Groups visiting Mexico’s Riviera Maya will find authentic and cultural immersion experiences at the Mayakoba eco-resort—and the latest involves learning how to cook authentic Mayan cuisine the traditional way.
El Pueblito Cooking School now offers a culinary experience for groups to learn about the Mayan culture, way of living, gastronomy and cooking techniques that date back to several centuries ago. A Mayan cook (or cocinera tradicionale) will teach attendees how to cook authentic cochinita pibil, a traditional Mexican slow-roasted pork dish, as well as relleno negro, a black turkey stew. They will even learn how to prepare tortillas by hand.
Apart from the food itself, the cooking process is equally interesting. The dishes are cooked in Mayan underground ovens using banana tree leaves as a cover for the pots. The chef will also provide insight into the popular seasonings used in the region and how to incorporate them into dishes.
“Now more than ever, today’s travelers are looking for authenticity and cultural immersion, and group planners are taking note,” said Karla Enciso, executive chef of El Pueblito at Mayakoba. “El Pueblito Cooking School’s new Gastronomical Mayan Tour provides an incredibly unique immersive culinary experience, which allows groups to actively participate together while learning ancient recipes and traditions from the Mayan culture, prompting interpersonal communication and shared memories.”
If groups have extra time, they can also partake in a shopping experience. The chef will take attendees to Valladolid, home to one of the most colorful Mexican markets, where they will pick out some of the region’s best produce. The experience can also be paired with a trip to a nearby cenote swimming hole.
As of now, El Pueblito Cooking School can accommodate up to 12 attendees per class. And last but certainly not least, your group can feel good about what it’s doing here because the proceeds from the class go back to the Mayan community.