Let’s say you already worked up an appetite at Desire Resort & Spa as Neil writes about here. Then I highly recommend that you check out Oaxaca, Mexico and a little spot owned by artist Oscar Carrizosa called Casa Crespo.
On a tip from a fellow traveler and foodie, I called and scheduled a solo cooking class ($70 US, 3 hours). Oscar was my host and he is so multi-talented and humble that it would be hard not to enjoy his charm, his stories of growing up in Mexico learning to cook at his mother’s side. He is an accomplished artist, tourism geek, world traveler, B&B owner, and chef among other things.
We walked to the local market where he took me to all of the stalls and talked about various veggies, peppers and the occasional reminder of how “fresh” the ingredients are. The colors were vibrant and they got me excited about the day’s class and meal. We laughed and talked about local history and culture while making Tortilla Soup, Salsa Verde (Green Salsa), Chicken Enchiladas, Salsa Roja (Red Salsa), Fresh Guacamole, Tortillas Con Carne (pork) and Flan (from scratch!).
We drank enough beer and laughed so much that we were barely able to eat all that we cooked, but somehow we managed to gobble up both the 3 hours allotted for cooking and the delicious vittles. Despite all of the turmoil in the beautiful city, it looks like the annual Food of the Gods Festival will still be held October 7-14, 2007.
I also recommend cooking classes in San Miguel de Allende ($50US/4hrs + lunch with Senora Maria). There we prepared Tortilla Soup, Arroz Verde and Tortitas de Pollo. The Mexican chefs pride themselves on their fresh ingredients. The secret to great tasting Mexican food: Pork lard, but don’t tell them I told you!