Culinary Travel: A Family Affair at Riviera Maya Resort

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Seasoned gourmet travelers and aspiring Foodies, young and old, can learn the makings of traditional Mexican cuisine from a top chef at Esencia Resort in the Riviera Maya, Mexico. Esencia, the 29-room luxury boutique resort, now offers one-day cooking classes from celebrated Chef Alejandro Rojas of Four Seasons and James Beard House fame. As Executive Chef of Sal y Fuego, the resort's signature restaurant highlighting Meso-American cuisine, Chef Rojas helps adults and children, as young as four years old, learn the finer points of botanas, Yucatecan appetizers, and the secrets of tasty salsas. Cooking lessons at all levels are offered including a Mini Pastry Chef class for children 4 to 8 years, a Junior Chef class for children 8 to 12 years and an Executive Chef class for adults. Each chef is outfitted with the proper attire including apron and chef hat. Cooking classes cost $100 per person. Reservations are made in advance at 1-877-528-3490. Accommodation rates start at $475 per night. http://www.hotelesencia.com

We developed these classes because many guests wanted to learn how to make the destination's regional dishes

Playa Xpu-Ha, Mexico (PRWeb) March 10, 2007 -- Seasoned gourmet travelers and aspiring Foodies, young and old, can learn the makings of traditional Mexican cuisine from a top chef at Esencia Resort in the Riviera Maya, Mexico. Esencia, the 29-room luxury boutique resort, now offers one-day cooking classes from celebrated Chef Alejandro Rojas of Four Seasons and James Beard House fame. As Executive Chef of Sal y Fuego, the resort's signature restaurant highlighting Meso-American cuisine, Chef Rojas helps adults and children, as young as four years old, learn the finer points of botanas, Yucatecan appetizers, and the secrets of tasty salsas. Cooking lessons at all levels are offered including a Mini Pastry Chef class for children 4 to 8 years, a Junior Chef class for children 8 to 12 years and an Executive Chef class for adults. Each chef is outfitted with the proper attire including apron and chef hat. Cooking classes cost $100 per person. Reservations are made in advance at 1-877-528-3490. Accommodation rates start at $475 per night. http://www.hotelesencia.com

"We developed these classes because many guests wanted to learn how to make the destination's regional dishes," explains Chef Alejandro Rojas. He adds, "Guests are becoming more sophisticated about foods and are no longer happy just to taste but also want to know how the food is prepared. For kids, this is a great opportunity to inspire a love for cooking."

Mini Pastry Chef

The world of a Mini Pastry chef involves cookies, muffins, small cakes and tarts with icings and meringues. The objective is to have young children become familiar with basic ingredients like flour, sugar, chocolate, eggs, butter, dried fruit and nuts. Classes are not only entertaining but educational as young students tour the resort's organic herb and vegetable garden. The little chefs are taught to value the land, which in turn provides essential foods. 4 to 8 years old, 2 hours, $100 per child.

Junior Chef

Junior chefs learn how to make salsas, guacamole and masa fantasies (Mexican specialties made from corn or flour dough) such as sopes (fried cakes), tortillas, gorditas (thick tortilla tacos) and tamales (cornmeal dough with filling). Most of the ingredients are gathered from the organic herb and vegetable garden. Junior chefs are taught to recycle and replenish the earth by re-planting small plants in the garden and are taught the nutritional value of different plants. The objective is to create good food with home-grown ingredients. 8 to 12 years old, 2 hours, $100 per child.

Executive Chef

Adults assume the task of preparing a six-course traditional Mexican meal. Chef Alejandro shares his tips on how to properly treat ingredients with love and respect. First, chefs prepare botanas like empanadas or ceviche. Next, soups, salsas and moles (Mexican sauces) are prepared. Entrees often include Chile Relleno (stuffed chiles), and Tikin Xic Fish (Yucatecan baked fish). Each lesson ends with dessert. To accompany the meal, chefs will learn how to make Esencia's signature cocktail, Caribeña, inspired by the tropical flavors of the Caribbean. 2 chefs minimum, 6 chefs maximum per class, 4 hours, $100 per person.

About Esencia: Located in Playa Xpu-Ha, Mexico on a two-mile stretch of fine white sand beach, 46 miles south of Cancun, Esencia is the essence of simplicity, elegance and beauty. The boutique resort, re-opened in January 2006, has 29 spacious suites and guestrooms with features ranging from deep-soaking plunge pools to private solariums. Sal y Fuego, Esencia's signature restaurant, uses fresh seafood and naturally grown produce presented with Mexican flair and rustic simplicity. Aroma, opened in Summer 2006, is the first pampering organic spa specializing in fito-therapy. The resort is managed by ProHotel International who also operates the celebrated La Pleta Resort and Spa in the Spanish Pyrenees.

Contact:    

Tania Palafox

KWE Group, Inc.

(305) 476-5424

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