Thursday, April 20, 2017

A Guide to Cooking Classes in San Miguel de Allende


Food plays an important part in Mexican culture. It’s a key element in many of its traditions and now you want to cook it. If you’ve already decided to take the definitive cultural immersion and sign up for a cooking class while you’re here, this list will help you narrow down your options from the many classes available from 15 different schools in SMA. Whether you want to learn to make a local or regional dish, master the art of pastry, have more meaningful connections with locals through food, undertake a series of specialized classes to bring your cooking to the next level, educate a local employee, work on perfecting the flavors that are Mexico, get healthier or just have some fun, there is a class for you.

Gone are the days when a handful of schools taught the same class about cooking Mexican traditional dishes. All of the instructors listed are trained in Mexican cuisine but each has their own specialty. The cooking classes span everything from Mexican to Pastry, Cajun, Italian, Healthy, Asian and other ethnic cuisine. Some of the classes are made-to-order and can be scheduled with a 24-hour advanced notice. They cover basic and advanced cooking techniques. Try to sign up for classes in advance; sometimes there’s only room on a waiting list when SMA is in-season (Mid-December through March).

Now, get your kitchen skills ready for some serious entertaining. Best of all, you wouldn’t have to do the dishes.

Buen Provecho!

Michael Coon, Casa de Cocinas
Chef Michael Coon conducts cooking classes, tasting dinners and culinary tours on many subjects from the 29 countries he’s traveled. Tours include cooking and eating with some of the best chefs in the world. Besides being one of the city’s best chefs, Michael is a well-known storyteller, seasoned by his culinary treks throughout the world.

Class Information:
When: Year round. Send Michael an email to get on his mailing list.
Where: Colonia San Antonio.
Focus: International.
Duration: 3 hour tastings to week long culinary tours.
Cost: Dinners US$45.00. Classes US$75.00 to US$95.00, check, cash, or peso equivalent. Tour pricing on request.

Contact:
Chef Michael Coon
Casa de Cocinas 
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico 
Email: insideroute@aol.com

About Michael Coon:
Well-known for his cooking classes, themed dinners and culinary tours, Chef Michael Coon has traveled all over the world - 29 countries to be exact - with many of the world’s top chefs. As former director of the International Travel Programs at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), he provided participants with exclusive access to some of the best global, culinary experiences. He has also consulted for General Mills, Sur La Table and Mondavi, Sebastiani and Beringer Wineries, among many other food and wine companies. He was recently featured in the The Atencion San Miguel, SMA’s weekly, bilingual newspaper. Michael is also working on his first book.

Linnea Rufo, Casa Linnea
This former pastry chef and event planner has just one question for you when it comes to cooking: are you ready for the magic? In Chef Linnea Rufo’s kitchen, you'll have a relaxed and fun cooking experience. Jump into the interactive flow, creating friendships over food. Gather around her kitchen island because the cooking experience here is always a total celebration. A bonus: the view of SMA from her large kitchen window is incredible. 

Class information:
When: Year round.
Where: Centro.
Group Size: 1-8 people.
Focus: International. Recipes provided following each class.
Duration: 3 – 5 Hours.
Cost: US $95.00 or peso equivalent.

Contact:
Chef Linnea Rufo 
Casa Linnea
Phone: 415-138-6336
Email: linnearufoevents@gmail.com

About Linnea Rufo:
Chef Linnea Rufo worked in Wheatleigh, MA as a pastry chef, then went on to gain her know-how as Chef/Owner at Galleria Cafe and Catering, at the Inn at Brookside, MA as an Innkeeper, Owner and Special Events Planner, was a Special Events Consultant in NYC, worked as a manager at The Mercer Kitchen in NYC and ultimately was the Innkeeper, Owner, Special Events Planner and Executive Chef at The Bee and Thistle Inn in Old Lyme, CT. She has expertise in a wide-range of cuisines and has collaborated with chefs like Jacques Pepin and Dorie Greenspan. Her years of comings and goings have been featured in the New York Times, National Geographic, the Huffington Post and Zagat.

Gilda Carbonaro, Culinarian Expeditions
If you want classes in Mexican or Italian cooking, Gilda Carbonaro is a perfect choice. Her classes revolve around the freshest and best ingredients, with zero kilometer availability wherever possible. She chooses her recipes to encourage people to cook; authentic, family recipes with relatively few ingredients and a focus on technique.

Class information:
When: Wednesdays and Fridays starting May 10 until July 28; Mexican cuisine on Wednesdays and Italian on Fridays. Email her for class information on other dates.
Where: Centro.
Cost: Between US $75.00 and $100.00 or the peso equivalent for a 3 to 4 hour class depending on the menu. Email Gilda to get information on her culinary tours.

Contact:
Gilda Carbonaro
Culinarian Expeditions
Email: gilda@culinarianexpeditions.com
Phone: 1 301 792-8854
www.CulinarianExpeditions.com
https://www.facebook.com/culinarianexpeditions/
www.culinarianexpeditions.blogspot.com

About Gilda Carbonaro:
Gilda Carbonaro is deeply rooted in two cultures, her own, which is Mexican and her adopted culture, that of her Italian husband. She lives part of the year in Florence and the other part in San Miguel de Allende. As owner of Culinarian Expeditions, she teaches cooking classes and leads small groups to Mexico and Italy for a hands-on culinary experience. Gilda studied at both Cucina Lorenzo de Medici and Cordon Bleu in Florence, Italy. She got her Masters degree in Linguistics from Georgetown University and was the Director of the Spanish language program at Georgetown. For over thirty years she taught in private schools in the D.C. area, including the prestigious Saint Albans School, an all boys’ school - grades 4 through 12. Gilda created a summer program, Saint Albans in San Miguel de Allende, to bring students here to learn about Mexican culture, including language, soccer, cooking and dance. The program is now in its twelfth year. A blogger, she and a friend, Gilda Claudine Karasik, created Dos Gildas, a blog dedicated to authentic Mexican cuisine, recipes, and stories surrounding the Latin culture. The blog was recognized by NBC Latino. 

David Jahnke, Cooking Lab San Miguel
     Chef David Jahnke, a respected instructor of Gastronomy at the University of Celaya, AC, teaches a wide range of classes on the weekends for everyone from amateur cooks to advanced professionals.

Class information:
When: Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday.
Where: Colonia San Antonio.
Group Size: 1 – 5 people; more with advanced notice.
Focus: Classic and Authentic International Cooking with an emphasis on natural, local and preferably organic products.

Contact:
Chef David Jahnke
Cooking Lab San Miguel
Cellular: 7441363963
Email: djahnke@udec.edu.mx

About David Jahnke:
Chef David Jahnke was certified as a professional from the Germany Chamber of Commerce and Industry and certified as Chef Educator by the France World Association of Chefs. He has his licensed academic degree in Gastronomy and a Master degree from the University of Barcelona. For 25 years, he has worked as an international chef in both Europe and Mexico, with 5 years of teaching Gastronomy at the university level. Chef Jahnke also taught at the University of Barcelona, participated in the writing of two books, developed two nonprofit projects to elevate the quality of hospital meals and for people with Diabetes.

Paco Cardenas, El Petit Four
Chef Paco Cardenas’s class is an all-day culinary adventure. From shopping at the local markets to working hands-on in his beautiful, outdoor kitchen, you get the full Mexican cooking experience when you sign up for Paco’s class.

Class information:
When: Monday.
Where: Chef Paco Cardenas’s Outdoor Kitchen. Transportation available.
Focus: Traditional Mexican.
Duration: All day for the market tour and cooking. 1½ hours for market tour only.
Cost: US $150.00 or the peso equivalent for a market tour and cooking class. US $50.00 or the peso equivalent for a market tour only.

Contact:
Chef Paco Cardenas
El Petit Four
Mesones No. 99-1 Centro, C.P. 37700
San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato México
Phone: 52+ 415-154-4010
Email: pacopos3@yahoo.com

About Chef Paco Cardenas:
Since he was a child, Paco’s been cooking with both his grandmothers and great aunts in their kitchens. In 1994, he got a degree in Graphic Design and worked at the National Anthropology Museum in Mexico City. He switched careers just two years later and went to work as an apprentice in the pastry shop at the JW Marriott Hotel in Mexico City. In 1998, he moved to San Miguel and opened El Petit Four pastry shop and café. He’s taught Mexican cooking at Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mx., Sazon Cooking School in San Miguel de Allende,Mx., The Ocean Reef Club Cooking School in Key Largo, Fl., the CIA in San Antonio,Tx. and was the assistant to Diana Kennedy for classes dedicated to making regional tamales for chef/instructors in the US. He’s also taught  cooking in Italy at Chef Paolo Monti’s Cooking School in Lucca and with Judy Witts Francini in Certaldo. He’s been featured in Bon Appetit, Dove Magazine (Italy), OUT, Continental.com, Travel and Leisure, Coast, Libido, Better Homes and Gardens, ZINK, Viajar ABC (Spain) and El Universal.

Victoria Challancin, Flavors of the Sun International Cooking School
An experienced educator, cook, and traveler, Victoria has an excellent reputation for teaching classes that translate to your everyday cooking experiences. Her classes in Spanish for Mexican cooks are renowned.

Victoria Challancin’s new eight-week course will begin on Wednesday, May 31st. The theme will be a continuation of Healthy and Fresh, focusing on using as many organics as possible and international food with a generally lighter touch. Techniques such as braising, roasting, working with specialty doughs (such as phyllo and/or puff pastry), and how to use herbs and spices for maximum effect will be covered. The recipes will all be new, of course, many of them gleaned from the most current cooking magazines and websites—all geared for seasonal enjoyment.  There will be some comfort food, plus plenty of recipes suitable for casual or more elegant entertaining. Recipe packets will be given in both English and Spanish and the course is taught in Spanish.
Class information:
When: Course begins Wednesday, May 31st.
Where: Colonia El Atáscadero.
Focus: Seasonal Food: Healthy and Fresh.
Duration: 8 weeks – once per week.
Cost:  US$350, check or cash, or peso equivalent.

 For information on other culinary classes available from Flavors of the Sun International Cooking School, contact Victoria by phone or email.

Contact:
Victoria Challancin 
Flavors of the Sun International Cooking School 
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico 
Telephone: 52-415-152-5912 
Email: flavorsofthesun@yahoo.com 
Blog: flavorsofthesun.blogspot.com

About Victoria Challancin:
A 29 year resident of San Miguel de Allende, Victoria Challancin was born in Belle Glade, Florida, received a Bachelor’s Degree from Florida State University, and a Master’s Degree from The University of Georgia in English Education. She established a school under the auspices of the Alabama State Board of Education for an American company in Abu Dhabi and taught at the University of Bahrain for six years. She’s lived in Paris and London and has traveled extensively throughout Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa. A popular tour guide, Victoria leads small groups to locations around the world including Morocco, Paris, and Istanbul. As a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, she studied with world-class chefs and teachers including Jaques Pèpin, Juila Child, Madhur Jaffrey, Rick Bayless, Wolfgang Puck, Martin Yan, and Steve Raichlin. She worked as a Culinary Producer for Mexican Made Easy, Season Three for the Food Network and on Life’s Adventures: “Castaways San Miguel de Allende”  for the Fine Living Channel. She also finds the time to blog (flavorsofthesun.blogspot.com). Articles about Victoria have appeared in Ladies Home Journal, The Smithsonian, The San Francisco Chronicle, Mode Magazine, Weight Watchers, The Austin Chronicle, Chile Pepper Magazine, The World and I, and Texas Monthly. In 1998, she wrote the popular bilingual cookbook Flavors of San Miguel de Allende.




Kris Rudolph, La Cocina Cooking School
This cookbook author, culinary teacher and tour leader, who also develops recipes for Tabasco brand products, teaches a variety of classes for cooks of every level.

Class information:
When: Year round.
Where: Colonia San Antonio.
Classes: Traditional Mexican, Chiles Rellenos, Moles, Naturally Healthy Mexican, Market Tour and Seasonal Cooking, Full-Day Mexican Cuisine and Culture Intensive, Modern Mexican Fusion and Italian Favorites.
Focus: La Cocina offers more than cooking classes—-they delve into the country's fascinating heritage and history, allowing you to transport a true culinary experience into your own kitchen. All classes are hands-on and include full meals and margaritas.
Duration: 4 hours or full day.
Cost:  US$95.00 – US$150.00 per person or the peso equivalent.

Contact:
Kris Rudolph
La Cocina Cooking School
Colonia San Antonio, San Miguel de Allende 
Phone: (415)154-4825 in Mexico/ 1-888-407-3168 (toll free from US)
Email: info@deliciousexpeditions.com
http://deliciousexpeditions.com/classes-san-miguel.html 

About Kris Rudolph:
Kris Rudolph has 35 years of experience and is the owner of El Buen Café, La Cocina Cooking School and Delicious Expeditions culinary tour company. A cookbook author, culinary teacher and tour leader, she still finds time to blog about her adventures, as well as consult and develop recipes for Tabasco brand products. She also teaches Mexican cooking in the U.S. Academically she concentrated on the business end of the industry, graduating with a Masters in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Administration from the University of Massachusetts. While she was there, she taught cooking and banquet management to undergraduates in the department. Her book,”Voices of San Miguel”, an oral history of SMA, is coming out this year. La Cocina has been featured in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Chronicle, Texas Monthly, Miami Herald, Tucson Citizen, Austin Home and Living and Edible - Dallas/Ft.Worth.

Laura Buccheri, Agrodolce Cooking School 
One of the most accomplished Italian chefs in SMA gives you her secrets on cooking the best pastas and sauces, making fresh cheeses, breads, puff pastry and Italian desserts. A purist, Laura shows you the easiest method to make everything from scratch. Laura and her husband Justin currently make over twelve different types of cheese, all of their own bread and Limoncello in her kitchens at Trattoria da Laura a Los Mezquites. 

Class information:
When: Weekdays, by Appointment.
Where: Trattoria da Laura a Los Mezquites, 10/15 minutes from SMA Centro. Transportation available. Also will teach classes in your home.
Focus: Italian.
Duration: Half or full day.
Cost: US $60.00 or the peso equivalent for groups up to 6 people. US $100.00 or the peso equivalent for one-on-one classes. 

Contact:
Chef Laura Buccheri
Agrodolce Cooking School 
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico 
Phone: Phone: 415-124-2435 or 415-100-6934
email: lacucinadiafrodita@hotmail.com 

About Chef Laura Buccheri: 
Chef Laura Buccheri grew up in Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto, in the Messina province of Sicily. She was an actress for 10 years, and then got her professional cooking start in one of the finest restaurants on Lake Como, Trattoria da Angela, where she learned about Italian cuisine from French-trained chef, Adriana Zedda. She went on to work at AGO, Robert de Niro’s restaurant in Miami and later took a job cooking on private yachts. She eventually became the personal chef for a Russian tycoon. She cooked in South Africa and went on to work for another AGO property in Los Angeles, then traveled to Greece to help her uncle out in his own restaurant. She also worked at the Raya Hotel on the Island of Panarea in Italy and as the restaurant and hotel manager at Villa las Estrellas in Tulum before coming to San Miguel. Laura and Justin own a Bed and Breakfast in Siracusa, Italy. They lead culinary tours in Sicily and teach Italian cooking classes. Laura’s restaurant, Trattoria da Laura a Los Mezquites, is located just 10/15 minutes from downtown SMA. She also owns La Spaghetteria in Mercado Sano.

Chef Gabriela Green Pizarro, La Fonda Rosa Cooking School
Chef Gaby Green shares a lot of interesting history about recipes and stories from her family’s kitchen. What makes Gaby’s classes unique is that they are specifically designed for your group. She also offers vegetarian and vegan options. Bring your questions, curiosity and a big appetite; you’ll have a Mexican comida with Gaby after you cook.  

Class information:
When:  Every Wednesday.
Where: Colonia San Antonio.
Focus: Authentic, Mexican Cuisine. Gaby also has Asian and Cajun food on her menu at times and teaches these classes as well.
Classes: Every class is hands-on, allowing students to do as much as they would like. You receive the recipes from your class so you can make your own authentic Mexican dishes at home.
Cost: US $100.00 or peso equivalent. US $30.00 or peso equivalent for the Market Tour.

Contact:
Chef Gabriela Green Pizarro
La Fonda Rosa Cooking School 
Pipila 3A, San Antonio,
Telephone: 52-415-150 7387
email: info@lafondarosa.com
www.lafondarosa.com   

About Chef Gabriela Green Pizarro:
Chef Gaby Green is on top of her game at Aguamiel cocina rustica, her fifth restaurant and some say her best venture yet. Gaby was born and raised in Mexico City by Mexican and European grandparents. Both of her grandmothers were great cooks from different cultures but with an excellent sense of food. Gaby had a successful career in film before she started cooking. During that time, she did a lot of international travel which included eating in some of the world’s best restaurants. Twenty years ago, she found herself under the spell of San Miguel and wanted to stay. Still in film, she brought the first art film festival to San Miguel. Cooking was always her other passion and she ultimately decided to change her career path for something more personal that she could share with people. Gaby has that instinctive feel for what pairs well together and understands how to balance flavors. Her restaurant, Aguamiel Cocina Rustica, is recognized as one of the best restaurants in San Miguel de Allende.

Kirsten West, La Piña Azul Escuela de Cocina
This former Test Kitchen Director for Chef Rick Bayless and a Private Chef to musician Mick Jagger, teaches classes in authentic Mexican cooking. A frequent speaker on the history of Mexican food at the Instituto Allende, Kirsten is also the Co-Producer of SMA's annual Food in Film Festival.

Class information:
When:  By Appointment. This flexibility allows visitors to fit the classes into their schedules.
Group Size: 4 – 12 students.
Where:  Colonia San Antonio.
Focus:  Mexican. Classes are with some hands-on but mainly demonstrations. Students will get a complete meal with foods prepared in class and includes a recipe book. Non-alcoholic beverages are served but students are free to bring their own wine or beer. Kirsten selects a menu that reflects true Mexican cuisine and is easy to prepare from ingredients that are now mostly available everywhere. She weaves interesting and historical information about the foods into the lesson.
Duration:  3 hours.
Cost: US$75.00. Check, cash, or peso equivalent.

Contact:
Kirsten West
La Piña Azul Escuela de Cocina  
Colonia San Antonio, San Miguel de Allende
Telephone: Mexican cell: 044-415-101-4155/ US phone: 312-602-9650
Email:  kirstenwest@mac.com

About Kirsten West:
Kirsten West, a true culinary explorer, is the Mayora de Cocina at La Piña Azul Escuela de Cocina. Her entire life has been devoted to food; her most rewarding were the eight years she spent as Director of the test kitchen for Chef Rick Bayless. At her office in Chicago, she was surrounded by the collection of Bayless cookbooks; the largest, privately-owned collection of Mexican cookbooks in the U.S. An authority on Mexican food and ingredients, she gives cooking classes and speaks at the Instituto Allende on the history of Mexican food. Her friend, Diana Kennedy, and former boss, Rick Bayless, taught her about the Mexican cuisine she is now so passionate about. When Kirsten started a catering company, she was asked to be Mick Jagger’s (the Rolling Stones) private chef, a short term job that turned into a four-year gig. After fifteen years of catering, she moved to Chicago to work for Rick Bayless, where they developed Mexican food lines for such industry giants as Crate and Barrel, Williams-Sonoma and Whole Foods. She said she has deeply ventured into the mysteries of moles, experiencing some ‘near religious experiences’ preparing them. Kirsten is the Co-producer of the Food in Film Festival in SMA; a benefit for DIF (Desarrollo Integral de la Familia).

Maria Laura Ricaud, Marilau Mexican Ancestry Cooking School
Loyal to tradition, this Mexican Ancestry chef teaches you everything about Mexican food and flavors including the insightful use of time-honored cooking methods and ingredients. With her deep-rooted Mexican heritage, you’ll encounter far more than just cooking when you’re in her kitchen.

Class information:
When: Daily, except December 25 and January 1.
Where: Colonia San Antonio.
Classes:
Tamales.
Two Days Working with Chiles.
Select a Menu.
Working with Corn.
Mexican Finger Foods – Tacos, Salsas and Antojitos de Comal.
One Week Mexican.
Contact Maria Laura Ricaud for many other classes available.
Focus: Ancestry Mexican.
Group Size: 2 – 8 people.
Duration: Half day to one full week.
Cost: $2000.00 MXN per day. Ask about special pricing for week long courses.
Contact:
Maria Laura Ricaud
Mexican Ancestry Cooking School
28 de Abril sur # 9A at la Luz St.
BEHIND San Antonio’s Church
Phone: +52 415-152-4376
Email: marilau@mexican-cooking-school.com
www.marilau.com

About Maria Laura Ricaud:
Maria Laura Ricaud (Marilau) is the owner of Marilau Mexican Ancestry Cooking School and has been a force of Mexican cooking tradition for over thirty years. Her grandfather was a gourmand; influenced by his French parents. Both of her grandmothers, all of her aunts and her mother were impressive cooks. Loyal to tradition, she developed a true pleasure for Mexican ancestry cooking. Fiercely independent, she’s always been her own boss. Her family tree is as Mexican and influential as it gets; a pedigree from the Who’s Who of early cooking in Mexico. Marilau’s kitchen is a museum; she’s inherited cazuelas, ollas and other kitchen treasures from her family. Maria Laura Ricaud is the keeper of a remarkable piece of Mexican culinary history: Handwritten family cookbooks, one of them from 1798. Marilau has written articles for Texas Monthly, Lifestyle + Travel, Saveur and Better Homes and Gardens.

Patricia Merrill Márquez and Mónica Navarrete Merrill, Mexican Cooking Vacation
This mother-daughter team pair up to bring you a whole new perspective on cooking traditional and modern Mexican cuisine. The learning doesn't stop with the cooking; history and insights into every day Mexican life are a part of this wonderful cultural experience as well.

Class information:
When: Scheduled classes are currently July 2 to July 8 and October 15 to October 21. Individual classes for groups can be arranged through the school.
Where: Arcos del Atascadero B&B.
Focus: Traditional Mexican, Ethnic, Mexican cuisine with a cultural overview.
Cost: US $1650.00 - $2150.00 includes transportation to and from airport, 6 nights accommodations, 4 days Mexican Cooking instruction, Market Tour, Field trip to Guanajuato and copy of The Buen Provecho Cookbook.
Contact the school to provide pricing on individual and group classes.

Contact:
Patricia Merrill Márquez and Chef Monica Navarrete Merrill
Mexican Cooking Vacation
www.mexicancookingvacation.com
Email: sanmiguelreservations@gmail.com
US Phone: 301 591 4129 

About Patricia Merrill Marquez and Chef Mónica Navarrete Merrill:
Patricia Merrill Marquez, whose parents Yaya and Don Ricardo, pioneered Mexican culinary tourism as a “vacation with a purpose” back in the late sixties, is keeping up with Yaya. She’s the author of “The Buen Provecho Book”, a collection of traditional and contemporary Mexican recipes that also contains insights into every day Mexican life. Her company, Mexican Cooking Vacation, is an extension of her parents business, International Memorable Learning Experience (IMLE), where celebrities like Diana Kennedy, Rick Bayless and Barbara Hansen passed through the kitchen. Patricia’s daughter, Mónica Navarrete Merrill, has a Diploma in High Cuisine and is a 2010 gastronomy graduate from the Instituto Gastronómico de Estudios Superiores. She also attended the Culinary Institute of America in New York City. Patricia has brought culinary tourists to SMA from all over the world. Their business was featured as one of the “Top Ten Girlfriend Getaways in the World” by Travel and Leisure magazine. Humor and Surprises in Mexican Cooking and Culture, a lecture series, will be held at the Biblioteca; dates to be announced. 

Patsy Dubois, Patsy’s Place
Patsy’s classes are unique; with her laid back attitude, she teaches in her Ranchito in the countryside outside of San Miguel de Allende. Some of the ingredients for her classes are picked directly from her beautiful gardens. You start with botanas and eat your way through every class. Each one is personally designed by you, often from the dishes found on Patsy’s website. Everything is hands on. Margaritas and beer are served with comida and all of her printed recipes are included.

Class information:
When: By Appointment.
Where: Patsy’s Place. Transportation provided.
Focus: Mexican.
Duration: Half day.
Cost:  US$100.00 or peso equivalent.

Contact:
Patsy DuBois
Patsy’s Place
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico 
Phone: 415-185-2151
Email: patsy@patsydubois.com
www.pátsydubois.com

About Patsy DuBois:
A free spirit in every sense of the word, Patsy Dubois learned to cook in Tulsa, Oklahoma at the early age of five. Her father put her on a wooden box in front of the stove and said “if you can read, you can learn to cook.” And she did. She attended the Instituto Allende, getting her Masters of Fine Art there. At the time, there were over six hundred students from twenty three countries attending the school. After graduation, she went to Mexico City and taught at the Modern American School and did private tutoring. She had a favorite student and was invited to live with his family at Los Pinos for five years. She returned to SMA and started a catering company, Fiesta Party, with a group of friends. In 1994, she wanted to try something new so she started cooking; doing catering from her ranchito and teaching classes. The ranchito grew into a venue and party pavilion where people went to celebrate their holidays. She does private parties, lunches and cooking classes by reservations plus catering in private homes. She also goes to New York City twice a year, moving from neighborhood to neighborhood eating. She just returned from a trip to Bali and New Zealand. She’s currently building a new house, making plans to travel throughout Mexico again and will start on a cookbook this year.

Alicia Wilson Rivero, Pura Vida Kitchen:
Give your healthy cooking curiosity an eye opener with a series of classes on health and nutrition. Cooking classes highlight both international recipes and basic nutrition for the home kitchen. Pura Vida provides training for all sorts of food preferences and needs and offers a variety of specialty classes that concentrate on healing through diet.

Class information:
When: Ongoing.
Where: Mercado Sano, Ancha de San Antonio 123.
Focus: Healthy. All the classes offer ways to prepare whole, real foods with instruction on recognizing healthy fats, proteins and carbs. 
Duration: 2.5 hours sharing three recipes in each topic.  
Cost: $500 MXN (public or scheduled classes) to $1000 MXN (private groups).
Other Classes: Privately arranged individual or group classes run 3.5 hours and offer a meal. All classes include digital recipe packs and the ingredients.

Pura Vida Kitchen also offers a job training program for women in the community seeking work as cocineras (hired cooks). Pura Vida Kitchen has a 10 class ‘certificate’ program which includes nutrition basics to international recipes and sourcing seasonal foods from the local area. Contact Pura Vida for pricing.

Contact:
Alicia Wilson Rivero
Pura Vida Kitchen
Email: alicia@puravidakitchen.com
Phone: 415-152-6671
www.puravidakitchen.com
https://www.facebook.com/pg/PURAVIDAKITCHEN

About Pura Vida Kitchen:
Alicia Wilson Rivero was born in Brooklyn, NY and lives in San Francisco and San Miguel de Allende. She studied Pastry at thwe Culinary Institute of America, Rhinebeck, NY, apprenticed with Chef Felipe Rojas Lombardi and is a certified Health Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

Alicia Wilson Rivero is passionate about food; focusing on a therapeutic approach to help heal. Her devotion to healthy eating began in May of 2009, when she opened La Mesa Grande, a bakery in SMA. Shortly afterwards, a doctor told her that he suspected she had gluten intolerance. Selling the bakery two years later, fatigued and battle worn, she went for three months without croissants, crusty breads and pasta. That was the beginning of a transformation that started a whole new relationship with food; lifelong, chronic health issues cleared up like magic. In 2010, she opened up a juice bar and cooking school, establishing a career of working with people individually and in groups to offer guidance on how to eat for their health without sacrificing all the sensuality and pleasure that food has to offer on a daily basis.

    Photo by Moises Fuentes

Chef Carlos Hannon, The Rosewood Hotel:
The cooking classes at the Rosewood Hotel take place in one of the most beautiful sections of the hotel and the newest venue: Los Pirules Artisan Kitchen and Garden Bar, an outdoor space featuring two artisanal kitchens, a communal table, a bar and one of the most stunning views of the city. Chef Carlos Hannon and his staff are some of the top, international chefs in SMA and offer classes that provide cooking skills to create remarkable Mexican food in your own kitchen. The culinary team also gives pointers on selecting the perfect drinks to pair with the food. Savor the food you prepared and the amazing views when you finish in the kitchen.

Class information:
When: Year round.
Where: Centro, Rosewood Hotel.
Focus: Mexican.
Duration: Half Day.
Cost:  US$150 per person, check or cash, or peso equivalent.

Contact:
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende
Nemesio Diez#11, Centro
San Miguel de Allende
Sanmiguel@rosewoodhotels.com
Phone: (415) 152 9700

About Chef Carlos Hannon:
Chef Hannon leads the talented culinary team at the hotel’s three distinctive dining venues: 1826 Restaurant, Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar and La Cava. Chef Hannon is back at Rosewood San Miguel de Allende and the Rosewood brand, having last served as executive chef at Rosewood San Miguel de Allende from 2010 – 2012 as a part of the hotel’s pre-opening team. Chef Hannon also played an important role on the pre-opening teams for Rosewood Mayakoba and Rosewood Sand Hill, and also was the executive chef at Rosewood Little Dix Bay in 2012. Most recently, Chef Hannon was the executive chef at Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights in Dubai.  During his two-year tenure, Chef Hannon played an integral role on the pre-opening team and oversaw the acclaimed hotel’s culinary operation at the hotel’s four restaurants as well as the Regency Club and The Lobby Lounge. Before joining the Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights team, Chef Hannon served as the chef patron at The Restaurant Group, Jumeirah at Hotel Mina A’Salam, Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, where he spearheaded the opening of the new concept of Mexican Kitchen and Bar.