Sunday, June 23, 2013

Cooking Classes with Chef Paco Cardenas, Petit Four San Miguel

When I heard there was a really good bakery in town, it was one of my first stops. I’m an easy target for good pastry and may actually go back to Chicago one of these days for some classes at the French Pastry School. I decided after this week that Paco Cardenas, Petit Four’s Master Chef, would be a great guest chef at the school.

The Mozzarella and Tomato Sandwich I had at Petit Four, along with the Cappuccino, were delightful. You’re at the top of my list when you use good ingredients and Petit Four uses only the best.

Here are my versions of the lunch. Their Cappuccino did not have liquor in it.

Mexican Cappuccino

1 shot Kahula 

1 shot Tequila 

In a large coffee mug, pour the kahlua and tequila into the bottom. 

Brew cappuccino per the instructions for your machine.

Fill the cup with espresso, top with the frothed milk and serve.

Mozzarella and Tomato Sandwich

1 loaf Italian bread, sliced in half lengthwise
1 pound mozzarella, sliced into ½” rounds
1 large tomatoes, sliced into ½” rounds
½ cup olive oil

Preheat a grill to medium heat.

Remove the top half of the bread and layer the mozzarella and tomatoes on top of the bottom half.

Drizzle with olive oil and place top half of bread on top of sandwich.

Place entire sandwich on the grill and cook for 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until cheese begins to melt and sandwich is well marked.

Chef Paco Cardenas was my first cooking instructor in San Miguel this past week and will be the standard by which I measure all the other classes I take here. Nothing like starting with the best!

He was taught to cook by his grandmothers and his aunts (one who lives in Chicago) and began with an apprenticeship in the pastry shop at the JW Marriott Hotel in Mexico City. Petit Four and Chef Cardenas has been featured in Bon App├ętit, OUT Magazine, Travel and Leisure, and Coast Magazine.

Of all the mentors I’ve worked with over the years, he is one who genuinely loves food and cooking…and it shows.

More about what we learned later this week…

Buen Apetito!