Oaxaca: Cooking Up a Storm at Casa Crespo

One of the best experiences I had in Mexico, hands down, was attending a cooking class at Casa Crespo. Led by the wonderful Oscar, we spent the day shopping for foods at a local market, preparing our meal, and then sitting down to a feast.

Upon our arrival at Casa Crespo, we were served a wonderful breakfast: tamales, bread with a variety of homemade jams, and the ever-present Mexican hot chocolate. We dined al fresco and fortified ourselves with fuel for a long day of cooking.

After ingesting our weight in hot chocolate, it was time for class to begin. Oscar went through all the menu options with us, allowing our group to select the meal we would cook. After we made our selections, he led us to a local market, where we shopped for the necessary ingredients (and got a primer in various local specialties on offer).

Once we were stocked up, we headed back to Casa Crespo and got into the kitchen, where we were really put to work! In other classes I’ve taken, the students were only asked to do a bit, and the professionals took care of the rest; here, we were responsible for all the chopping, rolling, and cooking. I pitched in most with our soup and salsas.

After the work came the feast: empanadas, chilis stuffed with chicken and veggies, soup, a green mole atop chicken and veggies, a black mole atop duck, and a rose petal ice cream. Everything was perfectly delicious and doubly satisfying, given the work we put into it.

I would highly recommend a class at Casa Crespo to anyone traveling to Oaxaca. The instructors were wonderful and the food was a-ma-zing. Plus, how many other activities are there where you leave coveting a tortilla press?


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