Microclimatic Trips: Xalapa, August 10-15, 2018

Summer Session August 10-15, Xalapa 2018

Raquel Torres Cerdán, Xalapa, Veracruz

In the highlands of the coastal Gulf state of Veracruz is one of Mexico’s leading regional culinary experts, the anthropologist and cook Raquel Torres Cerdán. Owner of Taller De Cocina Tradicional Mexicana: Acuyo, Raquel’s knowledge and passion for the foods of the many different regions of Veracruz is impressive. And her food is delicious! Veracruz is where the Spanish landed and it is weighty in historical importance and feeling.


This trip introduces you to specific, micro regional cuisine. We will drive from the Port of Veracruz up to Xalapa (where all travelers since the conquest rested on their journey from coast to Tenochtitlan- now Mexico City- and thereby influencing the food). Set in green lush mountains- and the first coffee plantations in all of the Americas-  we will have a daily class with Raquel Torres and local cooks, in her beautiful cooking workshop. it’s worth checking out her Facebook page.

parroquia.bombaThe trip ends with a splendid coastal meal in the Port of Veracruz… and, a traditional breakfast at the renown Café de la Parroquia before departing- as a teaser to return to this marvelous state, which is a desire often mentioned in both song and literature.

Another excellent opportunity to get to know Mexico, microclimate by microclimate.  We are planning more of these micro trips, as the mood hits us, and cooks and chefs allow!

Xalapa 2018  is only $1850 and includes 4 classes, hotel 5 nights (based on double occupancy), two meals a day, and all fees associated with the trip, excluding airfare. I am setting a limit at 10 participants maximum.

Reserve your spot today with a $400 deposit at: office@culinaryadventuresinc.com or 760-577-2810 Total payment is due June 12th, 2018.

Also, if you live on the West coast, or logistics allow, I am offering the option of meeting me at the fabulous Cross Border Express and we fly as a group to Veracruz from Tijuana, and would then factor in the RT airfare Tijuana-Veracruz-Tijuana to the total price.

Fee for a single supplement is $250.00 for any of our trips. Please see Policies .

Labor Day, The Way it Should Be!! Life is Short- Oaxaca September 2-10, 2018

What better way to spend Labor Day than working your way through the wonders of Oaxacan cuisine? Take advantage of that 3 day weekend: you will not regret signing up for our Oaxaca September 2018 trip!

Culinary Adventures Inc is ready to go back to one of our original places of 30 years ago, “la tierra del sol,” Oaxaca. So impacting is the Oaxacan effect, people go back again and again. And we must also. You’ll see why, once you are there…

With Mexico’s renown Chef Ricardo Muñoz and his irrepressible enthusiasm, we will bring the glories of moles, chocolate, breads, cheese, and other earthly delights into clear focus for you in the beautiful colonial city of Oaxaca and it’s vast, surrounding valley. Our local Chef Pilar Cabrera and other regional chefs and cooks will share their talent, cultural pride and expertise with you. From moles to tortillas, this trip will give you a cooking knowledge of Oaxaca that can only be found in situ. Surrounded by the ingredients, terrain and most especially, the people of Oaxaca- embodied cognition will assist in bringing forth those learning experiences once back in your own kitchen ready to try and recreate your Oaxacan impressions. cropped-grasshoppers.jpg

Our trips fill fast! Oaxaca 2018 costs $3,750 and includes: 6 classes, 6 demos, 8 nights hotel (based on double occupancy), two meals a day, and all fees associated with the trip, excluding airfare. [The fee for a single supplement is $250.00 for any of our trips.]

An initial deposit of $400 is necessary to hold your place and  total payment is due July 2nd, 2018.

Any questions? Email office@culinaryadventuresinc.com or call 760-577-2810.


Go on. Create a new Labor Day tradition.  We mustn’t live with regrets- life is too short!

¡Hasta pronto!


Looking Back on our Chef’s Trip to Mexico City…

“No es de donde es el ingrediente originario, sino lo que el ingrediente representa para una cultura” .      “It’s not the origin of an ingredient that’s important, but what that ingredient represents for a culture.”                 –Chef Ricardo Muñoz Zurita

These words by Ricardo caught my attention before leaving to our Mexico City Chef’s Trip in January.   They got me even more excited for the trip; the reunion with both Ricardo Muñoz and Ana Elena Martínez, our shared sense of purpose, the smells, sounds, colors of people, of foods, structures, skies–everything that makes your land of birth sing to you, always calling you home. These words especially got me looking forward to seeing our guests fall for Mexico and, “getting” the importance of what an ingredient can, indeed, represent for a culture.

And fall they did. Some- once again, others- for the first time, others still- through our viewpoint. A marvelous combination of food people, from different backgrounds and cultures and culinary experiences. They soaked up the subtle difference of a cooked- as opposed to an uncooked- tomatillo in a “raw” salsa, our delicious mestizo food world and it’s class differences- visible in our cuisines, a joyful miscegenation of ingredients and techniques; the depths that corn reaches back into our culture, the soul food of Tlaxcala, a warm northerner’s rock and roll edgy cooking, the happily “surreal” idiosyncrasies of our country and their influence on a chef and perception of  color, a  chef’s conscientious quest to go back- and bring forward- old styles a la slow foods….Chefs Ricardo Muñoz, Josefina Santacruz, Irad Santacruz, Cooks Nicolas Hernández and Dalia Rodríguez, Chefs Antonio de Livier, Martha Ortíz and Gerardo Vázquez Lugo outdid themselves and REALLY showcased those ingredients and what they represent to our multi cultures of Mexico. I can’t thank them enough.

We will be posting photos of the trip now and then between sending out a cry for Oaxaca, which we shall visit in September at the end of the abundant harvests of rainy season. More to come on that fabulous trip!

I had Ricardo’s words in my mind on the way to Mexico City.  But they came back to me while reflecting on Marilyn Tausend’s departure and what she means to me, her unplanned influence on so many people over 30 years, her stubbornness for Mexico, for cooking, writing, learning and, connecting people.  Her lost soul as a child, found again perhaps in Mexico, makes me  realize that it is not her origin that is important, but what she means and represents to the Mexican culture and the world she created.

Mil gracias, Marilyn, q.e.p.d.


“Tu Ausencia” -not just another bolero, this one is for Marilyn.

A newer bolero, written by Martha Rangel and Alberto Elorza in the ’60’s begins,

“Es tanta la pena que tengo, que no puedo ni cantar…”

I feel so much sorrow, that I cannot even sing. “Tu Ausencia“- Your Absence, is the title.

That is how I feel at this moment, so I shall not attempt to write for a few of days.

But I will again, very soon, with great joy and purpose.




A Farewell- by Ana Elena Martínez and Carmen Barnard

At the start of a new Culinary Adventures, on Jan 22nd, 2018 in Mexico City, at 6 pm, the inimitable Marilyn L Tausend, started her final adventure to the eternity, leaving from her favorite country, where she started her culinary adventures 31 years ago…
She was at peace.
Thank you Marilyn for bringing all of us together.

Chefs’ Trip to Mexico City January, 2018 By Carmen Barnard

Our chefs’ trip to Mexico City is full and ready to go! Chef Ricardo Muñoz Zurita has taken out all the stops as usual- if not even more so- with this resounding come back of Culinary Adventures Inc, in an effort to do our own dear Marilyn Tausend proud. Ricardo, Ana Elena Martínez and I are very enthused and happy to see each other again, showing and sharing our country’s cultures through its cuisines along with a dream-like assemblage of avant garde chefs! I will write post trip: be on the look out for an envy inspiring informative tale about our first trip for 2018!

¡Felíz año nuevo/ Happy New Year 2018 from all of us at Culinary Adventures, Inc.!


Oaxaca Trip 2018 – DATE CHANGE: September 2-10, 2018! by Carmen Barnard


Due to a situation beyond my control, I had to cancel our February Trip to Oaxaca two weeks ago. I did let everyone signed up know right away, of course. And just a while ago, I have let that same kind group of people know the new dates that Ricardo, Ana Elena, and I worked out. And now available for our public at large…

Our new dates are: September 2-10th, 2018!




With a large population of culturally and linguistically diverse original people, plus the variations on Spanish, African and other mixes, Oaxaca is probably one of the easiest parts of Mexico to “see” and get a sense of our how culturally diverse our country truly is.

Attention to detail in a very distinctive manner is a truly oaxaqueño trait, no matter the cultural background. Complex detail is part of the Oaxacan people’s arts; whether culinary, handicraft or plastic (“fine”): the countless textiles, pottery and handicrafts with beautiful detailing, the wondrous and prolific graphic arts school and painting too, the music, and of course, our focus, the cuisine. The market stalls, local herbs, complex combinations, finely ground ingredients, sophisticated methods, delightful breads and nationally famous cheese make Oaxaca a food lover’s dream come true.


Between Chef Ricardo Muñoz’s expertise and knowledge, Ana Elena Martinez’s culinary and travel know-how, our friendship of years with local cooks, artisans and guides, and my bi-cultural perspective to help bridge gaps and queries, your trip to Oaxaca will be intimate, guest-like, non-intrusive, delicious, addictive and truly memorable.

We all look forward to seeing you in Oaxaca.

¡Hasta pronto!                                       [musical link: https://youtu.be/lOugXvfi2yw]


We stay in a local hotel in the heart of the colonial city of Oaxaca. The zócalo, or main square, is lovely for people watching or enjoying coffee at a sidewalk cafe. The grid layout makes it easy to explore the city and shop during your free time. The nearby market is beautiful, filled with local produce, food, and kitchen utensil stalls. There are endless amounts of cultural things from traditional to contemporary to see, hear and enjoy in Oaxaca, and of course, to taste!

We have limited space on our culinary trips, so if interested in participating, let us know as soon as possible. Celebrating our 30 years of pioneering culinary travel in Mexico, our Oaxaca Trip 2018 is $3750 and includes classes and demos, hotel, two meals a day and all fees associated with the trip, excluding airfare.

office@culinaryadventuresinc.com                                                                                             760-577-2810