Cooking Class Guide in Cancun, Mexico

Victoria

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Mexican Gastronomy Chef- Chef Tejeda

I was skeptical about visiting Cancun because it is a very touristy destination. I still stand by the fact that it is a very touristy destination but somethings stood out to me on my trip. For example Cancun has beautiful beaches. The best way to experience Cancun according to a lot of people is to stay in a resort but I did not do that. I stayed in an Airbnb close to the resort area and I drove to the resort area also known as hotel zone to enjoy the beaches. This made the vacation much cheaper and I am very big on eating local foods and the apartment which I rented was close to a lot of local spots.

I had one of the best cooking experiences in Cancun.

I did not know what to expect while getting ready to attend the class. The description stated that the class would be based on Mexican gastronomy through history.

From the little knowledge I have of cooking, when I hear people talk about gastronomy, it usually involves the relationship between culture and food. I don’t know much about Mexican dishes except the typical tacos, salsa and guacamole I have been introduced to at Mexican restaurants in America. As a result of this, potentially learning more about culture and it’s relation to food piqued my interest.

When I got to the class, we had a brief introduction about what we would be making and I was already hungry at the end of the introduction.

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Chef Tejeda’s assistant

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Chef Tejeda working his magic

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Preparing the ingredients for the side dishes

On the menu:

  • Cafe de olla & pulque bread
  • Endemic fruits from Mexico
  • Salsa and guacamole made in molcajete
  • Jicama, apple and carrot salad, orange and chía vinagrette.
  • Chile Poblano creamy soup
  • Chicken breast with pecans, chile ancho and prune sauce.
  • Tamarind and chipotle shrimp
  • Hoja Santa fish filet steamed in banana leaves
  • Buñuelos (crispy rossettes) with home made coffee liquor and vanilla ice cream.

Quite the extensive menu right? I thought so too! The cooking class lasted 5 hours and it was very interactive.

Cafe de olla & pulque bread

Cafe de Olla is delicious coffee made with molasses and citrus and pulque bread is homemade and aromatic. Pulque is an alcoholic beverage which is popular in aztec culture so it definitely added a kick to the bread.

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Pulque bread

Endemic fruits from Mexico

I tasted 3 different types of fruits commonly found in Mexico. The fruits are:

  • Dragon fruit
  • Mamey fruit
  • Tuna fruit

It was my first time trying Mamey and Tuna fruit and they tasted really good. Mamey fruit is semi sweet and tastes almost like an avocado.

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Salsa and Guacamole made in Molcajete

Making the salsa and guacamole was the best part of the experience in my opinion. Everyone has a different way of making Salsa and Guacamole but I really love Chef Tejeda’s method. He uses a Molcajete (Mexican mortar and pestle from volcanic rocks) to blend the ingredients together. The end result was creamy and delicious salsa and guacamole which I ate with chips and pulque bread!

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From the left to right: Metate (used for grinding corn and making chili paste), Molcajete (Mexican mortar and pestle made from volcanic rocks), Comal (used for roasting tortillas)

Salsa

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Ingredients used for the salsa

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The process of making Salsa

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Finished product

Guacamole

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Ingredients used for the guacamole

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Blending the ingredients for the Guacamole

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Finished product

Main course

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Chef Tejeda preparing the Hoja Santa fish filet steamed in banana leaves. I also prepared one!

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Green Peppers used for the soup

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Preparing the prune sauce to accompany the chicken breast

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Ingredients for Tamarind and Chipotle Shrimp

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Chile Poblano Creamy Soup (DELICIOUS!)

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From left to right

Chicken breast with Pecans, Chile Ancho and Prune sauce

Hoja Santa Fish filet steamed in Banana leaves

Tamarind and Chipotle shrimp

Dessert

For dessert, I had Buñuelos (crispy rossettes) with home made coffee liquor and vanilla ice cream. Buñuelos is a fried dough ball. It has a light and airy taste, and it tastes better with ice cream! I especially loved this class because I was exposed to a large number of foods that I never tried before. I also watched everyday foods transformed into delicious creations that I never could have imagined. Culture is amazing is it not?

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Metal mould used for making Buñuelos

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Buñuelos (crispy rossettes) with home made coffee liquor and vanilla ice cream.

Drinks

The cooking class included water, beer, wine and my favorite- Tequila and Mezcal tasting. Chef Tejada and his wife talked me through the history of Tequila, and the difference between Tequila and Mezcal. This part of the class was very informative. The drinks were paired with fruits, dried grasshoppers (YES!) and grasshopper salt.

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I tasted 5 types of Tequila and Mezcal

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Pairing with dried grasshoppers

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Only 130 bottles of this Mezcal are made in a year so it is very rare!

Would I recommend this cooking class? Absolutely!

It will be a great addition to a trip to Cancun. Cancun could be very overwhelming but this experience was authentic and educational plus the food was very delicious! Interested in Chef Tejeda's class? Search for Yum Cooking Workshop on Google and enjoy. His class allows a minumum of 4 people but it is such an amazing experience. I suggest calling in advance if the group is less than 4 for more booking options.

It was definitely a refreshing aspect of my visit to Cancun because alot of the attractions and landmarks in Cancun are very touristy. I would recommend visiting at least once to cross off the bucketlist but I don't think Cancun is a place I would like to visit again. I believe Mexico has so much more authenticity to offer for example Mexico City, Guanajuato and Guadalajara. These are all cities I have visited and absolutely fallen in love with.

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Chef Tejeda and his beautiful wife

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Hello my name is Victoria. I am a traveler and foodie and I absolutely love to writing about everything in between! I am a student of life and I believe I have a lot to learn from people so I am very open to sharing my experiences in order to foster new friendships. I hope you enjoy my articles as much as I enjoy writing them!

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