|February 16 – 23, 2013
Our festive culinary adventure sizzles with great food, clinics and tasting! It’s a one-of-a-kind gastronomic
extravaganza, packed full of sensory delights, spices and methodologies. During the week, you will learn
traditional Mayan heartland foods and their cultural significance as well as various classic Mexican foods and
Specialty food seminars, participation and demonstration cooking sessions and of course, the meals, are
integrated into daily itineraries. There are generally 2-3 specific culinary learning segments each day. Stand
alone presentations may include subjects such as ‘all about salt’, or an afternoon session on salsas, or lessons in
cutting meats, preparing fish, or sharpening and selecting knives. One day the featured presentation meal may
be brunch, followed by light supper and dessert lessons at the end of the day after a sunset kayak tour to Bird
Island. Participants are coached to be creative about food combining and following your own culinary instincts.
A focus of the program is on meals using local fresh herbs, fruits, vegetables, spices, chilies, meats and fish.
Not only will you take home great new recipes and ideas, but also specific information on where to buy and
order these ingredients back in the US. During the week you will also be exposed to the uses and preparations
of some local medicinals. Indigestion?...try burnt tortilla soup. Got a head cold? …brew up some leaves from a
nearby sour-orange tree.
Annette Colón is our American
chef for the week. Annette learned to cook with her grandmother and family in heartland Puerto Rico and this
heritage pervades her culinary expertise. Her philosophy with cooking is, “happy and successful cooking
doesn’t just rely on know-how, it mostly comes from the heart and requires enthusiasm and a deep love of food
to bring it to life.” Annette is the executive chef at Lucia’s Restaurant in
Ruben Lopez Ayala presently lives in Playa Del Carmen. We feel extremely fortunate to
have Ruben join us as our primary Mexican/Mayan resource person. Ruben, like Annette, grew up in the
heartland; but of the northern Yucatan peninsula. He is responsible for developing the primary menu at Yaxche
Restaurant, an extremely popular dining locale in Playa Del Carmen,
and continues work as a consultant to restaurants. Ruben is opening his own restaurant in Playa, which will be a
capstone piece showcasing his extraordinary talents as both chef and restaurateur.
Annette and Ruben hit if off instantly the very first season they worked together; their deep professional and
personal friendship developed even more so with Annette’s fluency in Spanish. They have found many
crossovers in foods from their ethnic backgrounds and we’re proud to offer trip guests a chance to sample a new
cuisine that is exclusive to our program; MayaRican! Save your appetite for this exceptional learning vacation
that promises to fill you with fine foods, great company and the vibrant warmth of the Yucatan sunshine.
COOKING TRIP PHOTO GALLERY
||Fly to Cancun and leave high impact tourism behind. The first night is spent at beautiful Posada Mariposa in the fun beachside resort town of Playa Del Carmen.
||Sunday morning: breakfast at 100% Natural restaurant in Playa Del Carmen. We’ll
introduce the group and resource people, hear your trip expectations and take a look at the
maps. After some shopping for beverages of your preference we head to Tulum. Here
we’ll pick up tamales for a quick lunch, buy ice and a few last items before heading down
the dirt road to Rancho Caphe Ha, our home for the week in the Sian Ka'an Biosphere
Reserve. Mayan for "Where The Sky Is Born", this million-acre national park is abundant
with indigenous flora and fauna and Mayan archeological sites. We’ll arrive midafternoon;
settle in, SWIM (!), familiarize you with the area, and the unwinding begins.
Each day is a mix of activities designed according to planned food sessions, weather and recreational pursuits.
Each evening, the next day’s itinerary of seminars and instructional meals will be discussed. Around those
times, we’ll go kayaking, snorkeling, enjoy swimming and walking the beach, and relaxing. Remember; this is
YOUR trip! You can choose to partake in as much or little of any planned (or unplanned) activities that you
Wednesdays are awesome tour days! We head out of Rancho Caphe Ha early in the morning and return
typically around 10:00 pm.
WEDNESDAY OUTING: MAYAN SITE & CENOTES
||An early start from Rancho Caphe Ha. We’ll travel back to Playa Del Carmen in time to
get an airport taxi for our trip guest with the earliest flight back to the US. Others spend
the day exploring, shopping and enjoying Playa until they need to also head to the airport.
- The trip cost is $1,695. Special pricing available for groups.
- This includes all major expenses; instruction, equipment, lodging, food, land travel in Mexico.
- It does not include airfare, meals while traveling, certain taxi costs, alcoholic beverages, fees for outings, or tips; in Mexico it is customary to tip for services and we pool a tip for the caretakers who provide various services during the week.
- A non-refundable deposit of $250 is required to secure a reservation
- After securing a reservation you will receive a folder of information including; balance due and cancellation terms, a map of the area, suggested clothing and equipment list, reading materials on the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, travel and health requirements for Mexico. You will be given a medical/dietary information form and an acknowledgment of risk waiver to complete, sign and send back to this office
- Airline reservations can be limited - don't wait too long. We are glad to make recommendations and help you with your travel arrangements.