Eating is one of the most important parts of traveling for me and Dustin. And, while we love trying new restaurants, we also love to find ways to take a new cuisine home with us, which means cooking classes! It’s our new goal to do cooking classes in as many countries as possible. Obviously, as soon as we booked our flight to Mexico, I was looking up cooking classes.
When I saw that Cookin Playa offered a cocktail and appetizer class, I was immediately sold. Learning to make appetizers and getting to make (and drink) three cocktails to go with them? No-brainer for me.
We had such an awesome time. The class is held in a home just outside of Playa Del Carmen, and we took a taxi to get there from our hotel.
We signed up right away, and, while the classes at cooking playa can have up to 12 participants, it ended up just being the two of us. Not a problem for us, as the cost was the same and we got personalized attention and help with our technique!
The instructor, Coty, holds these classes in her home, and we took a taxi to get there from our hotel as it’s a little bit outside of town. We asked our taxi driver to come back in 2 hours, and he did, but Coty also called us a taxi and had it waiting outside at the end of the class, which resulted in a funny moment of confusion. So, if you take a taxi, know that she’ll be happy to call you one to pick you up.
The home was absolutely beautiful, and the kitchen was perfectly set up for a cooking school. It had a big island with all of the bowls, utensils and ingredients set up, and another big island with a bunch of burners for cooking.
Now to the important part! Here’s what we had:
- First Course: Martini Jamaica with Apricot Marmalade with Chipotle over Goat Cream Cheese
- Second Course: Cucumber Mojto with Green Ceviche
- Third Course: Strawberry Queen with Salsas & Guacamole
- Bonus: Quesadillas with homemade tortillas!
We honestly loved everything that we made. We aren’t picky eaters, and we love most food to be honest, so we aren’t hard to please, but it was still a surprise to absolutely love everything!
I had never made ceviche before but it was really easy and we will probably be making it again this summer. It was a little scary to cook the fish with just lime juice, but it ended up delicious and so refreshing. It totally started a ceviche kick for us on this trip and we had it at a couple of restaurants.
Our favorite app, though, was the chipotle goat cream cheese dish. Not only was it super easy to make, but we’ve made it twice since getting back home! It was basically a creamy cheese dip with some sweetness and some heat from the chipotle. We love it on pita chips.
Learning to make a few different salsas was also awesome, and Coty had her helpers make us some quesadillas (on fresh tortillas!) to put them on. Yum.
The cocktails were all great, especially the refreshing addition of cucumber in the mojito. We really liked the strawberry shot, too, which was the last drink.
The best part is that we got to keep all of the recipes and they are all things that we can and will make at home!
What We Learned
We also loved that Coty gave us tips and helped with our knife skills. She showed us how to roll the herbs up to cut them, how to hold the knife, and how to rock it to cut effectively with minimal wear on the blade.
She even showed us some tips and tricks for beautiful plating, which was great since we love to entertain and impress our guests!
Coty was honestly just so full of knowledge (did you know that Cilantro stems have more flavor than the leaves?!) and it was such a treat to learn from her.
Have you ever taken a cooking class? Tell me where you did it and what you learned in the comments!