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Dec 28, 2006 01:44 AM

Cooking classes..perhaps near Lake Chapala?

I am wintering in Ajijic, and really want to add some cooking classes to the trip. I will be here untill April. I have read a bit about Seasons in the Sun (?) in Oaxaca, but am hesitant due to the political situation there. Does anyone know if it's OK to go anyway, or even still, if there are any really good folks teaching closer to or in Jalisco?

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  1. There used to be a cooking school/B&B on the other side of Lake Chapala. I don't know if the owner is still doing cooking classes or not. Hopefully, Cristina (who posts on this board) will see this and respond as she will know.

    Yes, it does appear that things in Oaxaca have calmed down. Susana Trilling's cooking school is called Seasons of My Heart, you can Google for the link. It's well worth investing in a class or two with her. She is wonderful as are her classes, plus the cooking school she's built is an outstanding space.

    La Cas Cerro Sagrada in Teotitlan del Valle also offers cooking classes if there are enough people. Contact Mary Ann Mendoza at Lo Mano Magica (on the Alcalde pedestrian walkway) or Google both Casa Cerro Sagrada or Lo Mano Magica; both have web sites that are usually functional.

    Finally, for other cookign schools in Oaxaca visit the web site for the Oaxaca Hotel Group. Even though this is a commerical web site for a group of upscale hotels it is a good resource with a number of links to sites related to food in Oaxaca. One day I spent an hour or so just following links (sometimes 3 or 4 links removed from the hotel web site, I just followed what looked interesting or promising) from this site and discovered all kinds of cooking resources that I had never found before by just doing a routine search.

    Sazon in San Miguel de Allende has reopened and they, too, have a web site. That's probably a little further than you want to go from Ajijic, unless you want to make a week end trip to that area. There are at least 1 cooking school each in Cuernavaca and Puebla, both of which are quite a bit further afield from Ajijic.

    3 Replies
    1. re: DiningDiva

      Hi DiningDiva - Thank you so much for your reply. I have read a lot of your posts, and actually, I found this website from a post you made on Mexconnect - a really informative one. Your post made me realize I must be missing something regarding food and cooking - one of my favorite topics. I was really hoping I might get some input from you. And BTW, your website is fabulous. I've bookmarked it, and look forward to making the Enchiladas. Mmmmm.

      To provide a bit more information regarding my interest, I am considering making my personal interest into a business, eventually. One day, I would like to find a destination to open a small market/ cafe. A place where folks could find fabulous ready-made foods to go or enjoy dining in. I have not decided on where yet. I would like to explore Provence (pretty ambitious for an American to consider doing food there, but what the hey, if it's great food, would anyone really care where you hail from originally?). Meantime, I think I need to get some experience working with some real pros, to add to my repetoire of knowledge.

      It sounds like Seasons of my Heart would be the best choice. And yes, I haven't heard of any more violence or unrest lately, so perhaps it is calming down. I would love that experience. If anyone knows the specifics of the situation and would be so kind as to share details, I would be grateful.

      If things have actually calmed down sufficiently, I'm thinking I may start my education there. DIningdiva, would you mind elaborating on where Teotitlan del Valle is geographically? It certainly sounds familiar, but I can't quite place it. Also, I would love to know the name of the B&B on the other side of the lake, so Christina, if you're out there - I'd love to hear from you.

      Thanks so very much for any and all input.

      1. re: DiningDiva

        just took a cooking class today at Sazon. My parents enjoyed the market tour and cooking class earlier in the week. Beautiful space. Interesting recipes. Very professional including closed circuit tv which would show you the view from above while the food was cooking etc in addition to the usual angle mirrors. I would definitely recommend it.

        1. re: DiningDiva

          What's the Cuernavaca cooking school? Anyone have any experiences?

        2. The original comment has been removed
          1. Hi again Hounds - I just emailed Seasons, and await a reply on my inquiry regarding their 10 day Yucatan Tour during Carnaval (February). I also searched for cooking schools on Lake Chapala, and came up with Xilonan, on a site caled Info hub, which says they are not offered anymore. I couldn't find any more info such as a web site for the B&B or anything. I will post as I hear from Seasons.

            3 Replies
            1. re: ellezabella

              Hi ellezabella...I posted my email address yesterday so we could talk about cooking schools in your area. I'm in Guadalajara and can probably help you find something. The chef from Xilonen is a good friend of mine.

              Several cooking schools have tried and failed in the Ajijic area. It's not a tourist area like Huatulco. It's an expatriate enclave of primarily retired foreigners, most of whom wouldn't know the business end of a spatula--much less care about the nuances of the cocina mexicana.

              Chowhound, if you're going to delete posts, please let people know the reason.

              1. re: cristina

                Hi Cristina - and thank you so much for your reply! I'm very sorry your email was deleted, as I am thankful for your help, and even asked for it personally. Can't imagine why thay might choose to do that, but, here we are. I'm sorry if I seem obtuse, but wonder if the piensalo44 is your email, or that of your friend at Xilonen? Mine is Hopefully, this won't be deleted - I look forward to hearing from you about cooking schools in Guad. I would LOVE to go to one.

                1. re: ellezabella

                  The piensalo email is mine. Please email me there so we can talk.