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…

20190211_113030.jpg

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

 

Marilyn’s Reason For Coming To Mexico Has Departed (July 6, 1933-December 18, 2018)

This past Tuesday evening, December 18th, Fredric Cutner Tausend passed away peacefully in Seattle, Washington.

With him departs a legacy of great legal work, historic cases in American law. One such case brought him to Mexico, via my father, Robert Currie Barnard. Through this unprecedented case, grew a lifelong friendship with not only our family, but with many others throughout México.

I will never forget when Fred and his then wife Sandra, with our family of 5, crammed into a Mexico City taxi on our way to a mariachi and pozole joint off Obrero Mundial. Fred announced, “Bob, I’ve learned to yodel!” and promptly threw back his head to demonstrate. The taxi driver swerved in surprise and proceeded to laugh uproariously. I was mesmerized and fell in love… at age two. A man who loves pozole and mariachis and yodels? What more could I ask for?
When Fred brought his new wife to meet us, with her crazy plans to start culinary trips for foreigners to learn about regional Mexican food, I was taken aback and startled. A British woman [Diana Kennedy] who people revere in the US introducing them to the local ingredients? My godmothers and friends receiving gringos in their homes so they can learn my favorite foods? My markets? Insane. Yet there was something to it that was like a magnet. And, if Fred loved this woman and brought her to us, she must be pretty cool, ¿no?

53 years later, both these monumental figures of my childhood are gone. They leave memories of hilarious conversations about food, religion, politics, endless puns with Fred, Gershwin songs, boleros, plots for operas set in Veracruz, musicals, traveling orchestras that could magically appear at the spur of the moment on the way to Celestun, or Tecolutla. Arguments, disagreements, parental advice, learning to accept others with their own shadows and fears, learning to accept people for who they are, as they are. Thank you both for this.

I miss Fred and Marilyn as much as my own parents, and am, weirdly enough, eternally grateful for the exhausting lawsuit that brought us together and hence, where we are today.

Que en paz descansen.

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.

IMG_1111

“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.

 DSC00340

 

 

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.

Chef Ricardo Munoz
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

 

 

Culinary Adventures, Inc.: Changes in the Works!

After over 30 years of planning and leading Culinary Adventures to various locations throughout Mexico, I am turning the reins over to Carmen Barnard Baca, who was my assistant when I started doing these trips back in 1988. In the meanwhile, Carmen has been busy raising a family of her own, but now has the time to assume the leadership.

Carmen will continue working with her great friends and comrades, Ricardo Muñoz Zurita and Ana Elena Martínez, while I step up to the comfortable role of brainstorming and planning.

We have a Chefs’ trip planned for Mexico City in January 22-29th, 2018 and we are working on a special trip to Oaxaca also for late winter-early spring 2018.