About the location: There is Mexico… and then there is Yucatán. The region and the country share much, yet their histories diverge at many points. Yucatán is the land of the Mayas, Mexico's second largest extant indigenous group. The food is also different, characterized by the infamous habanero, one of the world’s hottest chiles, and has much in common with Caribbean and European cuisine, making it an ideal spot for a unique culinary vacation in Mexico. Pit-smoked meats, plantains, Dutch cheeses, Portuguese sausages and Lebanese specialties are some of the typical foods of the region, a surprise to those expecting traditional Mexican! Culturally, the region has its own music, dance and literature, and of course, the Maya archaeological sites known throughout the world.
The capital city Mérida was once home to the world’s largest per capita population of millionaires. It is now experiencing a resurgence, attracting travelers from all over the globe who are discovering its many charms. Your home for your week-long Mexican culinary tour the boutique 5* Casona 61 Hotel designed with particular attention to detail, both modern and colonial. A luxury hotel upgrade is also available with accommodations at the 5* Hacienda Xcanatun, which offers only luxurious suites.
About the lessons: In such a setting is a cooking school devoted to 100% comida yucateca. Founded by the late Chef David Sterling, a New York transplant and long-time resident of Mexico, the cooking school has for over a decade been dedicated to understanding and teaching Yucatecan cuisine. After Chef David's death in late 2016 the school was taken up by his team, and in particular Chef Mario, who was his right-hand man for 12 years. He will be your chef and guide during your stay. Chef Mario was an integral part of the Chef David's James Beard Award-winning "Best Cookbook of the Year" in 2015. The cooking school has been featured in numerous publications such as Travel and Leisure, The New York Times, Elle Mexico, Condé-Nast Traveler, and has been included in Rick Bayless’s television program, “Mexico: One Plate at a Time" as well as with Martha Stewart on her popular show.