You can join us for 4 classes 7 days 6 nights with a Sunday arrival and Saturday departure or you can join us for 3 classes 5 days 4 nights with a Tuesday arrival and Saturday departure.
Once your driver has met you, and you have settled in, you are on vacation and here to relax and unwind. From Mexico City your drive will be via a modern 4-lane expressway over pine covered mountains.
Be sure to look out to the right as you go over the mountains for a view of the two local volcanoes. Watch for a close-up view of snow-covered Popocatepetl Volcano, and occasional visible smoke. Your drive will take about 1½ hours depending on traffic. Upon arrival at the Casa, your driver will assist you with your luggage to your accommodations.
Upon arrival at Casa Carmelita, you will enjoy a delicious, festive welcome. Relish light appetizers, drinks, and the chance to meet fellow vacationers and your hosts. Choose from soft drinks, beer, wine, or the classic Mexican drink: Margaritas.
After you are settled into your room, you will enjoy a classic Pueblan dinner prepared by Doña Estela, which will set the tone for the type of cuisine you'll learn to create in your cooking classes during the week
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Each morning enjoy a typical breakfast of Puebla Cuisine. Weather permitting, breakfast is served on the Hacienda’s outside patio, amid the lush greenery for which this part of the country is known. The menu today will be fresh juice, llevos mexicanos (eggs Mexican style), tortillas, and coffee or tea.
Classes are 2 – 2 ½ hrs each day. You will be preparing lunch and dinner. Each day will include a soup, two main dishes, sauces and usually a dessert. A typical day’s recipes may include:
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Your lunch today will include Crema de Flor de Calabacitas (Cream of Squash Blossom Soup), traditional Poblano soup that is a very delicate milk-based squash blossom soup with roasted poblano chile and requeson cheese (goat cheese, ricotta, or feta), finished with epazote or dill; Pipian Verde con bistec en Relleno (this dish is sometimes called a Mole Verde, stuffed beef rolls in Pipian sauce).
It is a traditional Pueblan interpretation of French stuffed meat rolls with a nod to Emperor Maximilian who brought the French Court to Mexico City, and a nod to the Near East with sauce featuring sesame seeds, cumin, and cloves, and includes the indigenous pumpkin seeds. This dish is served with traditional Mexican red rice.
3:00 PM - 7:00 PM
You may wish to visit Puebla, and see archeological and historical sites such as Cacaxtla, Xochitecatl or Cholula. Other suggestions are a visit to the hot springs of Chignahuapan, or even hiking the volcanos (there are three volcanos in the area surrounding Casa Carmelita).
The Hacienda works closely with a taxi company to arrange trips to town or optional excursions. These are all unguided options, and the only cost is associated with the taxi. Prices range from 500 pesos to 700 pesos ($26 - $37)
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Each day, weather permitting, dinner is served on the outside patio of the Hacienda. You will have your choice of beer, wine, or a margarita with your meal.
The menu tonight will include Amendrado (Almond Pork, duck, or chicken) usually with duck depending on availability, a luxurious sauce with Serrano chiles, tomatoes, almonds, cloves, cinnamon, and sesame seeds, adding a touch of the Middle East. This dish will be served with white rice and dill. For dessert, you will be served Buñuelos, a traditional thin fritter-like dessert dredged in vanilla sugar.
The real gourmet cooking secrets and traditions of Puebla cuisine remained in households for special occasions; it is almost never found in restaurants. During your culinary vacation, Estela will be teaching you traditional classic recipes from the city of Puebla, as well as dishes that are unique to her family.
For each day's class, guests will work alongside Estela, preparing dishes for lunch and dinner. Classes are small, so that the close interaction with Chef Estela offers the full learning experience so vital an ingredient in any cooking class.