Mexico Cooking School Vacations & Culinary Tours: Hola Mexico
The leading provider of cooking vacations since 1994

Hola Mexico
Tepoztlan, Morelos

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About the location: The Mexican state of Morelos, although diminutive in size, boasts an impressively large cultural amalgam. Long before Europeans arrived and settled in Cuernavaca and Tepoztlan, now upscale resort areas, groups from many parts of Mexico found their way to this area of natural springs and a nearly perfect climate (with an average temperature of 83 degrees year-round!). Tepoztlan, one of Mexico’s pueblos magicos (magic villages) is located about 20 minutes south of Cuernavaca. It is a small town nestled between craggy cliffs, full of historical churches and sites and host to a bustling market; a miscellany of food, ranging from local produce to the traditional cecina (paper thin sliced salt-cured meat) and wonderful cornmeal-based snacks, to clothing and arts and crafts.

During your Mexico cooking school vacation you will be located on a 30,000 square foot organic orchard complete with plunge pool, fresh water lily ponds and terraced gardens. The rooms are very lovely and comfortable with 4-star amenities: whitewashed walls, snowy white spreads and pillow covers, tile floors, showers with Talavera tiles and rainshower faucets, hairdryers and bathrobes. Located above the accommodations is the cooking school kitchen and on top of the kitchen is the restaurant, with a 360-degree view of the rest of Tepoztlan, the mountains and the valley below. The cooking facility was built specifically to have the best view in the house.The restaurant, La Mesa de Ana, uses locally grown ingredients—organic when available—utilizing traditional food techniques including slow-food practices. Many of the ingredients you will be using are grown on-site. The goal is to have a luxurious and cultural Mexican cooking vacation without damaging the environment in which you are staying.

About the cooking courses: Chef Ana Garcia is one of the youngest, most vivacious spokeswomen of traditional Mexican cuisine. She can trace her linage in Cuernavaca to well before the Mexican Revolution. Her great grandfather was a contemporary of the famous and revered revolutionary Emiliano Zapata and he participated in founding the first constitution for the State of Morelos. Her great grandmother was a well-know butcher with various stands in the large central Mercado, admired for her incredible longaniza and chorizo. Chef Ana’s recipes and experiences are extracted from her family’s long history in central and northern Mexico. Her abilities as a chef are indelibly linked to her close relationships with her mother, aunts, grandmothers and great grandmother, as each passed down her culinary wisdom to her. Chef Ana’s specialties are traditional central and northern Mexican cuisine, and experimental nouvelle Mexican cuisine using traditional ingredients in new and exciting ways. While working in public relations, Ana met Robb, a former corporate litigator who was doing a study abroad program in Cuernavaca. They met and the rest is history! Robb gave up his business and together they created the cooking school so that Ana could fulfill her passion and destiny to cook and teach Mexican cuisine, You will be the lucky beneficiary when you join them in the piece of heaven they have created! Chef Ana has been featured in Bon Appetit, Newsweek, Condé Nast Traveler and numerous other publications as well as on the Food Network.

Hola Mexico Itinerary

Day 1 - Sunday

Sample itinerary (itinerary may vary slightly according to season).

  • Transfer from the Mexico City airport and arrive at your accommodation in the late afternoon (the transfer takes around 1 1/2 hours).
  • Settle into your accommodations with some time at leisure.
  • Welcome drink.
  • Tonight you will have a Chef’s Table dinner in La Mesa de Ana.
  • (Please note: Dinner on days you have cooking classes is not necessary as lunch is at about 3:00 pm, and is a big meal. A gourmet chef’s table dinner is provided on Sunday and Saturday night. Wednesday most clients will try dinner in the downtown.)
  • Overnight.

Day 2 - Monday

  • At 8:30, breakfast in La Villa Bonita’s kitchen.
  • Following breakfast, depart for a walking trip to Tepoztlan market to select ingredients for your first cooking class with Chef Ana. Back in the kitchen, you will learn how to make such traditional dishes as mole colorado with chicken, pork in pipian suace (mole verde), refried beans, red rice with vegetables, and flan. The cooking will genearlly run from 11am to 2:30 pm.
  • Lunch will follow based on your efforts in the villa’s garden.
  • The rest of the afternoon and evening is at leisure.
  • Overnight.

Day 3 - Tuesday

  • Enjoy breakfast before departing for the local market where you will select ingredients and meet the local butcher and cheese vendor.
  • In your second cooking class, you might focus on “guisados” or fillings for classic Morelos quesadillas: huitlacoche, fresh pork rind and tomatillo salsa, squash blossoms, and more. You will also learn to use the locally grown white, blue, or red masa.
  • Lunch will follow based on your culinary efforts.
  • In the afternoon, some time on your own to read, relax, or take a walk into town.

Day 4 - Wednesday

  • Breakfast followed by a wonderful walking tour.
  • The tour begins in Tlayacapan with a visit to a local pottery who makes traditional lead-free pottery.
  • In the late morning continue on to the local food market, where you’ll have the chance to try a variety of local delicacies, such as pancita and exotic itacates. If you’re still hungry, lunch is on your own.
  • Dinner on your own (your hosts can make suggestions of where to dine in town).
  • Overnight.

Day 5 - Thursday

  • After breakfast, a day dedicated to masa! Start with a visit to the Masa Mill to select the ingredients for the day.
  • Return for your next cooking class with Chef Ana, using the masa to make both savory and sweet tamales: squash and corn, pork, shrimp, as well as pineapple-pecan or strawberry!
  • Later, enjoy a tasting of pulques, tequillas, and mezcales with a lesson on these local liquors.
  • Evening at leisure.
  • Overnight.

Day 6 - Friday

  • Breakfast.
  • Today’s class is all about the poblano chile in both dried and fresh varieties. Try it stuffed with corn, picadillo, and cheese, or the famous “Chiles en Nogada.” Side dishes might include clay pot beans and rice. And for dessert: Tres Leches Cake!
  • Rest of day at leisure.
  • Overnight.

Day 7 - Saturday

  • Breakfast.
  • Today is a free day to enjoy on your own. Perhaps hike up to the Tepozteco Pyramid, enjoy the local artisan market, or simply relax in the garden.
  • Dinner tonight will be a farewell feast prepared by Chef Ana.
  • Overnight.

Day 8 - Sunday

  • Breakfast followed by departure transfer to the Mexico city airport.