Your five night, 6-day visit includes:
- 5 nights lodging in a lovely, highly rated historic center hotel
- guided visits to famed, certified Talavera ceramics studios
- visits to extraordinary museums like Museo Amparo
- chiles en nogada cooking class in a private home featured in Mexicocina with market tour, and lunch
- sumptuous candlelit dinner that evening presented by our cooking teachers/hosts
- gourmet dining and neighborhood/market fare experiences
- time on your own to explore the incredible weekend antique/flea market
- in-depth visits to archeological and religious sites of Cholula and Tonantzintla
- Plus, lots more.
Puebla is Mexico’s fourth largest city, cosmopolitan without being overwhelming. It is relaxed, accessible, and easily experienced in several days. Known as the ‘City of the Angels’” or Angelopolis, Puebla, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was founded in 1531 as a purely colonial Spanish city built from the ground up—not on top of an existing indigenous temple — at the trading crossroads between the port of Veracruz and Mexico City. More than 5,000 Baroque-designed buildings date mostly from the 16th century and are covered in handcrafted Talavera.
Puebla is also about shopping! The highlight is Talavera pottery. And, there are many other local crafts: Tree of Life clay figures, bark paper paintings, woven and embroidered textiles from the Sierra Norte, red clay cooking vessels and dinnerware, and unique onyx and marble sculptures. You can find these and much more at the traditional markets, the stalls that line Puebla’s beautiful plazas, and at the weekend flea and antique market.
Puebla is known throughout Mexico for its excellent cuisine, a blend of pre-Hispanic, Arabic, French and Spanish influences. There are many outstanding Tesoros de Mexico-rated (Mexico’s highest) restaurants, and we’ll be dining at a few!
We’ll also go to Cholula, an indigenous village just outside Puebla with the world’s widest ancient pyramid, Quetzalcoatl. The Spanish built the Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de los Remidios with its amazing 24-carat gold basilica atop the pyramid. On a clear day you can see snow-capped Popocatepetl, an active volcano, showing off his powerful plume.
- Day 1, August 13: Travel to Puebla, check-in to our historic center hotel
- Day 2, August 14: Chiles en Nogada Cooking class with market tour & lunch, followed by sumptuous private dinner
- Day 3, August 15: Cholula archeology site, Tonantzintla church, and Talavera de la Reyna ceramics
- Day 4, August 16: Antiques and flea market, museums, market lunch
- Day 5, August 17: Gallery hopping and shopping, fine dining
- Day 6, August 18: Departure
Our stops will include:
- Antique market & Barrio del Artista
- Museo Amparo
- Talavera galleries and shops
- Tonantzintla Templo de Santa Maria
- La Purificadora Hotel, an architectural wonder, designed by Ricardo and Victor Legorreta
- Uriarte and Talavera de la Reyna ceramics studios
We include private transportation on a day-trip to Cholula, Tonantzintla, and Talavera de la Reyna ceramics studios.
Transportation to Puebla: Puebla is easily accessed by Estrella Roja first class bus direct from the Benito Juarez International Airport (Terminal One and Terminal Two) and from Oaxaca on ADO. If you are coming from the U.S. be sure to reserve your round trip air travel to/from Mexico City. When you register, we will give you complete “how to get there” information.
What is Not Included:
- meals, snacks, alcoholic beverages
- entrance fees to local museums/attractions
- transportation to/from Mexico City
- transportation to/from Puebla
- mandatory international health/accident insurance
- tips for hotels, meals and other services
- $895 per person double occupancy, shared room and bath
- $1,195 per person single occupancy, private room and bath
Reservations and Cancellations
A 50% deposit will guarantee your spot. The final payment for the balance is due on or before July 1, 2014. Payment shall be made by PayPal. We will be happy to send you an itemized invoice.
Please understand that we make lodging and other arrangements months in advance of the program. Deposits or payments in full are often required by our hosts. If cancellation is necessary, please tell us in writing by email. After July 1, no refunds are possible. However, we will make every possible effort to fill your reserved space or you may send a substitute. If you cancel on or before July 1, we will refund 50% of your deposit. We ask that you take out trip cancellation, baggage, emergency evacuation and medical insurance before you begin your trip, since accidents happen.
Required–Travel Health/Accident Insurance: We require that you carry international accident/health/emergency evacuation insurance. Proof of insurance must be sent at least two weeks before departure. If you do not wish to do this, we ask you email a PDF of a notarized waiver of responsibility, holding harmless Norma Hawthorne and Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC. Unforeseen circumstances happen!
To register, email us at email@example.com. If you have questions, send us an email. We accept payment with PayPal only. Thank you.
This workshop is produced by Norma Hawthorne, Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC. We reserve the right to modify the itinerary.
Penland School Cooks in Oaxaca
We will be going back in time this week. A few days ago our participants from Penland School of Crafts gathered at Casa de los Sabores, the cooking school operated by chef Pilar Cabrera Arroyo.
Our menu focused on mezcal including a flaming skewered pineapple and shrimp dish that went up in flames before we ate it. The pineapple chunks were soaked in mezcal so the natural sugars ignited instantly. They were accompanied by a salad featuring tiny tomatillos that we ate raw.
Pilar has been preparing great food for a long time. Her La Olla Restaurant is well known in the city for using organic ingredients that are artfully prepared. Because our study tour focuses on Oaxaca arts and artisanry, food is an important ingredient in the Oaxaca mix.
Pilar is also very knowledgeable about the artesenal process of cultivating and distilling mezcal, too. Before we sat down to the meal we participated in preparing, we enjoyed a four-flight mezcal tasting that began with young espadin. She explained the different varietals, aging process and the rising cost of the smokey beverage based on escalating international interest.
First, it’s important to smell. Then, take a first sip and let it go down your throat slowly. At the end of your drink, suck on an orange slice dipped in worm salt (sal de gusano) for a perfect finish.
After the memelitas with squash blossoms and queso fresco, and after the chicken with mole amarillo, we ended with an incredible flan.
With a beautiful table and an array of complex tastes, we were more than satisfied. Oh, and I forgot to mention a shopping trip to the Mercado de la Merced before the class started to pick up essential ingredients.
I work with local experts and guides to put together an unusual and intimate view of Oaxaca, her art, food and culture. I am not a tour guide but an expert at award-winning university program development. If you organization has interest in a program such as this one, please contact me.
Comments Off on Penland School Cooks in Oaxaca
Posted in Cultural Commentary, Food & Recipes, Photography, Travel & Tourism, Workshops and Retreats
Tagged Casa de los Sabores, class, cooking, cuisine, culture, food, La Olla Restaurant, markets, Mexico, Oaxaca, organic, Penland School of Crafts, Pilar Cabrera, tour, workshop