Final Jalisco video, Viernes

Pictures by Kathy Martinides

Yet another tequila stop at Tapatio and final dinner at El Sacramento.

Jalisco journey – Jueves

Pictures by Kathy Martinides

More tequila, with a visit to Siete Leguas.

Jalisco journey, Lunas y Martes

Pictures by Kathy Martinides

Includes classes with Rick Bayless and tour of the Sauza distillery.

Jalisco, land of cowboys and tequila

Jalisco Culinary Explorer’s Trip with Rick Bayless and Ricardo Muñoz as your guides

This trip is full.

After more than 10 years, we again are planning a trip Feb. 15-22, 2014 to the brash state of Jalisco, best known for its mariachis and tequila, the spirit of Mexico. The music and drink seem inseparable here, but also there is a distinct gutsy regional cuisine, characterized by dishes such as birriacarne en surugo, and my favorite, the messy but super flavorful, tortas ahogado.

Ana Elena Martinez and Ricardo Muñoz

We will stay both in the sprawling capital, Guadalajara, the second largest city in Mexico, and in a small town in the highlands. This Los Altos region is a treasure trove of fine tequila distilleries surrounded by fields of blue agave.

Agave plant
Photo by Ignacio Urquiza

As always, we will have a packed schedule including classes with Chef Rick Bayless.

Rick Bayless

Chef Rick Bayless

To get everyone in the spirit of Jalisco, on our first full day we will attend the Ballet Folklorico with dances that symbolize the culture and importance of ranch life, and then join with the locals to watch the Sunday charreado, a very elaborate version of a rodeo. On other days we will wander through the relatively unknown archeological site of Los Guachimontes with its circular pyramids, view the dramatic Orozco  murals in the vast Institute of Cultural Cabanas, and browse and shop in the artisan towns of Tlaquepaque and Tonalá. Every major form of arts and crafts can be found in these two places, especially the beautiful local pottery, and I once brought home a 4 foot tin rooster for my husband!

During the coming days, we will tour a variety of distilleries, learning about the harvesting of the agave, the cooking, grinding, filtering, and distilling process and then sampling the end result.

The heart or pina
Photo by Ignacio Urquiza

While we do not have all the scheduling details for this trip worked out, I did want to alert everyone so that those who are interested can send in a $400 deposit to hold a space. Our trips always fill early, and we already have people signed up.

This trip will start and end in Guadalajara. Trip cost of $3,650 include two meals per day, hotel costs and transportation while on the trip and any fees associated with visits to local sites. Transportation to and from Guadalajara is excluded from trip costs.

Please contact Culinary Adventures if you are interested in joining us

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo with liquid gold, the soul of Mexican hospitality

Photo by Nacho Urquiza


Yes, Cinco de Mayo is a time for celebrating, as it commemorates the 151st anniversary of victory by a rather ragtag band of Mexican ex-guerrilla fighters over the invading French army. (Never mind that the French regrouped and eventually captured Mexico City with the Viennese prince, Maximilian installed as Emperor). This holiday, known in Mexico as El Dia de la Batalli de Puebla, seems to have originated in the U.S. by Mexican-American students to celebrate their heritage and the Mexican spirit to survive.

Many people in the U.S. just use this as an excuse to party, with restaurants and bars doing a heavy business in margaritas and shots of tequila or mezcal, often chased with beer.

I like to plan the 5th of May as a time for an informal but festive gathering of friends and family with a splendid array of classic Poblano foods. I make tinga, a highly seasoned dish of shredded pork and use it as a topping for tostadas, and also various traditional masa snacks such as chalupas, an oval or boat-shaped antojito with pinched up edges to hold the salsa and cheese. And, of course, I will also make guacamole with totopos for dipping, and serve the good liquid soul of Mexican hospitality, tequila, probably Herradura reposado, and a dark Negro Modelo or the fragrant Superior pilsner beer.

Photo by Ignacio Urquiza

Buen Provecho!

To help choose a tequila or mezcal of your liking, my friend Lucinda Hutson, has her Viva Tequila! book releasing May 1. You could preorder now and start planning your own Cinco de Mayo celebration.

You can find the recipe for the tinga here and guacamole here.