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!

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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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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“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.

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Photos from Veracruz 2017, musings by Carmen Barnard

Putting together a photo sampling of the Veracruz Trip,  January 2017, causes me to muse on how sad we were with the thought of Marilyn closing down Culinary Adventures, while in the midst of this wondrous trip.

Creating a link, years ago, for others to experience the cultures of Mexico through our foods and people is a truly impressive attainment.  Culinary Adventures is a pioneer in this.  Ricardo, Ana Elena and I are so proud and happy to continue forward, and it is a tribute to Marilyn’s character to have found a way to continue this legacy through us, her original right arms!

I began to write up a timeline of our people from start to present but, the list is way too long and I refuse to leave out any of our respected cooks, chefs, restauranteurs, market stall owners, taco stand vendors, tamal  makers… you get the idea, ¿no?

Suffice it to say that I  find these to be prescient times to continue with cross cultural exchanges. Mutual appreciation and understanding create a positive world.  And what better way than through food?

We look forward to seeing our highly appreciated ‘old’ friends and meeting news ones as we share our vision of Mexico with you.

¡Hasta pronto!

Carmen

 

 

“Chefs’ Trip January, 2018–Celebrating Culinary Adventures Return!” by Carmen Barnard

We are starting off with a brand new Chefs’ Trip to Mexico City and all its splendor this coming January 22 to 28, 2018.

This trip is for food professionals ready to take on as much information as possible during a week filled with classes, demonstrations, and discussions with Ricardo Muñoz and a wide gamma of chefs with stupendous talent like Martha Ortiz, Juan Cabrera, Josefina Santacruz, Israel Gutiérrez, Pilar Alonso, Gerardo Vázquez Lugo, Diego Niño, Jorge Vallejo, and Jair Téllez.

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Chef Ricardo Muñoz Zurita

Ricardo Muñoz Zurita is chef/owner of the Azul restaurants in Mexico City. As pioneer chef of Mexican cuisine and ardent researcher of Mexican foods and ingredients, he has written many Mexican cookbooks; Los Chiles Rellenos en México, (UNAM 1996), Verde en la Cocina Mexicana [Green in Mexican Cuisine], (HERDEZ 1999), Los Chiles Nativos de México [Native Chiles of Mexico](DGE/EQUILIBRISTA 2015), to name a few. His Diccionario Enciclopédico de Gastronomía Mexicana [Encyclopedic Dictionary of Mexican Gastronomy] (Larousse, 2012), is awaiting final editing from the University of Texas Press for its English version. Along with the national respect garnered, I now note the younger generation of Mexican chefs and cooks reverence of Ricardo, and in August, 2016, the “Chevalier de l’Ordre Mondial de L’Académie Culinaire de France” was awarded to him.

Our lodging will be in La Condesa area, a ‘happening’ neighborhood right near our cooking classes, and close to one of Marilyn’s favorite markets, the Mercado Medellín. We will also try traditional spots of all sorts in the city and environs.

We have limited space on our Chefs’ culinary trips, so if interested in participating, let us know as soon as possible. As a thank you to our chefs who have been with us all these years and to welcome new chefs joining us, your trip costs $3750 and includes 7 classes, hotel, two meals a day and all fees associated with the trip, excluding airfare.

¡Hasta pronto!

Carmen Barnard