Every traveler has their must do thing; some like beer and clubs, others go sky diving or bungee jumping, and some buy amazing souvenirs. My must do item which I splurge on – is cooking classes! NOTE: This post is not sponsored, all my own thoughts.
- FB: https://web.facebook.com/InstitutoDeLenguasJovel/
- Best form of contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Name of course: Half day cooking class
Cost: $30 USD
The food: See below for a list of the dishes that I made.
- Salmon Stuffed Jalapeno’s – This is a great starter or snack, best served with a dollop of cream to top it off. The secret trick is to soak the jalepeno’s in sugar and vinegar three or four times to take the heat out of the chilli and give it a sweeter more intense flavour.
- Chicken Tostada’s – This was my favourite meal as I travelled through Mexico, so I asked the chef beforehand if they could teach me how to make it. It is a fairly simple dish that has lots of different components and is still my favourite. A great starter or light lunch.
- Dried Cheesy Chilli’s with Salsa Verde – This was a flavour I had never tried before. Dried giant chilli’s that are then re-hydrated, stuffed with cheese and covered in a delicious coriander (cilantro) salsa. Moorish doesn’t even begin to cover how addictive these are.
- Stuffed BBQ’d Chilli’s, 2 ways – This is one of my favourite new flavours! A combination of vegetables, pork and chicken mince stuffed into a chilli that has had its skin BBQ’d off (that sounds a little gruesome) topped with cheese or rolled in a puffy egg batter. Severed with a tangy tomato salsa as a main dish – you can beat it. And it’s healthy – full recipe will appear on the blog soon!
Why cook in San Cristobal, Mexico? Although Mexican food is completely delicious there aren’t many places that offer cooking courses throughout Mexico yet. I found this place by doing a google search of the Spanish schools cultural activities – which is why I did it in San Cristobal, there are so many Spanish schools I knew I would find one. Just because it isn’t yet popular doesn’t mean it isn’t amazing. San Cristobal is often plagued by rain so this is the perfect rainy day activity. What I loved most though is spending my morning before the cooking class, walking through the markets and looking at all of the fresh produce (there is a course option to go to the market with your teacher as well) seeing where all of the ingredients came from and how colourful they were really increased my love of the food. San Cristobal is a city jam-packed with colour which is completely reflected in its cuisine.
Pro’s: I was the only one in the course the day I did it, so had the teacher all to myself and could ask a million questions… which was handy as I don’t speak very much Spanish and my teacher only spoke a little English. This was a pro for me as it meant that we were both more energetic in trying to communicate which took away any shyness I may have had. The location was another huge pro – it is set in the chef’s house which has stunning views of San Cristobal and the mountains around. Cooking and looking out over the stunning valleys was my perfect afternoon.
Con’s: To be honest, I can’t think of any. I loved every second of my class and didn’t want it to end. Sitting down and eating was bittersweet as it meant that it was all over.
Summary: The best thing about this cooking class was the personal touch. Even in high season, the classes would remain small and the students would be able to have input in the menu. This is a huge bonus for me as after travelling through the region I definitely wanted to learn how to make some of the dishes I had tried. It also means that you get a more hands on experience – everything was made from scratch, there was no pre-chopped little bowls of herbs, I had to do it myself. If you want a course that is involved and very authentic then I can’t recommend this course enough.