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Learn how to make authentic Mexican cuisine in Huatulco

A close up of empanadas and sopes in a brown dish.

A half-day hands-on cooking class in Huatulco, Mexico is a delicious way to learn about local produce & ingredients, traditional Mexican cuisine and enjoy a homemade meal.

A brown-skinned woman with medium length black hair wearing a light pink apron with the words "Wahaca Cooking". She is standing at a counter filled with a variety of fresh produce.

Bahias de Huatulco was the last stop on Intrepid Travel’s 9 day Mexico Real Food Adventure tour. The drive from Oaxaca to Huatulco took about 6 hours and was quite an adventure – hairpin turns, windy roads, and hilly mountainous terrain in a small bus. It’s a scenic drive, but if you are prone to motion sickness you’ll want to take something to curb the nausea before you get going. I don’t often get motion sickness but really started to feel queasy when we hit those windy turns.

Along the way we stopped for a lunch break where I had my first tamale of the trip! Simple and delicious, if I wasn’t feeling queasy from the bus ride I would have had more than one.

Bahias de Huatulco, Mexico

Wahaca Cooking is located in the coastal town of Bahias de Huatulco, usually just called Huatulco (pronounced wah-tul-co). Situated on the Pacific coast, in this small tourist town you’ll find:

  • A variety of accommodations from simple hotels, apartments and all-inclusive resorts.
  • Lovely beaches in the 9 Bays of Huatulco.
  • An array of water sports and activities like snorkelling, diving, swimming, or you can book a boat for a leisurely cruise or to go fishing.
  • Cafes, beachside restaurants and street food carts.

Wahaca Cooking

Our group had a pre-arranged cooking class in Huatulco at Wahaca Cooking included as part of the tour. Before arriving at the cooking school the only information we had was that we would be learning traditional Mexican cooking and eating a meal together.

About the Chef & Instructor

Owned by Chef Alfredo, the cooking school is located adjacent to his family’s home and next door to their simple holiday rental.

Chef Alfredo, owner of Wahaca Cooking, wearing a dark grey chef coat and standing at a counter with cutting boards and fresh produce. An ornate sign with the words "Wahca Cooking" is behind him.

Chef Alfredo grew up in Huatulco in a matriarchal home. He learned cooking from an early age, gaining knowledge about food and recipes from the women in his family. With a true passion for the traditional Mexican cuisine, Chef Alfredo shares recipes and cooking techniques as well as stories and insights into Mexican family life.

Mi Cocina cooking class

The cooking class is held in a covered, outdoor kitchen with a large communal counter top, gas ranges and light classical music playing. The chef and his team welcomed us with aprons, a choice of beverage (beer or hibiscus) and an overview of the class and history of the cuisine. Then we got right to it!

Red tomatoes, cloves of garlic and dried peppers on a metal grill at an outdoor kitchen with a gas stove. Three pots are on the stove with green ingredients in the distance.

What I loved about this class was how casual and hands-on it was. It felt like we were cooking at the home of a friend. The cooking class I took in Bogota, Colombia was very different, with strong and sometimes strict guidelines.

Chef Alfredo shared some tidbits about each of the ingredients that we were using, how they are used in Mexican cooking, he talked us through the techniques and helped us along the way. We didn’t cook from written recipes but instead prepped and cooked based on the verbal instructions.

Our menu included dishes that could be present in an everyday kitchen:

  • Refried beans
  • Spicy red salsa made with tomatoes
  • Mild green salsa made with tomatillos
  • Guacamole
  • Tortillas, quesadillas, sopes and empanadas all made with handmade dough that we prepared
  • Huitlacoche in a creamy sauce
  • Nopales
  • Fresh radish salad

After cooking, we all sat down to enjoy the feast that we prepared.

A table set for a group in an outdoor setting.

This cooking class is good for all skill levels. Even if you don’t have a ton of experience in the kitchen you’ll find tasks that you can manage. It’s a casual, relaxed environment and you’re encouraged to just roll up your sleeves and get cooking.

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