Seasons of My Heart coking school is owned run by the lovely Susana Trilling, cook book author, foodthrapologist and chef. She teaches authentic Mexican cooking at her beautiful school in Etla, a half hour from the City of Oaxaca and leads mind blowing culinary tours all over Mexico. Rick Bayless loves her and has taken his staff to stay and study with her. Google Seasons of My Heart.
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.
Two words: Marilyn Tausend at http://marilyntausend.com/
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!
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!
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. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20041106.MEXICOCOOK06/TPStory/Travel/?pageRequested=2 The list contains a lot of additional links as well.
And finally, one last link http://www.cocinarmexicano.com/
Cocinar Mexicano is located in Tepotzlan about 45 minutes southwest of D.F.