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Jul 23, 2006 05:06 PM

cooking schools in mexico

i'd like to visit mexico and attend a SOPHISTICATED cooking school this coming winter.
has anyone had some experience to share? df would be great but im open to other locations as well.

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  1. Many of the well-known cooking schools in Mexico are in Oaxaca. You may want to put off going there for a while.

    1. Two words: Marilyn Tausend at

      Marilyn owns Culinary Adventures and really knows her stuff. She's been leading culinary tours for about twenty years. If it is not advisable to visit Oaxaca at the moment, she'll go somewhere else. The trip to Chiapas with Rick Bayless sounds like a very interesting and educational time, especially since Chiapas is not well known or often visited.

      If Marilyn doesn't do what you are looking for, I'll bet that she'll be able to recommend someone who can help you. Good Luck!

      6 Replies
      1. re: Sherri

        thanks but the website looked like more of the same old stuff. middle aged women preparing traditional dishes. whose interested in that?? that genre of mexican food is snarly.......i am more interested in knowing what the young imaginative chefs are doing with traditional mexican tastes and ingredients. enough already with the taco, burrito,empenada and tomale!!!!!!!!!guacala!

        1. re: tastelessfruit

          Tastelessfruit, I've done 2 of Marilyn's tours and they're definitely not middle-aged woman preparing tired old food. I had no empanadas, no burritos but we did make several unusual tamales. One tour was through the CIA-Greystone the other was a tour for chefs.

          That said, I've got 2 suggestions for you base on your comments because, BTW, I totally and completely agree that some of the most intersting and fabulous food coming out of Mexico these days is from the young chefs.

          Google for Xilonon (or it could be Xilenon) it's on the south shore of Lake Chapala, the other side of the lake from Ajijic. The web page may or may not still be working. It's owned by and operated by a Chef named Patricia who was CIA and Cordon Bleu trained. She owned and operated a restaurant and cooking school in Guadalajara for years but got tired of teaching the "ladies that lunch" to cook. The last time I saw her web page she had a very ambitious schedule of cooking classes. I believe her school also operates as a B&B. I do know folks who have eaten with her and say her cooking is out of this world, traditional ingredients, non-traditional preparations and presentations.

          El Centro Culinario in D.F. is the Mexican equivalent of the CIA. It's located at Av. San Jeronimo 243, Colonia Jardines del Pedregal, Mexico D.F. I tried to find the link to their web site but couldn't. You may have more luck with a Google search than I did. They do contemporary, even cutting edge cooking, and I know you can do stages there. The executive chef and a number of others associated with the school do speak English, though it would be helpful if you know Spanish. Alkimia is the restaurant assoicated with the Centro Culinario (it's fabulous) and Ambrosia is the catering operation that is also associated with it. Google for all 3 and you may find their web page. In the interest of full disclosure, I've toured their facilities, eaten at Alkimia and spent time at a conference with the general manager of the catering operation, but I am in no way associated with them professionally. Just mightily impressed with it :-D

          Also check out this link to a listing of cooking schools in Mexico. The list contains a lot of additional links as well.

          And finally, one last link
          Cocinar Mexicano is located in Tepotzlan about 45 minutes southwest of D.F.

          1. re: DiningDiva

            well thanks, thats much better. i do speak spanish- after a fashion, i've visited tepotzlan many times from cuernavaca and i like it, and the df thing sounds promising.
            mil gracias.

              1. re: tastelessfruit

                No, actually it's not. I saw that link yesterday and read through it. The cooking school(s) referred to in this link are in Guanajuato. I think I have a good link for Centro Culinario at home somewhere, I'll try to see if I can find it tonight.

          2. The original comment has been removed
            1. Another option is the cooking classes @ the Mesones Sacristia in Puebla.

              Puebla's a very nice city and the food's spectacular.

              Alonzo, the chef who teaches the class is professional, knowledgeable, and entertaining.

              Standard curriculum includes making a 3 course meal w beverage every day. Entrees include pipian, mole, posole, and lovely chiles rellanos stuffed w fresh goat cheese, plus recipes for stuff like aguas frescas and--of course--salsas. So a bit more adventurous than tacos and burritos.

              I think Alonzo was planning on working up an advanced course for folks who had mastered the basics, and for pros who want to learn more about regional Mexican food. So if the standard dishes don't appeal, they might be able to work with you.

              I can post more info if you're interested.

              3 Replies
              1. re: gorboduc

                I would like to know more about the Mesones Sacristia in Puebla. Do you have to stay at the hotel? Can you just take classes?

                1. re: aztecinca

                  I *think* that you can just take classes, but I'm not certain.

                  You could check out their website:


                  and either email them or give them a call and ask.

              2. I have heard really great things about Los Dos in Merida. It is also a guest house (Colonial Mansion). They have scheduled classes and also do private classes. The food is regional Yucatan.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Zydeco_Mama

                  I, too, have heard good things about Los Dos in Merida. It's run by American ex-pats (no slam intended here) one of whom was a chef in the States. The do have a web page. It is pricey, though.