Cooking Camp

Three Sessions Available: July 1-5, August 3-7 or September 1-5, 2017

In this three-day and four-night-long cooking camp, Rosa and her five daughters share the secrets of their favorite dishes. You will learn how to make the staples of Mexican cuisine, such as tortillas, salsas and guacamoles, as well as more elaborate special occasion foods like mole and chiles rellenos. In addition, Rosa’s children will take you on tours of the family’s corn field and trout farm, and guide you on trips to forage wild mushrooms and greens that you will then prepare and consume. Apart from food, every evening features a tasting of a spirit or fermented beverage unique to México.

Day One: 

Arrival and Welcome Dinner: Pozole (hearty chicken and hominy stew with all the fixings)

Accompanied by a Make-Your-Own Michelada Bar

Evening Activity: Introductions and Orientation

Talk: Change and Continuity in Rural Mexico: From Corn to Avocados

Day Two:

Breakfast: Chilaquiles

Activity #1: Visit to the Family Milpa (Cornfield), plus a forest stroll

Cooking Class #1: How to Make Tortillas and Sopes

Lunch: Sopes and Squash Blossom Soup

Activity #2: Visit to a Local Trout Farm

Cooking Class #2: How to Clean and Prepare Trout

Dinner: Trucha empapelado and tortilla soup

Tasting: Homemade Fruit Wine paired with Mexican cheeses

Talk: Local Cottage Industries: Trout Framing and Homebrewing

Day Three:

Breakfast: Huevos a la Mexicana

Activity #3: Mushroom Foraging Expedition

Cooking Class #3: How to Kill and Clean a Free-range Chicken

Lunch: Mushroom Quesadillas

Cooking Class #4: How to Make Mole

Dinner: Chicken Mole

Tasting: Tequila paired with Sangrita

Talk: Tequila and the Idea of Mexico

Day Four:

Breakfast: Sopa Seca

Activity #4: Foraging for Wild Greens in Avocado Orchards

Lunch: Calabacitas Rellenos (Stuffed Zucchini)

Cooking Class #5: How to Make Chiles Rellenos and Mexican-Style Rice

Dinner: Chiles Rellenos served with rice and greens

Tasting: Mescal sampling

Talk: Mescal Madness: The Struggle for Sustainability

Day Five:

Breakfast: A la carte

Evaluations and Departure


$975 USD per person for a single room

$825 USD per person for a shared room

Price includes:

  • 5 cooking classes
  • 4 field trips
  • 4 nights lodging
  • All drinks and 3 meals a day
  • Simultaneous translation of tours and classes into English
  • Copies of the recipes cooked.

Not included:

  • Transportation

Cooking Camp Faculty:

 Head Chef: Rosa Rojas Sanchez. As the oldest of 13, mother of 10, and grandmother of 6, Rosa Rojas has acquired extensive culinary experience over the years. She started sharing her healthful take on traditional Mexican cuisine with the public 15 years ago, when she opened a restaurant in her living room. Since then, Doña Rosa’s has attracted a loyal local clientele and garnered praise from international tourists. A warm-hearted matriarch, many find that they enjoy being in the presence of her generous spirit even when there’s a language barrier. Her favorite dish is mole verde made with fresh chard from her garden.

Chief Curator: Dr. Ellen Sharp. Ellen is an anthropologist who has immersed herself in different aspects of Mesoamerican culture and cuisine for more than a decade. She organizes the evening tasting sessions, which are accompanied by brief informal talks that provide historical context for what you’re eating and drinking over the course of the weekend. During these daily sessions Ellen will answer your questions to the best of her ability. She’s a big fan of pozole—the more condiments, the better.

Translator and Guide: Ana Moreno Rojas. Rosa’s fourth daughter, Ana, is one of the first college graduates in her rural community. She earned a degree in tourism and gastronomy from UNAM-Toluca in June 2016. She polished her English with an extended stay in Iowa, where she gave talks on Macheros and monarch conservation. During the butterfly season she works as a bilingual butterfly guide on Cerro Pelon and in other sanctuaries. Her resume also includes facilitating whale-watching ecotourism in Puerto Vallarta. A vegetarian, she always requests chiles rellenos on special occasions.

Sous-chefs: Oralia, Carolina, Veronica and Margarita Moreno Rojas. Oralia makes a living as a hair stylist, while her three younger sisters teach primary school in an indigenous community on the other side of the county. All four have been helping their mother in her food service ventures since they were old enough to work. They are partial to pambazos (deep-fried chile-soaked sandwiches), which they sell in large quantities from their front porch during religious festivals.