Cooking in Mexico: Los Tamarindos

To me, a large part of traveling is enjoying the local cuisine.  I love sampling the flavors of new foods.  Unfortunately, I am not always as brave as I should be!  Specifically, I did not sample the ant eggs we had at a local restaurant in Cabo San Lucas *hangs head in shame*.  I should have, but I will admit that I get a bit squeamish over unfamiliar protein sources, like when my son ordered a plate of tripe.

But I digress.  I will amend my original statement.  I try really hard to enjoy the local cuisine of new places.  I will work on becoming a bit braver.   Fortunately for me, no bravery at all was required to experience a cooking class at Los Tamarindos in Los Cabos, Mexico.

Los Tamarindos is a restaurant and organic farm specializing in Mexican and Mediterranean specialities run by Enrique Silva.  When you book a cooking class with him, you not only get a tour of his organic farm, you learn some new recipes and then enjoy a delicious meal.  Since we were traveling with a large group, our cooking class was just for us.

We were greeted at the restaurant patio with ice cold glasses of home brewed lemongrass tea, and then we were off to see the farming operation.  It was interesting to learn about some of the techniques for pest control and the perpetuation of their crop through obtaining and using seeds from the plants.

Here a worker is harvesting mint roots so they can be sprouted and replanted.  The smell of mint was in the air.

Here a worker is harvesting mint roots so they can be sprouted and replanted. The smell of mint was in the air.

The main growing season is through the winter, so a lot was going on in the greenhouse.

Hundreds of Seedlings in the Greenhouse.

Hundreds of Seedlings in the Greenhouse.

They produce fresh vegetables, as well as pineapple, bananas, and mangoes for their restaurant, but they also can their own products as well as sell seedlings to other operations.

Once we finished our tour, we were led to this fantastic outdoor, rustic kitchen where we were each greeted with a place at the table, an apron, cutting board, knife, and file containing the recipes for the day.  Our menu was gazpacho, ceviche, chicken mole, rice, roasted vegetables, and stuffed zucchini blossoms (for dessert).  Our first job was to chop herbs for a wonderful herb oil that was used in several of the recipes.

CuttingVeggies

You wouldn’t believe the aroma as we chopped and chopped.

ChoppingCollage

ChoppingHandsCollage

We helped make gazpacho and rice, and we stuffed squash blossoms with ricotta cheese.

Fresh gazpacho from sweet, less acidic yellow tomatoes.

Fresh gazpacho from sweet, less acidic yellow tomatoes.

StuffingBlossoms

We asked lots of questions.  The pace was never rushed–relaxed and comfortable.

Vegetables brushed with herbed oil to be roasted in the outdoor wood burning oven.

Vegetables brushed with herbed oil to be roasted in the outdoor wood burning oven.

Enrique was a patient and informative teacher.

EnriqueSilva

Once the food was cooked, we sat down for a lovely meal.  Everything was delicious!

Dinner

The whole experience took a little over four hours and was a wonderful opening activity for our week in Mexico.  If you love cooking and food and are in the Los Cabos area, give Mr. Silva a call.  

We have already made several of the recipes, which of course, I will not reveal over the world wide web.  You will just have to book yourself a class at Los Tamarindos!

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