Monday, December 07, 2009

Cooking Class at Hotel California - Baja - Todos Santos

I spent the Thanksgiving holiday in Mexico with some of my family members.  We had a great time snorkeling with sea pups, surfing on Cerritos Beach near Todos Santos on the Baja penisula, and taking in a great cooking class at the Hotel California with Chef Dany.

Before the cooking class we were treated to a great visit to Punta Lobos, the sweeping Pacific beach where the local fishermen of Todos Santos launch their boats each morning and bring in the daily catch each afternoon.  We were able to see the various catch of the day as well as marvel at the young juvenile pelicans that waited for their daily handouts.  It is amazing to see the boats come in from their day at sea, plowing up on the beach at full throttle.

We were also given a tour of  a local organic farm in the small town of El Pescadero, where many of the herbs and greens we used for our cooking class were grown.   The guide also provided a nice history of this area of Mexico and the Baja penisula. 

Before the cooking class we also helped the bartender make a jamaica margarita which had a mild syrup of jamaica juice (somewhat like cranberry), and another syrup of jalepeno.  The combination was mild and not too spicy, but with just a kick and difference to make it a wonderful starter.

The cooking class took place in the restaurant's kitchen with hands on preparation by the four members of our group.  Each member was given a recipe and special instruction by the Chef or kitchen staff in preparing his or her recipe.  The meal consisted of 5 courses:  an ahi tuna appetizer, organic green salad with special crostini, shrimp on rosemary skewers, flank steak marinated in sauce and served with a special salsa made with a molcajete (a mortar and pestle lava stone tool), and a banana pineapple flambe over ice cream.    The ingredients in each of the dishes added a touch of spice giving them a Mexican flair.    The chef joined us for a marvelous meal.  We learned so much about the cooking and experienced a little part of the culture as well.  It was a great experience and highly recommend taking a class when visiting Todos Santos. 

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