This week, I’d like to share a culinary experience unlike any we’ve done before.
|Chef Mavi Graf - Arte Culinario|
Via e-mail, we arranged for a “class” with Chef Mavi Graf. We were given a choice of traditional or contemporary Mexican cuisine, or International fare. We chose traditional cuisine, as it is my feeling that before you can appreciate contemporary cuisine, one needs to understand the basics from where it came.
We were given a series of suggestions for traditional Mexican cuisine for review. For the purpose of shopping and organization, we chose Ceviche, Cochinita Pibil (Mayan-style pulled pork with black beans, rice, and pickled onions) and Tequila Flan.
She took us to places in town that we wouldn't have seen without her. Our first stop was Carnicería Zoraya, a local butcher. The owner greeted us from the behind the counter, and presented us with a fresh pork shoulder and a bag of fried pork rinds “for the road”.
|Mariscos Plazola - Chef Mavi|
Our next stop was across town to the spice shop. As we pulled into the parking area, Chef Mavi pointed out the local church: Iglesia del Pitillal. She had told us about the large statue of Jesus that had been carved out of a large tree. It is worth the stop. Across the street is the spice market. Amazing! The smells coming from the shop, and the variety of herbs and spices were great. Here we learned about Jamaica (Hibiscus flower), which we would later have as a refreshing tea.
Our final stop was at La Europea, a Spanish owned liquor store, where we picked up a bottle of Licor de Damiana, for the Tamarind Margaritas. I also picked up a bottle of Mexican wine (a chardonnay/chenin blanc blend) to pair with our Ceviche.
|Agua de Jamaica|
|Arte Culinario Ceviche|
|Chef Mavi w/ Tamarind/Damiana Margaritas|
|Balcony view of the Marina|
The cost of this full day (which went from 10:00am to about 5:30pm) was on the higher end of the quoted $110 to $150/person, But when you look at it, you would probably spend that much on a nice evening out. But you get so much more than just a meal. You get to learn about food, culture, and shop for the fresh food in multiple markets. And, you’ll now have friends in Puerto Vallarta.
|Muchas gracias Chef Mavi y Cristina|
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