Be surprised by Oaxaca’s traditions of vegetables, fruits & herbs.

Join us for a memorable day with Chef Alejandro Ruíz of Casa Oaxaca

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Zapotec Plant Food Traditions

Meet Your Guide: SUZANNE BARBEZAT

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This very special experience takes you into a Zapotec home in a village outside Oaxaca City.

We’ll make our way to the village in the morning to visit their daily traditional farmer’s market. There we’ll sample some snacks, including a traditional corn-based drink. You’ll learn about and try staple plant foods of the region including many that were part of the pre-Hispanic diet. Despite modern influences and changes, in communities like this one, much has remained unchanged in the Mexico’s food landscape since pre-Colonization, because of the hard work of people like those we’ll meet.

Cooking together makes a meaning bridge between cultures. After exploring the market, we’ll visit the home of a Zapotec family that has welcomed us to share a meal with them. We’ll participate in the preparation of our meal in the ancestral way, grinding corn on the metate, making our own tortillas and cooking a traditional plant-based meal over a wood fire. Sitting down together to enjoy our meal, we’ll have a chance to learn more about their lives as weavers in this traditional community.

 

Transportation is included – Group will meet at 8:30am at a central point in Oaxaca City.

Price includes all snacks and a light vegetarian meal – expect to feel comfortably full at the end!

THE DETAILS

Guide: Suzanne Barbezat

This Tour Available On:  Tuesdays, Thursdays

Tour Duration: Approx 5 hours

Group Size: Max 10

Price per person: $120 usd

This tour must be booked a minimum of 5 days in advance.

January 10, 2019 

A Day of Traditions with Chef Alejandro Ruíz

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Oaxaca is a land of rich traditions and amazing diversity. Today, we will have the privilege of learning about this region’s plant food traditions with a chef who has gained international acclaim for his restaurants (Casa Oaxaca – El Restaurante in Oaxaca City; Guzina Oaxaca in Mexico City), as well as for the passion with which he shares his beloved Oaxaca’s culinary traditions far and wide.

Starting off in the morning, you’ll travel from Oaxaca City with your Oaxaca City expert Suzanne Barbezat to meet up with Chef Alejandro Ruiz at a weekly market in the village near his family farm. Chef Alex will guide us in sampling seasonal produce and plant-based snacks particular to this region, including highly nutritive beverages such as tejate, tejate or pulque. 

We’ll use this opportunity to select some of the ingredients for our meal, seeking out those most unique to this particular region.

While in town, we’ll take a walk around the village to get to know a bit about the local traditions of the community where Chef Alejandro grew up.

After exploring the village and market, we will head to Portozuelo, the farm of Casa Oaxaca. In the outdoor kitchen with expansive views of rural Oaxaca  we will prepare a plant-based meal using all traditional techniques and ingredients.

Under the guidance of Chef Alejandro and woman of his village we’ll roast ingredients for salsas and make tortillas over the wood-fired stoves and clay comales. We’ll grind ingredients together in a molcajete to produce a regional salsa and work with the ingredients that we found in the market. Those who want to get their hands dirty can explore the farm that supplies Casa Oaxaca restaurants and harvest some of the ingredients for our meal.

Our efforts will culminate in a meal celebrating Oaxaca, our collaborative cooking efforts, and the plant foods of this country’s most sacred earth.

The day will wind down just before sunset, when warmed by the generosity of family and community (and mezcal), we’ll head back to the city.

This promises to be a day made of wonderful, delicious and meaningful memories.

Alejandro Ruiz preparing on camera for BBC Rick Stein Mexico series
Chef Alejandro Ruiz at Oaxaca farm
Margret makes guacamole in Oaxaca

 

THE DETAILS

This Tour Available On:  Jan 10, 2019

Tour Duration: Approx 8 hours

Group Size: This is a communal event, for which we will accept a maximum of 20 guests, minimum 10.

Price per person:$186 usd 20% discount on bookings before 12/24

 

This experience includes:

  • Transportation by van from Oaxaca city centre.
  • Tastings in the market (if you want to shop as we go for food to take home, we welcome you to, but it’s neither required nor included)
  • A walk through the village to see special Day of the Dead murals
  • Get hands-on with traditional prep techniques and tools
  • 4+ course plant-food focused meal * garnishes such as insects and cheese will be available for those who wish to include them in their meal)
  • Agua fresca and water throughout the day
  • Beer, mezcal, chocolate caliente 
  • Day begins with pickup at 10am and ends with drop off between 7 and 8 pm.

*This special experience must be booked a minimum of 4 days in advance. Please book early to avoid missing this unique opportunity

 

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