunch at the club.

Kiteboarding

Try kiteboarding with three famous kiteboarding instructors living in Puerto Morelos.

A book for the beach

Try Alma Libre Books, the bookshop on the square, for a great variety of books.

Walking

Long walks on the beach are free and beautiful. Stroll around the town square at the end of the day.

Spa

Around the corner from Casa Caribe, you can have a full spa treatment.

Cenote swimming

Visit world famous underground cenotes, with their cool clear quiet magical waters. Some of them come with zip lines and other family activities.

Eating

There are many fabulous places to eat in Puerto Morelos.

Learning polo

Take a polo lesson or cheer on a match on a Saturday afternoon while sipping a cold wine.

Diving

You can take a trial dive to see what it is like to dive in Puerto Morelos.

Dangerous deeds

Take a walk in the nearby Crococun zoo and play with the crocodiles and snakes.

Beach massage

There are various spots on the beach in front of Casa Caribe.

Yoga

Yoga classes are held every morning at Puerto Morelos local house of culture.

Shopping

Wander around town for the small variety stores, art shops, silver shops and the Mayan handicraft markets.

  • 4 nights accommodation
  • Full Mexican meal with refreshments
  • Hands-on cooking classes
  • Introduction to the region of the day, its ingredients and flavors
  • Partings, souvenir recipe booklets and aprons
  • Pastry with Mexican coffee or tea
  • Tropical fruit juices for refreshments

Driving directions from Cancun

  • Coming from the airport in Cancun, or from Cancun, you will approach from the North
  • When you see the signs to Puerto Morelos, take the access road on the right and turn left under the bridge
  • Drive the 2 kilometers towards the beach. When you see the police station on the left and the park on the right, turn left
  • Drive three blocks. You will pass a big empty lot on the left, and then you will see The Little Mexican Cooking School, two doors further along on the left
  • You will need to drive to the end of the block and make a U-turn to get to the front of the building

Driving directions from Riviera Maya:

  • Coming from the rest of the Rivera Maya, you will approach from the South.
  • When you get to the appalling big access bridge at Puerto Morelos, take the access road alongside the bridge, and then turn right at the bridge
  • Drive the 2 kilometers towards the beach. When you see the police station on the left and the park on the right, turn left.
  • Drive three blocks. You will pass a big empty lot on the left, and then you will see The Little Mexican Cooking School, two doors further along on the left.
  • You will need to drive to the end of the block and make a U-turn to get to the front of the building.

Arrival by airplane

Please arrive at Cancun International Airport (CUN). The Little Mexican Cooking School can pick you up for a very considerable rate.

Arrival by bus from Cancuns hotel zone

Take the bus from your hotel to the main bus terminal on Tulum avenue. Take an Ado bus to Playa del Carmen (it runs every 15 minutes and costs MXN 27), and stop in Puerto Morelos. You can take a taxi from the bus stop. Remember to take your map with you.

Arrival by bus from Playa del Carmen or further South

Take the Ado bus to Cancun from Ave Juarez and 5th Avenue, in Playa del Carmen. Stop in Puerto Morelos. You can take a taxi from the bus stop.

Arrival by bus from Riviera Maya hotels

If you are not in Playa del Carmen, then you will need to take a colectivo (white minibuses to come by, they are regular but have no timetable) from the highway. It will drop you off at the Puerto Morelos intersection. From there, you can get a taxi to The Little Mexican Cooking School, or you can wait for a collectivo that will take you into town, and then walk to the school.