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.