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!


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

Xalapa- August 10-15th, 2018

Our trip is filling up!  Need I say more? Call me with any questions.

¡Hasta pronto!


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

[This micro trip is $1850 and includes 4 classes, hotel (based on double occupancy), two meals a day, and all fees associated with the trip, excluding airfare. $400 deposit due asap, balance due June 12.]

It might have been.

20170123_193941Ah that sad lament, it might have been. Do not delay in signing up- August will be upon you, the stress of summer never eased by a visit to the region where your cup of coffee on this continent began. [Unless of course you are drinking coffee from its original continent. But go along with me here please, for the sake of lyricism.] Had the dubious Cortés not landed in Veracruz, I would not exist. I would not be here to recount the joys of watching Raquel Torres, as she explains with warmth and serenity, the delights of her regional food. You would not awaken one morning, summoned to gather rainy season mushrooms in a forest in Mexico. Think about that…

Then there is another despondent thought. It is Labor Day weekend. Your nose is assaulted by the smells of hotdogs and other American delights. But you are not drinking  a form of chocolate which clarifies the Latin name of Theobroma cacao in one single sip. “Indeed- the food of the Gods, and I am partaking of it. I am deserving,” you would reflect. Chef Ricardo waxes poetics on the complex flavors of Oaxacan cuisine and life is forever altered. Your tastebuds and your soul  revived and uplifted, stamped upon your memory in a manner that would carry you forth in other days that come when life is not so easy or fun…

Encountering foods from other parts, meeting those who prepare their food with care and kindness, is perhaps one of the most pleasant things we humans can do, putting aside all prejudices and differences. What each region does with the foods it produces is a work of art, a majesty of human nature that redeems us from our destructive side.

Allow us to share the grace and beauty of our country. It will revive and uplift you; you will cast a kinder eye on your own part of the world, finding local peace and pleasure because you saw it in another place, different from yours.  Don’t regret it and find yourself thinking, “oh, it might have been!”

¡Hasta pronto!


office@culinaryadventuresinc.com  760-577-2810

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.