Mexican Gastronomy Chef- Chef Tejeda
I did not know what to expect while getting ready to attend the class. The description stated that the class would be based on Mexican Gastronomy through History.
From the little knowledge I have of cooking, when I hear people talk about gastronomy, it usually involves the relationship between culture and food. I don’t know much about Mexican dishes except the typical tacos, salsa and guacamole I have been introduced to at Mexican restaurants in America. As a result of this, potentially learning more about culture and it’s relation to food piqued my interest.
When I got to the class, we had a brief introduction about what we would be making and I was already hungry at the end of the introduction.
Chef Tejeda’s assistant
Chef Tejeda working his magic
Preparing the ingredients for the side dishes
On the menu:
- Cafe de olla & pulque bread
- Endemic fruits from Mexico
- Salsa and guacamole made in molcajete
- Jicama, apple and carrot salad, orange and chía vinagrette.
- Chile Poblano creamy soup
- Chicken breast with pecans, chile ancho and prune sauce.
- Tamarind and chipotle shrimp
- Hoja Santa fish filet steamed in banana leaves
- Buñuelos (crispy rossettes) with home made coffee liquor and vanilla ice cream.
Quite the extensive menu right? I thought so too! The cooking class lasted 5 hours and it was very interactive.
Cafe de olla & pulque bread
Cafe de Olla is delicious coffee made with molasses and citrus and pulque bread is homemade and aromatic. Pulque is an alcoholic beverage which is popular in aztec culture so it definitely added a kick to the bread.
Endemic fruits from Mexico
I tasted 3 different types of fruits commonly found in Mexico. The fruits are:
- Dragon fruit
- Mamey fruit
- Tuna fruit
It was my first time trying Mamey and Tuna fruit and they tasted really good. Mamey fruit is semi sweet and tastes almost like an avocado.
Salsa and Guacamole made in Molcajete
Making the salsa and guacamole was the best part of the experience in my opinion. Everyone has a different way of making Salsa and Guacamole but I really love Chef Tejeda’s method. He uses a Molcajete (Mexican mortar and pestle from volcanic rocks) to blend the ingredients together. The end result was creamy and delicious salsa and guacamole which I ate with chips and pulque bread!
From the left to right: Metate (used for grinding corn and making chili paste), Molcajete (Mexican mortar and pestle made from volcanic rocks), Comal (used for roasting tortillas)
Ingredients used for the salsa
The process of making Salsa
Ingredients used for the guacamole
Blending the ingredients for the Guacamole
Chef Tejeda preparing the Hoja Santa fish filet steamed in banana leaves. I also prepared one!
Green Peppers used for the soup
Preparing the prune sauce to accompany the chicken breast
Ingredients for Tamarind and Chipotle Shrimp
Chile Poblano Creamy Soup (DELICIOUS!)
From left to right
Chicken breast with Pecans, Chile Ancho and Prune sauce
Hoja Santa Fish filet steamed in Banana leaves
Tamarind and Chipotle shrimp
For dessert, I had Buñuelos (crispy rossettes) with home made coffee liquor and vanilla ice cream. Buñuelos is a fried dough ball. It has a light and airy taste, and it tastes better with ice cream!
Metal mould used for making Buñuelos
Buñuelos (crispy rossettes) with home made coffee liquor and vanilla ice cream.
The cooking class included water, beer, wine and my favorite- Tequila and Mezcal tasting. Chef Tejada and his wife talked me through the history of Tequila, and the difference between Tequila and Mezcal. This part of the class was very informative. The drinks were paired with fruits, dried grasshoppers (YES!) and grasshopper salt.
I tasted 5 types of Tequila and Mezcal
Pairing with dried grasshoppers
Only 130 bottles of this Mezcal are made in a year so it is very rare!
Would I recommend this cooking class? Absolutely!
It will be a great addition to a trip to Cancun. Cancun could be very overwhelming but this experience was authentic and educational plus the food was very delicious!
Chef Tejeda and his beautiful wife
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