I’m not a chef. I don’t spend much time in the kitchen. But I’m a lover of food. I might even stretch it enough to call myself a foodie. But it has much more to do with eating than it does with preparation.
Food is such a distinguishing aspect of any culture. Whenever we visit a new foreign place, we head to the co-op, the super mercado, the open market, or whatever the shopping destination is.
We marvel over produce we’ve never tasted, cuts of meat we’ve never heard of, and spices we can’t pronounce. We buy whatever we can cook or consume as picnic fare. We contemplate what food products we will be allowed to take home through customs.
So, the opportunity to take a cooking class in San Miguel was very appealing. Add to that the fact that a trip to the market was included, and we were hooked.
Open markets are a thing of beauty. A spectacular array of colors and textures. I want to try one of everything. Our accommodating chef-instructor allowed us to select anything that appealed to us and altered the menu to include it.
Back in the Sazon kitchen – an affiliate of the world-renowned Sierra Nevada Hotel – things sprang to life. Pots bubbled with boiling peppers for salsa.
Glazed clay pots sizzled with sautéing nopales.
The tortilla press worked overtime.
With skillful direction and under a watchful eye, we created a menu of traditional Mexican fare. Our chef learned both his recipes and his techniques in his Grandmother’s kitchen.
Hibiscus Tea kept us from getting parched over the hot stove and Mango Margaritas made the meal a real celebration.
This well orchestrated symphony in a kitchen full of foodies produced one of the most delectable meals imaginable. New techniques, new tastes, new friends.
A memorable afternoon indeed.