Chef Rick and Deann Bayless, along with Topolobampo Culinary Director Chef Andres Padilla, spent time while in Chiapas going to Ocosingo, Chamula and of course, the mercados. Here, Chef Andres describes the experience of what they saw. You can also see more pictures of Chiapas on his Tumbler page.
Here is a visual summary of the February explorer’s trip to Chiapas. The videos were made by Kathy Martinides.
Diana has turned Quinta Kennedy, her home in Michoacán, into an educational center/foundation. She is offering the first of her boot camps, The Building Blocks of Mexican Food January 18-25, 2015. Many of you have asked repeatedly when the next trip to Diana’s would be taking place, so now is your opportunity to sign up and study the basics of Mexican cuisine with Diana. The trip will start and end in Mexico City. For more details go to her website.
The Diana Kennedy Center (Fundación Quinta Diana) is a culinary research center and foundation based at the property of Diana Kennedy in Michoacán, Mexico. The center will offer intensive Mexican cooking courses with Diana, serve as a research center with access to Diana’s personal library and archives of notes, and fund organic edible gardens in local schools
There are only two weeks left to watch Rick Bayless in Cascabel, a theatrical collaboration with the Lookingglass Theater Company, at the Goodman Theater in Chicago. Chris Jones critic for the Chicago Tribune says that you feel like you are watching a culinary artist explore his roots. The first run of this show in 2012 was a smashing hit and this return engagement delivers yet another culinary and visual feast. Billed as Cascabel: Dinner–Daring–Desire, watch Rick win the heart of all those who live in the boardinghouse, as their sensual awakening are, in this show, circus acts.
A gourmet Mexican feast, wine, beer, circus, flamenco, comedy, live music and a love story.
Paul Greenberg is the author of the forthcoming book “American Catch: The Fight for Our Local Seafood,” from which this essay was adapted and shared this past Sunday in The New York Times. I highly recommend reading it, it’s food for thought.
We can have no more intimate relationship with our environment than to eat from it. During the last century that intimacy has been lost, and with it our pathway to one of the most healthful American foods. It is our obligation to reclaim this intimacy. This requires us not just to eat local seafood; it requires the establishment of a working relationship with our marine environment. It means, in short, making seafood not only central to personal health, but critical to the larger health of the nation.
8/25 Trip is full and a waiting list has been started.
Chiapas and Tabasco here we come! We finally decided on these two very southern states for our February culinary adventure with most of the time being spent in Chiapas, a state with a very interesting cuisine, including an incredible variety of different types of tamales—at least fifty that I have tasted, seen, or heard about. We still are not sure if we will start the trip in Villahermosa, Tabasco or Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas. I did, however, wanted to give you a heads up on what will be included no matter where we may start the trip.
We will be exploring many of the different regions of Chiapas, from the rugged mountains and cloud forest surrounding the 6,900 feet high colonial city of San Cristóbal, to the lowland rain forests where we will spend a night in cabins in the region where many of the Lancandóns live, just one of the many groups of indigenous people in Chiapas.
Most tourists come to this state to visit the spectacular archeological sites, especially Palenque, however my favorite is the isolated Yaxchilan which we can only get to by boat on the Rió Usamacinta that forms the border with Guatemala.
We will explore these as well as Bonampak with its vivid Mayan murals inside one of the temples.
The first time my husband, Fredric and I were here years ago, we had to hike and climb several really rough miles on a muddy, virtually impossible trail, but now there is a paved road all the way.
We hope to have our classes at Casa Ná-Bolom, the former home of Frans Blom an explorer and archeologist, and his wife Trudi Blom, a photographer and anthropologist who explored this region. Trudi is famous for her work on Lacandón culture and her photographs are on display at the house museum which we will visit.
We also will be visiting several of the nearby villages including San Juan Chamula and its very unusual church with pine needles scattered on the floor, and sometimes chickens are in attendance. Close by is the village of Zincantán, where we are hoping to schedule another traditional meal like we have had in the past with a local family who also are known for their weaving.
On our way to Palenque and Tabasco, we will stop at a very special small cheese producer of the local cheeses, including Rick Bayless’s favorite “doble crema,” and visit the dazzling waterfalls Agua Azul as the water tumbles down the numerous small cliffs.
In Tabasco, we will spend time in the fascinating La Venta where gigantic 6-foot tall carved stone Olmec heads weighing at least 20 tons are interspersed throughout a jungle-like setting.
Both Chef Rick Bayless and Chef Ricardo Muñoz will be with us to give classes and share their culinary knowledge and one day, Ricardo’s aunt, an excellent home cook, will give a demonstration of some of the regional foods of her area.
Later this summer, we will have the exact dates, but I expect it to be on or around the week of February 14-22. At that time, we will let you know the total cost. Do let me know if you are interested in joining us on this trip. It will truly be a culinary adventure.
Paula Forbes recently wrote this great article on Rick Bayless and his extensive library and how it is utilized, and how Rick creates an environment for ongoing education for himself and for his staff as they research foods for their menus. It is one of a series in The Cookbook Shelf, in which Eater talks to food professionals about their book collections.
I thought I had many, many Mexican cookbooks but obviously not as many as Rick. My books are erupting all over the window ledges and even the floors so I have donated many to the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at San Antonio, Texas where they are teaching students from all over Mexico and Central America. It is a very special place with a very dedicated purpose.
And by the way, I am the one now editing Ricardo Munoz’s book that Rick mentioned. A mutual friend of ours, Carmen Barnard Baca, my former coordinator in Mexico, was one of the three translators, along with her brother, Roberto Barnard Baca and Cristina Potters, and now I am editing it and working with the University of Texas Press so that it will soon be available.