Food Tales

This Is the Most Colorful Cooking Class in Mexico City

by Anna Petrow
Casa The table is set at Casa Jacaranda. All photos by Anna Petrow.

For photographer and food obsessive Anna Petrow, the best part of a trip to Mexico City came from a word-of-mouth recommendation for a market excursion and cooking class.

MEXICO CITY — Want a super fun, local experience when you're in Mexico City? How about learning to shop like a local at the market, then cooking a big meal with chefs Beto Estúa and Jorge Fitz of Casa Jacaranda, who lead market tours and cooking classes for cooks at all levels. They took my boyfriend and I to the historic Mercado Medellín to scoop up all the fresh ingredients, introduce us to vendors, share their knowledge of Mexican agriculture, and taste-test ingredients — true cacao, Mexican coffee, dried guajillo chili peppers, and other flavors that left our taste buds tingling.

Afterwards, we strolled through the historic Roma Norte — down tiny streets with colorful houses and intricate tiles — to their stunning home filled with art, design objects, and platters upon platters of beautiful dishware. The darling duo teach their guests how to cook and entertain, CDMX-style, weaving in stories about their families and the culture behind the preparations, while walking through the making of roasted salsas, mole verde, hand-rolled tamales, and more. Menus differ for each class, based on seasonality, availability, and whatever inspires the shopping trip of the day. We drank palomas while a table was set under the jacaranda tree on the terrace. Our long and lazy lunch in the late afternoon sun was the highlight of the trip — delicious Mexican wine flowed and conversation buzzed while we helped ourselves to the fruits of our labors – and made dear new friends who made Mexico City feel like home.

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