Querétaro Flavors

My food memories of Querétaro are of contrasting flavors. When someone made a dish from there, it was definitely not our Morelia food, nor even Michoacán. ¿De dónde es?– I would ask. “It’s from Querétaro.” Querétaro evoked an exotic place in my mind because of those flavors, and never matched up visually once I went there. It too was a colonial city like Morelia- they even had an aqueduct like us! But the flavors were theirs alone.

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A contrast of flavors: fresh with spicy, sweet with savory, rough with delicate. Cumin, oregano, cinnamon, clove, mixed into sauces and dishes unlike my region’s; near yet so far taste wise.

A gordita (little fat corn dough cake) is made in Querétaro with just a sauce of ancho and guajillo chiles, mixed into roughly ground corn masa, along with crumbled queso fresco, and some pork lard.  It is an example of that “contrast” style. Here is a recipe instead of just talking about it:

26oz roughly ground corn masa

4 ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded, deveined, soaked in hot water, drained

2 guajillo chiles, prepared as the anchos above

8oz good pork lard

12oz queso fresco, crumbled

salt to taste

Blend the chiles together in a blender until smooth. Mix into the corn dough with 3 tablespoons of the lard, 3.5oz of the cheese and salt to taste.  Form into little cakes about 3.5 inches in diameter, closing in a little of the remaining cheese into each one; flatten to about 3/8″ thick. Fry in the [remaining] hot lard until golden. Drain on recycled paper bag and serve. Re-heat on a comal or griddle.

Simply, flavorful and can be accompanied with a lime and olive oil dressed salad or jicama, carrots and cucumbers with lime juice and salt. This is soul food.

Join us on our upcoming trip to Mexico City-Querétaro-San Miguel de Allende, September 21-28, 2019, where we will delve into the local foods with chefs and cooks to guide us on another culinary adventure!

30+ plus years with the best of the best. True regional cooks, chefs– and always fairly paid. Our ethos since 1989.

Contact us at: office@culinaryadventuresinc.com

Our past trip. Our next trip.

Finally having “Instagrammed” our past Mexico City- Puebla-Tlaxcala trip, I am ready to begin ravings on our upcoming September trip. A “few” photos of this past trip here, too:

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This is an unusual business: one has a need to savour, relish and reflect on the most recent travel to Mexico.  The very interesting, complex people– both participants and regional presenters– the breadth and scope of flavors, ingredients, knowledge and history behind each food shared with us make for deep brooding, and heartwarming reminiscing.

But ….onward to the next culinary adventure!

September 2129, 2019

Mexico City-Querétaro-San Miguel de Allende

This trip is for food aficionados, starting and ending in Mexico City, where we will explore cultural and culinary delights, and onward to discover parts of colonial Mexico and local foods via Querétaro and mainly, San Miguel de Allende!

In San Miguel, a UNESCO Cultural heritage Site since 2008, we will discover Guanajuato and Querétaro’s little known delicious cuisines through our demos and classes in a private home, with chefs, and cooks. Beneath and beyond the foreign retirees and visiting nationals, a thriving local world of course, exists… And the setting is beautiful– colonial architecture, along with galleries, fine handicraft shops, traditional bakeries, and all sorts of bars, cafés and restaurants.

Plan to arrive at least a day early to join our group from the very first gathering in Mexico City on Saturday, September 21, 2019 at 6pm.

The fee for this Culinary Adventure is $3750 double occupancy, $4000 single occupancy. As is custom these past 30+ years, our fee includes daily classes or demos, 8 nights hotel, at least two meals a day and all fees associated with the trip, excluding airfare. All classes include well-served tastings or meals– you do not go hungry on our trips!

A $400 deposit is required to reserve a spot on our trip, with the balance due June 12th, 2019.

[Please read our policies here https://culinaryadventuresinc.com/policies/]

Email Carmen now for questions and to sign up:

office@culinaryadventuresinc.com

¡Hasta pronto!

Hesitated to Sign Up? Great News!

It is 85F in Mexico City and high plateau: Join us last minute:

March 10-18, 2019 Mexico City/Puebla/Tlaxcala!

Due to a cancellation, we have a spot for you (1 double/2 people max)! First come, first serve basis.  Don’t say, “I wish I had “on March 19th!

email: office@culinaryadventuresinc.com  call:760-577-2810

***33 year pioneers in culinary travel with the best cooks of Mexico***

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SAN MIGUEL de ALLENDE, 2019

Dates for our San Miguel de Allende Trip are September 21st – 29th, 2019!

Sign up now as we are already filling our roster…

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Join us on an adventure to the high, fertile el Bajío (lowlands) region or heartland of Mexico, where vestiges of the colonial past stand as reminders of their Spanish domination both in San Miguel as in Querétaro.

From chef classes to in-home meals,  regional cooks to demos of local foods both pre-Colombian and post, along with our customary local cultural experiences, we will soak up the warmth of this region, with some time to roam and ramble throughout the charm of San Miguel… and of course, we include a taste of Mexico City. Contrasts- as always- on our culinary adventures!

¡Nos veremos en septiembre!

Email Carmen to sign up plus more information at: office@culinaryadventuresinc.com

 

New Trips, Renewed Vision, Going Back to Our Origins

On our upcoming trips in 2019, you will receive the incisive teachings of Chef Ricardo Muñoz Zurita. Going back to the origins of our culinary adventures, I am re-integrating the fundamental presence of local cooks on all of our trips. These are the people Ricardo –and other chefs– learn from. And the dynamics between cook and chef are marvelous to behold. It reflects a cultural trait most beloved: the respect and appreciation for our elders and those with deep knowledge of their culture.

Join us. My aim is that you fully enjoy and witness our country’s rich, warm, profound cultures. Through food, of course!

office@culinaryadventuresinc.com                 (760) 577-2810 (PST)

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Nopales/cactus paddles: a delicious millenary food, consumed throughout Mexico. And by those of us living abroad!

Snapshots of Puebla and Tlaxcala, ¡vamos! March 2019

Tiles, cazuelas, Colonial, Baroque, tradition, the origin of corn, ‘ancient grains’, moles, mills, tamales, fresh ingredients, markets, contemporary takes on very traditional cuisines… Just a few key subjects on our upcoming trip to the high plateau of central Mexico– Mexico City-Puebla-Tlaxcala, March 10-18, 2019.

Sign up now! Call or email Carmen: (760) 577-2810  office@culinaryadventuresinc.com

 

 

We’re Ready to Go! *Mexico City-Puebla-Tlaxcala* March 10-18, 2019

We are very happy to announce our March Culinary Adventure to the central high plateau of Mexico– Puebla and Tlaxcala!

Starting off and ending in Mexico City, our very own Chef Ricardo Muñoz Zurita will launch us into this culinary world and recap at the end of our adventures. We will explore the colonial beauty of Puebla– which is Ana Elena Martínez‘s hometown, the small but mighty and historically weighty Tlaxcala– with Chef Irad Santacruz, Cooks Nicolás Hernández Muñoz and Dalia Rodríguez Hernández, delving into the distinctive, extraordinary foods that each place adds to Mexico’s soul satisfying gastronomy.

Plan to arrive at least a day early to join our group from the very first gathering on Sunday, March 10th, 2019 at 6pm.

The fee for this culinary adventure is $3750 double occupancy, $4000 single occupancy. As is custom these past 33 years, our fee includes daily classes and demos, 8 nights hotel, at least two meals a day and all fees associated with the trip, excluding airfare. All classes include well-served tastings or meals– you do not go hungry on our trips!

A $400 deposit is required to reserve a spot on our trip with the balance due January 25th, 2019.

Ricardo, Ana Elena and I are committed to sharing our respective knowledge, love and passion of our country’s culinary riches, our people, and regional cultures. After 33 years, we still get all revved up planning a new adventure!

Email Carmen now to sign up at: office@culinaryadventuresinc.com

¡Hasta pronto!

Why Not Start With Dessert? Snap Shot of Micro Xalapa ’18 Trip

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August 10th to 15th, we went to Xalapa, Veracruz to learn from Anthropologist and Cook Raquel Torres Cerdán. Raquel generously connected us with her students and peers.

These dessert photos reflect the new and traditional- from young Chef Alejandra Ramírez of Coatepec, infusing her creations with memories of childhood amidst coffee forests, Chef Luis Palmeros experimenting with his well learned local ingredients in Xalapa (check Instagram: ___whiteroom El Cuarto Blanco) to Pujol-trained Chef Erik Guerrero, revolutionizing fishing near his hometown of Veracruz and cooking up sophisticated delights with, again, local ingredients! Of course we have classic Xalapa with Raquel Torres and her superb flavors.

Below is a slide show of our trip which included Jim Maser of Picante in Berkeley, CA, Omar Rodriguez of Oyamel in D.C. , and Churchill Orchards of Ojai, CA.

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We Are Pretty Like-able, Modesty Aside. Join Us in Mexico!

Check us out! These photos speak volumes about camaraderie, conviction, passion and purpose– join us on one of our next culinary adventures as a guest traveller in our country, not as a tourist– where we share the best of our regions’ food people with you. From chefs trips to aficionados, enjoy our 33 years of culinary friendships and family!

 

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Oaxaca, A Quick Sketch.

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I will let the photos below speak for the beauty that is Oaxaca; its gorgeous landscape, deliciously intricate foods, and marvelous people.

Chef Ricardo Muñoz, our local Chefs and Cooks, food and handicraft Artisans, guides, restauranteurs, and hoteliers enveloped our group with the warmth and profundity of this moving region: Reina Mendoza and Family, Soledad DíazPilar Cabrera, Oscar Carrizosa,  Familia Pérez, Familia Vázquez,  and Familia Cabrera.

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And, I must celebrate our travelers– it is such a pleasure to attend each one of you; every trip reaffirms what I have learned these past 33 years: food always brings people together, restoring one’s faith in humanity!

 

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Xalapa August 10-15: 1 spot left. It’s yours!

Returning early July from a setup trip to Xalapa, I am beyond happy with what is in store for you.

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seasonal ingredients

The beauty of the region, the bounty of the rainy season, and the knowledge, pride and passion of our cooks and chefs is absolutely inspiring.  There is no doubt that cooking is humanity’s saving grace.

Contact us about the one spot left- it comes with a plus!                                                760-577-2810                                                                                                                                                  office@culinaryadventuresinc.com

Acuyo Taller
Yes! You will be here, learning!
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heavenly shade of acuyo leaves
view from el Perote
No, Veracruz is not just tropical and sub-this is pine forest where we shall have a class!

 

 

Our Classic Culinary Trip to Oaxaca September 2-10, 2018– Filling Up!

If you have joined us in the past, you will recognized these two.

Ana Elena Martínez: quiet, dignified, tremendously talented, and kind. A chef and pastry specialist-including chocolate- in her own right, Ana Elena makes coordinating trips seem effortless. (She is also a great joy to have morning coffee with and muse on our days events.)

Ricardo Muñoz: What can I say? As pioneer chef of Mexican cuisine and ardent researcher of Mexican foods and ingredients, he has written many Mexican cookbooks including his Diccionario Enciclopédico de Gastronomía Mexicana [Encyclopedic Dictionary of Mexican Gastronomy] (Larousse, 2012), which awaiting final editing from the University of Texas Press for its English version. In August, 2016, the “Chevalier de l’Ordre Mondial de L’Académie Culinaire de France” was awarded to him. Ricardo  is chef/owner of the Azul restaurants in Mexico City. And on our trips Ricardo brings a contagious joy and passion to his classes which is simply a delight to witness.

Mexico is a place that becomes etched upon your soul, through it’s people, and cultures. Oaxaca is one of the most dramatic of our regions. Our trip is filling up. Take the leap and sign up now!

¡hasta pronto!

Carmen

We have limited space and reservation time, so if interested in participating, a $400 deposit is due asap, balance, July 2.  Celebrating our 30 years of pioneering culinary travel in Mexico, our Oaxaca Trip 2018 is $3750 and includes daily classes and demos, 8 nights hotel, two meals a day and all fees associated with the trip, excluding airfare. (Based on double occupancy, there is a $250 single supplement fee)

office@culinaryadventuresinc.com                                            Carmen’s phone:760-577-2810

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.

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