The Mexican cooking class experience comes from Panama-born but Mexico City0based Ruth Alegría. As well as being a trained and skilled chef and food writer, she runs wildly popular cooking classes from her very own kitchen. While the sessions with her are not cheap, they are immersive; she’ll let you take part in chile tasting and identification workshops, really helping you get to know one of the most crucial Mexican cuisine ingredients. As well as that, she’ll tailor the class to your needs and to the seasonal demands. As a result, September sessions demand chiles en nogada, stuffed chiles topped in creamy, nutty sauce and pomegranate seeds.
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A pricier option, Casa Jacaranda offers a full day of cooking immersion starting with a trip to the local market to buy the produce. The venue for the class is the home of the two Mexican hosts, situated in the lovely Roma district of Mexico City. The market you head to is the wonderful Mercado Medellín, known for its products from all over Latin America. The focus, however, is on seasonal produce mixed with loads of personal stories about cooking with grandma. After that, the cooking can begin, and you return to the house to make your dishes under the guiding eyes and instruction of Beto and Jorge. The real fun begins with the eating, though, which takes place on the rooftop garden under the eponymous jacaranda tree. At a cost per person of $170 it isn’t cheap, but it is incredibly highly rated.
For a more personalized experience, in a family home no less, perhaps the best option would be this tour which includes cooking lessons in a Coyacán apartment. Your host Alda is a university student who relishes (excuse the pun) introducing people to her native cuisine. You’ll be shown how to make traditional dishes; from chilaquiles to corn tortillas amongst other staples of Mexican cuisine. In the one-and-a-half-hour session, two to three dishes will be explained, prepared and eaten, but you’ll also be benefiting from the in-depth knowledge of your host, with regards to not just the food, but also the culture and the city. A more rustic experience for sure, but well worth the visit to quirky Coyoacán.