Join Me In Veracruz’s Tropical Melting Pot

January 21-28, 2017

Here in Veracruz you will be engulfed with sensations…the sounds, sights and tastes of this port of call of Spanish conquistadors, and their African slaves, along with those already a part of this first Mesoamerican civilization.

Chef Rick Bayless and Chef Ricardo Munoz will share their knowledge of the local cuisine and regional food historian and anthropologist, Raquel Torres will give a class on Afro-Caribbean dishes.

— While there, sit on the zocalo in the port and listen to the music and the incessant rhythm of daily life.

— Tap your spoon for a café con leche at the over 200 year old Gran Café de la Parroquia.

—Visit the villages of La Antigua and Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz, where Cortes first landed in 1519.

— See the site of the ancient city of El Tajin where the Totonac “flying dancers” perform their ceremonial aerial dance, hanging by their feet from a tall pole and slowly spinning to the ground.

—Stay in Coatepec, Mexico’s coffee capital.

—Travel to a vanilla orchid growing region and see vanilla being processed.

—Spend time at the magnificent Museo de Antropologica in Xalapa.

—Join me in eating my favorite mole in Xico, made, of all things, prunes…and of course, other

ingredients, as well.


For more information, Contact Marilyn Tausend at Culinary Adventures Inc.


A Culinary Adventure in Chiapas, Mexico with Rick Bayless and Ricardo Munoz

A lesson in making tamales in San Cristobal, Chiapas
Photo by Igancio Urquiza

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.

Rick Bayless in San Cristobal, Chiapas

Rick Bayless in San Cristobal, Chiapas

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.

Murals in Bonampak Archeological site, Chiapas

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.

Church in San Juan Chamula, Chiapas


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.

Family in Zincantan, Chiapas





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.

Olmec head in Villahermosa, Tabasco

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.

Chef Ricardo Munoz

Chef Ricardo Munoz

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.


An Incredible Feast–Seattle

This is the place to be for food lovers in and around Seattle. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend, as I will be in Texas at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), San Antonio campus for the CIA’s 5th Annual Latin Flavors, American Kitchens Symposium, an annual invitation-only event that focuses on the world heritage of Latin cuisines, their future on American menus, and the advancement of Latin American culinary professionals.

The Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance is hosting its eighth annual fundraiser, “An Incredible Feast – Where the Farmers are the Stars!” on Sunday, October 7, 2012 at Swanson’s Nursery from 6:00 – 9:00 pm.

You can purchase your tickets on Brown Paper Tickets.

Created by noted Seattle Chef Tamara Murphy, this event helps fund the NFMA’s low-income programs, free community events, local food education, and farmer advocacy. This event also provides critical support for the NFMA’s Good Farmer Fund, which helps local farmers with disaster relief in the event of extreme weather and other hardships.

An Incredible Feast features an astounding cornucopia of local food prepared by 23 of Seattle’s top chefs, with raw ingredients provided by market farmers. A silent auction will feature unique, exclusive opportunities to win local farm and gourmet food experiences – plus games with plenty of prizes, live music and local wines and microbrews.

CHEFS this year include:

Philippe Thomelin ‐Olivar
Lisa Nakumura ‐Allium
Taichi Tikamura ‐Tamura
Tamara Murphy ‐Terra Plata
Dylan Giordan – bin on the lake
Seth Caswell ‐emmer and rye
Jason Wilson – Crush
Michael Easton – Il Corvo
Dustin Calery – La Boucherie
Karen Jurgensen/Jennifer Gardner – Seattle Culinary Academy/De la Ferme Catering
Daisley Gordon ‐Marché and Café Campagne
Renee Erickson ‐Walrus and the
Carpenter/Boat Street Café
Chester Gerl ‐Matt’s In the Market
Jacky Lo – Wild Ginger
Dezi Bonow – Palace Kitchen
Autumn Martin ‐Hotcakes
Phil Lehman‐Carmelita
Wiley Frank ‐ Little Uncle
Zephyr Paquette – Skelly and The Bean
Matthew Lewis ‐Where Ya At Matt?
Charles Warpole – The Blind Pig

FARMERS participating:

Alm Hill Gardens
Amaranth Urban Farm
Bluebird Grain Farms
Cascadia Mushrooms
Collins Family Orchard
Five Acre Farm
Growing Things
Hama Hama
Hayton Farms
Jerzy Boyz
Kittitas Valley Greenhouse
Let Us Farm
Local Roots
Loki Fish
Nash’s Organic Produce
Nature’s Last Stand
Olsen Farms
Pipitone Farms
Rama Farm
Rents Due Ranch
River Farm
Rockridge Orchards
Sea Breeze
Skagit River Ranch
Tahoma Farms
Tiny’s Organic
Tonnemaker Family Orchard
Whistling Train Farm
Willie Greens Organic Farm

Photographer Jane Fulton Alt

Jane Fulton Alt

Danzon Dancers
© 2012 Jane Fulton Alt. All Rights Reserved

One of my favorite photographers, Jane Fulton Alt will be showing in her home town of Chicago at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center from September 13-November 6th. Her photography, of which I own quite a few prints of scenes in the various regions of Mexico where she has traveled with us on Rick Bayless’s annual staff trip, is exquisite and if you live in the neighborhood, I highly recommend that you visit the Center. The opening reception is Sunday, September 23 from 3-5 p.m and her show is entitled, The Burn.

You can follow her blog here.