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Cooking Class: Marinating


This easy technique adds flavor to all kinds of foods.

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Live Virtual Cooking Classes

You have the opportunity to learn from the professionals how to make cooking easy and enjoyable.

Do it all right in the privacy of your own kitchen! Invite others to join (via zoom) and have a full class of family and friends cooking with you!

Classes are great for Virtual:

  1. Date Night!
  2. Girls Night In!
  3. Happy Hour!
  4. Meet-up (Meet-in)
  5. Groups and Organizations
  6. Virtual Team Building

Marinating meats

Marinating is a great way to tenderize a cheaper, but tougher cut of meat while infusing it with flavor.

Left-over beer (as long as it doesn’t contain any saliva) is your best friend when it comes to marinating. It goes especially well with chicken. I remember making several zipbags of beer marinade for chicken when i was studying in Paris, where beef was too expensive because of the weak dollar and the beer was, of course, amazing. Without further ado, here are the backbones of my white meat and red meat marinades:

white meat: light liquid and/or an acidic liquid, veg oil, possibly a paste, an onion variety, garlic, salt+pepper

red/white meat: dark liquid , an acid liquid, veg oil, possibly a paste, an onion variety, garlic, salt+pepper (if soy sauce isn’t involved)

l ight liquid = light beer, white wine, champagne, seltzer, light fizzy drinks, yogurt
dark liquid = soy sauce, red wine, dark fizzy drinks

Of course, for each of these marinades, i always have variations and additions, which would be virtually any spice, herb, and/or citrus.

The basic premise of a marinade is to use a liquid to break the protein bonds that make meat tough and add flavor via vegetables, spices, and herbs. Liquids that can do the job would be any kind of acid and fizzy liquid. The acid is a proven strategy, but i’m not sure about the fizzy liquid, to be honest. I just sort of stumbled upon that one through experimenting. All i know is that it works, and i guess that’s all that really matters. And the yogurt works because it’s acidic. Yogurt marinades are common in Indian cuisine.

Marinades are easy because all you need to do is chop up your ingredients, throw them in a zipbag along with spices/herbs, throw in the meat, and submerge it in a liquid. Then all you gotta do is zip it, shake it up, maybe squeeze the meat here and there, distribute the ingredients evenly, and throw it in the fridge and let sit overnight, or better yet, for a few days. You can do your marinade-bags ahead of time and pull one out whenever you’re ready to cook (just keep in mind that although marinated meat, as long as the meat was fresh to begin with, does last longer than unseasoned meat, a few days is still the maximum fridge life). You can also freeze the meat in its marinade, and on the day you’re planning on having it, all you have to do is move it to the fridge before you go to class, and by dinnertime, it should be thawed and ready to go.

Also, an important difference between marinated white meats and red meats is that the former should not be cooked in its marinate while the latter could. The reason for that is white meat…particles? (i totally don’t know the chemistry behind this) escape from the meat during the marinating process, and when the liquid is heated, those particles cook and turn into disgusting, visible flecks of white meat goo. (God, somebody help me out here.) Red meats, on the other hand, cook very nicely in their own marinade. I’m sure it has something to do with the fundamental difference in the chemical structure of white meat and that of red meat i just don’t know what the difference is, and if somebody could enlighten me, i’d really appreciate it. Anyway, here are some of my marinade recipes:


If You're Not Marinating Vegetables After Cooking Them, What Even Are You Doing?

I want my weeknight dinners to be easy. I want my dinners with friends to be easy. Essentially, I want to feel calm, cool, and collected anytime I bring a plate or platter of food to a table of hungry diners. Radical, I know. And in Paul Kahan&aposs new cookbook Cooking for Good Times, that&aposs the point.

Throughout the book, the chef details 13 tenets, each with a dedicated chapter, for dinner party home-runs (e.g. "Make Some Grains," "Braise a Pork Shoulder"). Most of these chapters start with a base recipe that you&aposll nearly have memorized by the second time you&aposve made it. And each of these recipes is delicious as prepared, with tricks that&aposll make you wonder why everyone doesn&apost cook this way every night of the week. But then those base recipes are followed by a number of fully composed dishes that elevate the base into something extraordinary.

For example: In the chapter "Roast Some Roots," Kahan suggests pan-searing root vegetables�ts, turnips, sweet potatoes, or any other root you like𠅊nd then roasting them in the oven with herbs until fork-tender. The base recipe then instructs you to toss those roasted roots into a marinade of citrus or vinegar, chile flakes, honey, and oil. After that you can either eat the roasted vegetables, thinking of the marinade as a dressing continue with one of the recipes that follow or toss those marinating veg into the fridge for up to five days, during which time they&aposll soak up all those flavors.

A big batch of roasted, halved sweet potatoes can be transformed into curry, soup, and even smoothies.

My favorite recipe suggestion instructs you to make a massaged kale salad and then let it, too, marinate in its Parmesan and garlic dressing for anywhere from 2 to 24 hours. When you&aposre ready to eat—whether with friends or all by your one and only—you char the roasted, marinated roots in a pan, then char the kale in the same pan. The dressings/marinades on each make sure that the roots and leaves develop color (and texture) quickly. You&aposll empty the pan onto a platter of torn burrata or mozzarella and drizzle the whole thing with a nutty vinaigrette.

With all the make-ahead elements of the dish made ahead, it literally takes 8 minutes to get from stovetop to table. Serve it to guests at a dinner party and they&aposll think you&aposre a genius. Serve it to yourself on a Tuesday night and you&aposll feel fancy but no more tired for the effort.

On a recent weeknight, inspired by Kahan&aposs laissez-faire approach, I roasted sweet potatoes because my farmers&apos market was out of beets. I also used walnuts instead of hazelnuts (don&apost like &aposem), and curly kale instead of Tuscan (can&apost win &aposem all). The dish was still a revelation. While eating it, I vowed that it would be on my Thanksgiving menu this year. And that it would be on my dinner menu again next week𠅊nd probably the week after that. Good times, indeed.


Your Kitchen Knives Are Dull

Gregor Schuster / Getty Images

The worst part of using dull kitchen knives isn't that it makes it so much harder to chop and slice your food. It's that it makes cutting yourself so much easier.

That's because when you're working with a dull knife, you have to press down harder to force the blade through your ingredient. And as you apply more pressure, the blade is more likely to slip. Not only do you end up cutting yourself, you cut yourself deeply, for the very reason that you were putting so much weight into the knife.

Now, this doesn't necessarily mean that you need to know how to sharpen your knives yourself. A professional can do it relatively cheaply. (Although you should learn how to hone your knives on a knife steel.)

But regardless of who does the sharpening, make sure you don't just toss your newly sharpened knives into a drawer. Protect the blades (and your hands) with knife guards, or store your knives in a knife block upside down, with their edges away from the wood.

The right way: Keep your knives sharp, and store them properly so they stay that way.


8/23/2020 Simple Sous Vide

Over the years Chef Curtiss has become a big fan of sous vide cooking, a method of treating and cooking food by vacuum-sealing then marinating or cooking prior to finishing and service. For Chef Curtiss the method should be called precision cooking, because it gives you consistent and precise results each and every time you use it.

This class is designed to showcase how sous vide can be a welcome addition to your bag of culinary tricks, in addition to just cooking meat.

Butter Poached Corn on The Cob

Come and learn about this modern technique that can transform your cooking in many ways.


Meet Your Teacher

Easy Peesy Cooking With Me

Quality over Quantity. Let's Cook!

Hello, My name is Sandy or you can call me Mama. That's what my 2 little girls call me when they're hungry! Welcome, first I would like to introduce myself. I'm a mother of 2 beautiful little girls Mimi and Coco. They are the most fun loving and very energetic girls you'll ever meet. They love to eat, dance and swim all day long. I'm not a professional cook but I've been cooking all my life, thanks to my parents. They own a Chinese buffet restaurant and I got a chance to learn some of the most delicious recipes which I'll be sharing with you here! I'm constantly learning, trying to better myself and pass along my success along the way. I'm a huge believer of Quality over Quantity, in life and with my food. So please join me, discover delicious recipes and let's cook!


JOSEFINA’S COCINA CON ALMA

Welcome, bienvenido! to Josefina’s Cocina con Alama.Alma“ the word for soul in Spanish is how authentic Mexican cooking begins. Today’s Mexican kitchen is a blend of indigenous (Mayan/ Aztecan), Spanish, French, and even a bit of the Middle East finds it way into the cuisine. This collision of cooking worlds provides a vast world of ingredients that are vibrant and awaken the senses. We invite you to explore and taste the many wonders of Mexican cuisine through hands-on instruction. Join the Josefina Cooking School in her Cozumel home and kitchen for a day to learn how to make regional Yucatecan delights as well as other Mexican dishes from Josefina’s family home of Córdoba, Veracruz MX.

Josefina started cooking from the small age of 11. Her knowledge of the cuisine is deep and she is dedicated to introducing the unique flavors of Mexico to you. Immerse yourself for the day and learn about chiles, sauces, herbs, beans, tingas, corn, nopales and more! The class is designed for those that want a “taste” of Mexican culture. It is set up for all ages to enjoy, yet comprehensive enough for those avid cooks looking to hone and learn new skills.

Each class begins with an introduction to the Mexican kitchen and a plan for the day’s recipes (Note: For simplicity with groups Josefina has a few select main dishes to choose from – pork, chicken & or fish – specialty dietary requests may be made, but must be provided ahead of time). Josefina’s Cooking School offers to teach you how to make REAL margaritas and/ or traditional Mexican agua frescas (flavored waters). Following introductions, you will be taken to the local market where you will purchase needed ingredients from the vendors. This market tour is a great opportunity to snap some photos while being introduced to traditional Mexican ingredients. Back in in the kitchen, you will cook a feast suited for the Mayan gods. If you are lucky enough to be staying on the island you can take some of the leftovers to go.

Buen Provecho!

What’s Included

  • Market Tour – Visit “El Mercado”. Meet the local vendors and learn about local ingredients. You will learn how to pick the freshest & ripest ingredients for your cooking class needs. Even get a small lesson on some Spanish vocabulary.
  • Return to the kitchen and get 101 on Mexican cooking tools molcajetes, how to properly use the lime press, tortilla press and the comal.
  • Classes catered to each students needs, experience levels & dietary requests (If there are any allergies please provide that information ahead of time so appropriate substitutions can be made). Demonstration, hands-on instruction provided (for time intensive purposes with larger class sizes there will be some demonstration only portions- thank you for your understanding).
  • Margaritas, traditional Mexican agua frescas (Jamaica & Horchata).
  • Handmade tortillas (an expert tortilla maker can pat a tortilla paper thin by hand), traditional Mexican sauces, guacamole, side dishes & more! Bring an empty stomach as you will leave quite full by the end of the class.

Class Details

Photos From the Class

Recent Reviews (50)

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September 3, 2018

“I didn’t want to give up a day of diving to take a “cooking class”. I am 100% happy that I did. A real insight to the island and the culture. The market was exactly what you would hope it would be. Josefina blended cuisine, culture, history into an delightful afternoon. The re-fried beans ALONE are worth the cost. ”

September 3, 2018

“Cooking with Josephina was a WONDERFUL experience. There were 7 adults in our group ranging in age from 23 to 63. We were all delighted by the experience. We got to walk to the market with Josephina and choose mangos, avocados and other fresh ingredients for our meal. We tasted fresh tortillas in the market and we made our own! We were enjoying wonderful food and drink the entire 3 hours that we were with her. If you wonder why Margaritas in Mexico are so very good, you will learn!
After cooking with Josephina, we were inspired to go further inland to restaurants that locals recommended to get a more authentic dining experience.
I am not a cook, and not really interested in becoming one, but I think taking cooking classes while traveling gives you a great cultural experience. This was a great one.”

Grand Forks, Dakota

August 18th, 2018

“We’ve been to cooking excursions in Europe and the Caribbean and this was by far the very best. Small classes in a modest home (maximum 8 persons). Yesterday was just my wife and I. Walked to nearby market to select all fresh ingredients. The back to the house for cooking. Mango an cucumber salad, salsa, scratch tortillas and chicken with Puebla style Mole sauce. We were in heaven. Then we had it all for lunch. Class was about 4 1/2 hours. Don’t miss it.”

July 14th, 2018

“I thoroughly enjoyed learning to cook authentic Mexican dishes from someone who has a passion about cooking. She took us to her local market and taught us about buying items for meals. Probably the most enjoyable to me was listening to her story about her life and love of Cozumel.”

Eddie Kirk Patrick

July 14th, 2018

“This was a great cooking class! We learned about cooking Mexican dishes and the health benefits of the foods. Josefina took us through the market, taught us about food selection and the different spices used. Cooking in her home and being able to visit her garden added to the experience. I would definitely do this again!”

Diane Taylor

+ 45 More Reviews

July 4th, 2018

“We enjoyed our day with Josefina learning how to pick out foods at the local market and making our meal totally from scratch. Everything was absolutely delicious and Josefina and her crew are so helpful, welcoming and friendly. Highly recommend this. ”

June 23th, 2018

“This excursion was not offered by our Carnival Cruise tour, but we found out about Josefina through a colleague of mine who strongly recommended it. He gave us Josefina’s website and we booked the reservation ourselves.

My partner Jerry and I both love to cook (and eat) so this seemed like a perfect activity for us. Josefina’s Kitchen is about 3.2 miles (5K) from the port where our Carnival ship docked. We had plenty of time to explore since our appointment was not until 11am local time, so we chose to walk. It took us about an hour and ten minutes but we easily made it on time and even had extra time to enjoy ice cold cervezas at one of the local bars!

Upon arriving at Josefina’s, we were warmly greeted by Josefina and her assistant Maria. When she heard that we had walked she immediately served us some ice cold water and insisted that we rehydrate. We love to practice Spanish, and Josefina was very patient and helped us practice throughout our visit. As it turns out it was the beginning of their slow season so my we were the only guests that morning – which of course we loved!

After some brief introductions and a quick tour by Eduardo of the backyard which included local fruits, vegetables and herbs, we sat down at the table to discuss the menu. Josefina carefully explained her processes and history, as well as the menu options. We chose fish for our protein and she recommended Grouper with Achiote Sauce which we of course approved. Josefina explained that in addition, we would also be making guacamole, salsa verde, pico de Gallo (which she called salad), fried Nopales, tortillas, black beans, hibiscus flower water, salsa Maria, and yes – margaritas!

Next we made the very short walk to the local market. This was another enlightening adventure for us as we met friendly local venders offering goods, fruits, and vegetables
many of which we had never seen or heard of before! Maria chose and purchased the best quality ingredients for our meal and explained to use why she chose each item.

A quick walk back to her kitchen and Josefina instructed us to choose aprons from her large collection of them from all parts of the worlds. Maria had already started to prepare some of the items that normally take longer so that they would be prepped and ready for us.

We sat down at the table in front of our individual cutting boards and knives and Josefina put us to work! Over the next hour or so we cut, scraped, mortared, zested, peeled, and mixed the ingredients for the dishes mentioned above. At some point during the preparation, Josefina showed us how to make authentic Mexican Margaritas. They were strong but deliciosas!

With all of us working together our meal came together and it was finally time to enjoy our hard work. Josefina and Maria plated our meals and left us to enjoy our dinner. We were amazed at the rich and flavorful meal we had helped to prepare, and we didn’t want it to end. We thanked Josefina, Maria, Eduardo, and Juanita (the landlord) for their hospitality and gave hugs all around, promising to return sometime.

Since we wanted to pick up a few souvenirs at the port we chose to take a taxi back to the port. This was easily accomplished and the short ride cost only $7 USD. By the way, we did tip Josefina and the taxi driver as we had been treated very well and received great service throughout the day.

A couple of things to remember:
* Make sure you understand the local time vs the ship time – Josefina operates strictly by local time, but the ship stays on whatever time they were on in the original departure port. In our case, the ship was on EDT and Josefina was on Central time. Cuidado!
* We chose to walk from the Port to Josefina’s because we love to walk and we felt comfortable walking through less populated areas. This is a 3.2 mile walk and it isn’t all “touristy” like the ports. The taxi is cheap so it may be better for you to take this option both directions.
* Don’t eat too much before you go – you’ll want to be hungry!
* By the recipe book “Cocian Con Alma” that Josefina will offer. You’ll have to order it online but it’s only $10USD and well worth it!

We strongly recommend Josefina’s for your Cozumel Excursion/Adventure!”

June 22th, 2018

“ We loved doing this. We had a terrific time and the food was amazing. I loved how you got to go to the market and get the supplies. She lets you walk around the market to, which I really liked. This is a great thing to do if you are coming here on a cruise because you are finished in plenty of time.”

May 28th, 2018

“ We had THE best time at Josefina’s. The informative market trip, the interactions with Josefina and her assistant and the excellent dishes we created were all fabulous! Everything we made was delicious and my friends and I cannot wait to download the cookbook and try then all out! We definitely need to practice the hand made tortillas!”

May 19th, 2018

“ Our time with Josefina was like visiting a long-lost, but much-loved neighbour. From visiting the gardens to shopping at the market and returning to prepare food with the recently-purchased fresh ingredients, you become a part of Josefina’s day. Josefina’s running commentary is delivered in a friendly and straightforward manner, generously garnished with her wry sense of humour. The food, of course, was excellent, but the opportunity to share this setting with new friends made our visit very special. Thank you, Josefina. Mike”

Ottawa, Canada

May 14th, 2018

“ My wife and I sailed to Cozumel and were looking for something do to besides the typical beach day. We came across Josefina’s cooking class and thought we’d give it a try, and we are so glad we did! In fact, if we ever find ourselves in Cozumel again, I think we’d try and reserve another class just to be able to spend more time learning from Josefina. While the food, market and cooking were all great fun, Josefina herself is a true gem and we were honored to be able to spend time with her and be welcomed into her cocina. I can’t recommend this experience highly enough.”

April 30th, 2018

“ My wife and I attended Josefina’s cooking class and what a pleasure. Josefina is a genuine person who delights at sharing her knowledge about authentic Mexican cooking and culture while providing a delicious meal. Her kitchen is small but welcoming, and her garden behind the house is something to see! Very good experience, and when we go back to Cozumel will likely take another class with her for the experience and to cook another great meal.”

April 25th, 2018

“ We did Josefina’s cooking class on our cruise last week. Josefina and her assistant were so friendly and welcoming. All of the food was delicious and there was so much of it! We chose to make Chicken Mole, which is my favorite Mexican dish and this was the best version I’ve ever had of it. We also had a mango and cactus salad, guacamole, pico de gallo, red salsa, refried beans, chips, margaritas, agua fresca and fresh tortillas both from the market and that we made ourselves and then added cheese to make into quesadillas. We unexpectedly had to take our 1 and 3 year olds with us because my mum who was supposed to be looking after them wasn’t feeling well and Josefina and her assistant were so kind to them, giving them fresh bananas from the garden and grapes from the market and putting out a hammock for the baby to nap in if she wanted. We have done a few cooking classes before and my husband and I agree that this was the food in this one was the best. We would like to repeat this class if we go to Cozumel again.”

April 23th, 2018

“ When my husband and I arrived at Josefina’s and met a couple who were there for the third time, we knew we’d picked a winner! Josefina was funny and interesting and the experience was terrific! From the informative trip to the market to the delicious food, we had an amazing time! And her margaritas are out of this world! We will definitely take another class next time we go to Cozumel! Gracias, Josefina!”

April 16th, 2018

“ This was such a unique thing to do on our trip. Josefina is charming and an excellent cook. Thank you to Wilma, her sidekick too. We loved going to the Mercado to see Josefina choosing the fresh ingredients for the class. Tasting the freshly made tortillas nearby was a special treat!”

Reno, Nevada

April 11th, 2018

“ Josefina is so warm and charming. The group of nine decided to make a salad with green salsa and chicken mole. I loved going to the market with Josefina and even found some little treasures to bring home. We learned how to clean nopales for our salad and our mole sauce was so delicious! I highly recommend this as a lovely way to spend some time. I look forward to going again.”

April 9th, 2018

“ We have been to Cozumel for cruises several times and struggled with something fun to do on our last trip. We found this cooking class and signed-up and we are so glad we did. The entire experience was fantastic and Josefina was such a sweet woman and so was her lovely helper and grand daughter – Luze. ”

April 3th, 2018

“ We like food tours and cooking classes whether on land or sea. We have done this one several times – my husband and me, my two daughters and me and most recently one of my daughters and her boyfriend. One of the highlights for me was shopping in the nearby mercado and getting a fresh tortilla along the way. ”

March 30th, 2018

“ This experience was by far one of our most memorable honeymoon cruise experiences! What a wonderful opportunity to have an up close observation of the Cozumel culture. We were involved in grocery shopping at the local marketplace and met some of the locals directly. We then had the opportunity to learn how to create and cook authentic Mexican dishes. Our most favorite was the Margarita lesson! Josefina made us feel welcome and created for us an experience we will never forget! ”

Will Shell J

March 28th, 2018

“What a wonderful experience for my wife and I to kick off our vacation in Cozumel. Josefina immediately made us feel welcome and really enjoyed the aesthetics of her garden. The trip to the market was awesome. Karen and I went back there the following Saturday to buy a few things and have a wonderful lunch. The food during the class was outstanding. We are planning a full Yucatan menu for Easter with help from Josefina’s cookbook. The agua de Jamaica was such a treat we are going to try to incorporate it into our life in the great white north.”

March 27th, 2018

“We enjoyed learning how to make all our favorite dishes including refried frijoles, nopales salad, homemade tortillas, guacamole, mayan squash, margaritas and our favorite, achiote marinade.
Josephina and her assistant are warm and inviting and very knowledgeable. My husband and I enjoyed the 5 hours we spent cooking and learning with Josephina. We will definitely take another class the next time we are in Cozumel.”

March 27th, 2018

“It was interesting learning. I ate foods that I don’t even like and LOVED IT. Josefina makes you feel welcomed from the first minute you walk in until you leave. Te trip up the road to the local market was nice. You’re able to see Cozumel as if you lived there. Would i recommend this? Only if you like food. We were so full, we didn’t even eat dinner that night.”

March 20th, 2018

“We started off in the garden and then when everyone arrived we went to the market. Very traditional market with everything you can ask for. Went back to the house and then the cooking began. Appetizers, margaritas, tortillas and main course. Great day and great food with a perfect hostess. Thank you.”

Pueblo, Colorado

March 16th, 2018

“We went to Josefinas today, March 16, 2018. Such a great cultural and culinary experience. There were 8 of us in the class today. We chose the main dish we wanted to try. Then Josefina took us to the local market to buy all the ingredients. On the way home, we stopped by a totillaria to sample fresh corn tortillas. The preparation and cooking began. We made a nopal(cactus), jicama, mango, cucumber salad. Next was Pico de Gallo, refried beans(which were the best ever), a salsa Verde, freshly made corn tortillas(We made them), a chicken with guajillo sauce. The food was excellent. Josefina was wonderful. The company was great. This was one of the best tours ever and not your run of the mill cruise tour. Don’t hesitate to sign up for a great experience. My wife and I loved it!”

Palm Harbor, FL

March 13th, 2018

“My husband and I took the cooking class here today and i could not have asked for a better experience! We have been visiting the island of Cozumel for many years now and always try something new, but this time our expectations were exceeded. She is very knowledgeable in the foods and their origin which made the class even more special. Thank you Josefina for everything! The food was spectacular!”

Pueblo Colorado

March 4th, 2018

“From the time the cab dropped us off you could tell this wasn’t on the tourist path. Extremely local and authentic week day life in Cozumel. Josephine, a former school teacher, was our hostess. We selected an entree from the cookbook and headed to the market to shop with the locals. Fresh fish, our selection, was flanked by butchers slicing meat hanging from the ceiling and vegetables piled on tables. We also selected some cactus and a few vigitable I was unfamiliar with. We chopped and prepared around the family table including making fresh guacamole and margaritas. Along the way we ate what we cooked. Our hand made toritillas were cooked on a piece of metal over an open flame. After about four hours of cooking, eating and talking all the while we got a cab back to the ship. You may hear you can walk it, Don’t. Get a cab and after the journey if you’re feeling groggy, walk back. This is highly recommended. Our 15 year old son loved it too.”

February 26th, 2018

“From the moment you enter the home you feel welcomed and comfortable. Josephina is exceptional, as well as her sous chef and granddaughter. The knowledge she shared with our group was educational, enlightening and along with a lot of Mexican foodie hints. We had a blast walking and touring the market but the best part was cooking with Josephina. Everything was fresh and absolutely delicious. Like the others before me, I’ve ordered her cookbook and can hardly wait to receive it. Thanks for experience and the memories, Josephina.”

February 24th, 2018

“Spending the hours with Josephina was not only a lesson in cooking and learning about spices and recipes, it was soulful. We walked a couple of blocks to the open market and purchased several items to return to her home and start cooking. From handmade tortillas, to the most flavorful pork tacos I have ever eaten. She was patient with all of us during the prepping time and everything was delicious! If you want to be with a delightful, intelligent and well spoken women who knows her recipes this is where you want to go. Upon returning home, I ordered her e-cookbook which is now printed and bound and in my kitchen. I have already made several recipes and all I can say is DELICIOUS. I will see Josephina again……”

February 20th, 2018

“Everything from the moment we entered her home until we left was incredible. The trip to the mercado was so wonderful and we even went back later in the week to eat breakfast. The variety of food was amazing and I truly enjoyed each an everything we made. There is no way you can leave here hungry…it was worth every penny. I will go back and do it again! I can’t wait to get my copy of the ebook so that I can make some of the goodies for my family. Thank you for a great experience Josefina!”

Beemergurl72

February 13th, 2018

“I have been coming to Cozumel for many years but just learned about Josefina’s cooking classes. I attended one this past week and it deserves the 5 stars so many give it. Starting with fun trip to market, then hands on class. We did Chicken Mole and it was among the best I’ve had. I enrolled my daughter and her boyfriend in the class for next week. If you get a chance – give it a try. You won’t be disappointed.”

February 12th, 2018

“After last year’s wonderful Cozumel Food Tour with Cozumel Chef Emily, we decided to try this cooking class and it was TERRIFIC! We learned so much, had a fun, informative trip to the local market to purchase ingredients, followed with an inspirational lesson, not to mention delicious food! I can’t wait to go to my local Mexican market to purchase ingredients and start cooking. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about authentic Mexican cuisine.”

Madison, Wisconsin

February 6th, 2018

“I have had Josefina’s class on my list of things I wanted to do while visiting Cozumel for years and FINALLY was able to attend.
After being welcomed into her home I was able to have a little wander into her lovely and lush garden. Josefina makes you feel right at home.

When our group of 6 settled on a recipe (chicken mole) Josefina took us through ththe vibrant market to pick up ingredients. A genuine look into local everyday. From the chicken, to produce, to the beautiful spice lady, I feel I also received a lesson in Yucatan culture. The visit to the tortilla factory was a nice addition where we were able to sample fresh piping hot tortillas.

Back at her house we learned how to clean nopales and julienned jicama for a refreshing salad. We made our own tortillas by hand which Josefinas assistant made into delightful quesadillas. Other dishes were Yucatan squash, Jamaica iced tea, the best black beans and margaritas!

The star chicken mole, with 21 ingredients, was nothing short of incredible and if I had been by myself I would have been tempted to lick the plate clean lol.

I’ve heard there is a few imitators out there but I offer heartfelt encouragement to go with Josefina for an absolutely authentic experience. She is gracious and genuine and you will leave with your heart and tummy full.”

February 6th, 2018

“First off, the communication was excellent. I am a vegetarian and from my first communication from the States when planning my trip, Emily got right back to me, answered my questions and assured me that they would accommodate my diet.

The class is just as advertised: a meet up and group discussion about menu, a walk to the market for ingredients, hands on food prep and a lovely meal. Josefina is a gracious host, and makes the afternoon fun. For those who say the price is high, my class was almost 4 of instruction, ingredients and a full meal with a cocktail. In terms of hands on cooking, this program, as clearly explained, is run out of her home. This is not an industrial kitchen with room for everyone to crowd in. I personally made two items and then observed the rest. A great time and I will go again.”

February 6th, 2018

“My wife and I attended Josefina’s cooking class on Jan 31, 2018 and had a wonderful time. Josefina told us about the history of her family’s recipes and how she is preserving them through these classes and her on-line cook book. It was so much fun to visit the local market to buy all the ingredients, make the dishes and then eat the result! Yummy! And her margaritas are to die for! Everything about this class was excellent and we would highly recommend it for anyone that wants to have a truly authentic cultural experience. Thank you Emily and Josefina!”

February 5th, 2018

“She puts her heart and soul into this and it would be so unfair to cancel. It would be a huge mistake. We were stuffed even before we made our quesadillas and choice of marinated entrees….and the margarita. It was our trip highlight. Loved Josefina, Stephanie and her other helper. It took almost 3 1/2 hours but worth it.
Someone had hurt her feelings on tripadvisor by saying there wasn’t toilet paper. All they had to do was ask. Don’t hurt her feelings, she is too sweet.”

Giddings, Texas

February 2nd, 2018

“We attended as a family on our last trip to Cozumel and thoroughly enjoyed it down to my 11 year old son. Hands on, simple and fresh foods, an experience i look forward to re-creating for my friends at home!”

January 30th, 2018

“If you enjoy clean eating with fresh ingredients then this cooking class is a must. Nothing compares to the flavors Josefina teaches you to create with her authentic, easy to prepare recipes.

Highlights of the day included learning about Mexican culture, how to select the best ingredients at the local market, how to properly prepare cactus and of course making authentic margaritas.”

Teressa Dawn

January 23th, 2018

“Josefina was a wonderful hostess, inviting us into her home and demonstrating techniques and ingredient uniquely Mexican. We learned about her family as well as recipes she learned from her grandmother. A trip to the market would have been worth it alone, but the food was amazing. My wife was super excited to make genuine mole sauce!”

January 21th, 2018

“Our family of three went to Josefina’s when our Carnival ship was in port. Josefina was very welcoming and another family was in our class. One of our favorite parts was walking to the market a few blocks away. We got to see a local side of Cozumel and had time to purchase the same cookware Josefina used during our class. She even bought a candy treat for the young girl with the other family attending!

While sitting around a kitchen table, Josefina has you prepare different ingredients for the dishes and explains their role in traditional Mexican meals. Before going to the market, the participants get to go through her cookbook and decided what main dish to make. If someone does not like/eat a certain meat or doesn’t like spicy food, there are plenty of options to choose from! (We did the tequila pork) Before making the salsa verde, etc. she even asked how spicy we would like the food. There are also times where she invites you into the kitchen to help with the cooking on the stove.

You’ll get to try a lot of dishes you probably don’t typically eat. Be adventurous and try it all, because the flavors will surprise you. I highly recommend the cooking class for anyone (not just families) looking for something other than a beach day in Cozumel.”

January 18th, 2018

“Wonderful cooking class with Josefina! Very welcoming environment and fun way to learn Mexican culture and cuisine. Highly recommend this class for anyone who simply enjoys good food in good company. Started by choosing our menu, then off to the market to buy staples. Delicious cactus salad, pico de Gallo, guacamole, cheesy squash, salsas, BEST refried black beans ever, homemade tortilla and chicken mole. Delicious. ”

January 9th, 2018

“My husband was grumbling about the price of this class all the way there, but in the week since we took Josefina’s class, all he talks about is how glad he is that we did it, and that really it is a great value. She prepares so much food (with some help from you) and more importantly, you learn so much! We are staying a few weeks on Cozumel, and there is no way we would have been able to navigate the mercado without her help. Now, we go almost every day and pick out fresh ingredients to cook up using her cookbook. I have to admit, our cooking is not quite as good as hers, but we are getting better. We think she would have been proud of the mahi with achiote sauce we made last night, with all ingredients from the mercado. It was a fantastic experience, and Josefina is so friendly and easy to learn from. Honestly, we’re tempted to do the class again just to try some more dishes. We learned so much from her in a few short hours. We highly recommend this class to anyone who likes good food and wants to enjoy some authentic culture while in Cozumel.”

Harrisonburg, Virginia

January 5th, 2018

“This was our third visit to Cozumel and I was looking for some insight into the shopping and cooking for the area. Josefina’s classes were perfect. My daughter and sister in law and I all attended 3 days into our visit. We told Josefina what we were looking for and she was seemed happy to show us. We asked if we could make something we would make at home such as an enchilada sauce and she said it was a perfect choice to learn as it was an essential red sauce in mexican cooking. Off we went to the mercado and she showed us what to buy, and we took note of who she was buying it from. She then took us to the Tortilla lady accross the street and showed us where to buy fresh, hot tortillas. Once back at her house we prepared and made a variety of dishes. She told us how to make Hibiscus flower tea, we made salad, pico, guacmole, refried beans, red sauce, margharitas, yucatan squash, assembled our enchiladas and ate a wonderful mean prepared with her. It was a great afternoon. The next day we were able to go confidently to ther mercado on our own, and purchase all our produce, fish and tortillas for the next few days. We made many trips as well after that, with the knowledge that she had given us. I would highly reccommend this experience to anyone who is looking to expand their cultural knowledge.”

December 29th, 2017

“This was our third visit to Cozumel and I was looking for some insight into the shopping and cooking for the area. Josefina’s classes were perfect. My daughter and sister in law and I all attended 3 days into our visit. We told Josefina what we were looking for and she was seemed happy to show us. We asked if we could make something we would make at home such as an enchilada sauce and she said it was a perfect choice to learn as it was an essential red sauce in mexican cooking. Off we went to the mercado and she showed us what to buy, and we took note of who she was buying it from. She then took us to the Tortilla lady accross the street and showed us where to buy fresh, hot tortillas. Once back at her house we prepared and made a variety of dishes. She told us how to make Hibiscus flower tea, we made salad, pico, guacmole, refried beans, red sauce, margharitas, yucatan squash, assembled our enchiladas and ate a wonderful mean prepared with her. It was a great afternoon. The next day we were able to go confidently to ther mercado on our own, and purchase all our produce, fish and tortillas for the next few days. We made many trips as well after that, with the knowledge that she had given us. I would highly reccommend this experience to anyone who is looking to expand their cultural knowledge.”

December 22th, 2017

“My husband and I had a great time with Josefina. She was very accommodating to our scuba schedule to offer an afternoon cooking lesson!! It was something fun to do and the food was amazing. We will definitely be visiting Josefina again next time we are on the island!”

December 20th, 2017

“This was an amazing experience on the island. The class isn’t so much “hands-on” as it more an amazing lunch with your extended Mexican family that you never knew existed. The whole experience removes you from the typical tourist fare, and lets you feel and experience the real soul and culture of Mexico. You will go to the market to select whats good and fresh for the day, and meet local vendors. You will learn about exotic ingredients that we don’t always see in the USA and the history of the Island and Mexico. I would rate this a must for anyone who is into food and adventure and shares a love of Mexico, and the warmth and vibrancy of the Mexican people. English is spoken fairly fluently, however some Spanish skills can come in handy when dealing with market vendors, and some of the friendly staff. I would also advise to just go with the flow on this trip. Do not get too worked up about things like salt and trans fats unless you have medical issues. They cook traditional Mexican food which has a lot of stuff that we sometimes frown upon in America. They give you the option to cut these items out and substitute, however if you skip the lard, sugars and salts you are not getting the real experience.”

December 5th, 2017

“My husband and I went to the cooking class and it was such a great experience. We enjoyed the small class and the feel of being thrown into the culture of Cozumel. Josefina is such a sweet lady and gave us lots of good tips on how cook Mexican cuisine! I would highly recommend this to anyone visiting Cozumel!”

Leah Hatfield

November 28th, 2017

“We had our cooking experience with Josefina last Tuesday November 21, 2017. There were 6 of us which included 2 children aged 8 and 10. I cannot say enough about this experience, we all loved it. Josefina is a warm and gracious hostess. Everything was hands on, including the shopping at a local market. We made and ate delicious and authentic food. My son and my grandson have food allergies and Josefina paid close attention in avoiding these foods. We arrived at Punta Langosta in town so the walk to Josefina’s was very easy. However on the return we had to taxi because we all ate so much! Thank you Josefina for a wonderful taste of Cozumel!!”

Des Plaines, II

November 12th, 2017

“Wife and I were on Norwegian Cruise Line this past week and booked a cooking class with Josefina as our main experience on Cozumel island (town of San Miguel). We had no trouble finding the house based on directions provided, and Josefina greeted us warmly. We spent some time wandering the garden behind the house, and Josefina gladly answered our many questions. She then walked us to the central market, where we shopped for the ingredients we’d need to cook lunch. As luck would have it, we were the only students that day, so Josefina agreed to cook my personal favorite . . . . chicken mole’. But first, we made salsa, guacamole, refried beans, separate squash and cactus dishes. After about an hour of chopping, cutting, mashing, and eating, it was time to make the mole’ (a fairly complicated recipe) and fresh tortillas. Did I mention that margaritas magically appeared somewhere in the middle of this process? After 3 1/2 hours, we were completely stuffed, and had learned much from Josefina about not only Mexican cooking, but also life on the island. She is a joy to spend time with. Before or after class, wander the streets and shops near the town’s central plaze, which is a few minutes walk back towards the waterfront after leaving Josefina’s.”

Octuber 31th, 2017

“My husband and I went to Josephina’s cooking class and it was phenomenal! I wish I could rate higher. Fortunately for us, we were the only couple to attend the class that day so we had a lot of hands on training and not to mention first dibs on ALL of the wonderful food. Josephina was so nice and welcoming. She made sure that we felt comfortable and most importantly that we enjoyed the food.

As everyone else has said, we chose our meal and went to the local market to gather the ingredients. We chose the achote chicken, refried black beans, fresh corn tortillas and the squash. It was amazing!! However, I was really full by the time the meal was prepared. The appetizers were Josephina’s infamous guacamole, made from scratch green salsa, quesadillas and the star of the show.. the CACTUS salad, All served with tortilla chips. We had never had cactus salad before but once Josephina informed us of the many health benefits and not to mention the deliciousness of the salad, I have been craving it ever since. All of the food was delectable! The Hibiscus tea was awesome too.

I would recommend anyone to take this class if you want a hands on experience of preparing authentic (not Tex-Mex) Mexican food.. You will not be disappointed. We loved the recipes so much, that we are going to purchase her book ! :)”

Octuber 20th, 2017

“I just finished my class with Josefina and couldn’t be happier! I couldn’t believe we could do so much in 3 hours, but we did! We started the afternoon picking our recipe (there were 3 of us in class and we picked a chicken recipe from Veracruz), going to the local market for vegetables and chicken, then back to the Casa for cooking. We learned her method for guacamole, how to clean and prepare Nopal cactus, her basic salsa recipe, squash, marinating and steaming the chicken, making hand pressed tortillas, the list goes on! Oh, of course there were Margaritas involved! Truly an awesome experience!

You are in a local neighborhood and will need to walk a few blocks to the waterfront to get a taxi. No problemo!”

Octuber 15th, 2017

“We cannot say enough about this fun filled day! First of all Josefina is a delight, you will feel like you reconnected with a long lost friend & Lupita is also a sweetie. We arrived a little early so she let us browse her garden, which was neat to see. First off, she lets you look through her recipe book to decide on your entree, once decided, off to market you go. The market in itself was a fun experience, we will definitely go back & spend more time browsing on next visit. Back to the kitchen you go to start your chopping, dicing & cooking. She had some delicious hibiscus tea & later made margaritas that were the best ever. We cannot wait to try her recipe! I assure you when you leave here you will be FULL! Just can’t say how fun the day was. Originally just my husband was going, but he convinced me to go also & am I ever glad. We were fortunate to be the only ones in the class, so lots of one on one time!! Loved every minute of it. ”


5 Tips for Organising a Cooking Class

If you’re looking to take the next step as a cook, lover of food, or teacher, organising a cooking class may be your best way to share your passion for cooking while teaching others the secrets of a delicious meal.

This may be a daunting task at first glance, but that doesn’t mean it has to be. There are many people who are constantly craving baking tips, the best way to prepare a certain meal or even a step by step walkthrough of a brand new recipe. If you’re thinking of starting up your own cooking class, here are my 5 best tips for creating a great one.

1. Picking great recipes

A great place to start when thinking about your cooking class is figuring out what recipes or theme you want to teach to the “students.” This can be a huge decision because it can affect whether or not people will be interested in enrolling in the class and learning from you.

There are tons of great recipes out there, so be sure to consider your selection carefully before moving forward. It may be in your best interest to pick a selection of recipes that make up a whole menu, for example, an entrée, main and dessert, or if you are looking to specialise in a cuisine, then a selection of 4-5 recipes covering starters, a meat or fish dish, a couple of vegetable or salad dishes and a dessert. Choose recipes that allow for hands-on skills, like making pastry and using the pastry to roll individual parcels/tarts or pastries. This gives your students some great hands-on skills and also keeps everyone busy. Another great point to think of is not to have all the recipes with the same cooking method, so perhaps have one recipe that is cooked in the oven, one that is prepared on the stove top, a couple of cold dishes, and one on a bbq hot plate. This will make it easy to divide up the class and for everyone to be part of the cooking process, also it means that you avoid standing around with nothing to do while waiting for everything to get cooked in the oven. Depending on your skill level and your confidence, select recipes that are easy to follow and simple, always think about your students, you may think something is easy but to someone who is not great at cooking, the simplest of skills may be a challenge.

2. Market your class to get people interested

One way of determining the success of your cooking class is gauging how many people express interest and sign up to take it. Try setting up an event page to house the details of your class so people can RSVP, buy tickets and enrol themselves, as well as learn more about the class and the instructor!

This is a great means of organisation for both the instructor and the students. It’s great for centralising all the details in one place, figuring out who’s coming, and even sharing on social media. The shareability aspect of these pages is a great way to drum up some noise for your class online and expand its exposure to people who wouldn’t normally encounter it.

3. Become an expert

Although it may seem obvious, mastering your style of cooking or recipe you plan to teach is essential going into the class. You want to be able to speak confidently about the things you’re doing and why you’re doing them, which will establish trust as well with the students.

Not only will it grant you credibility, but it will allow the students to expand their horizons and learn more information from you, which ultimately what you want.

4. Get to know your students and help them

Becoming personal with your students is a great way to stimulate their learning and get the best out of their cooking potential. If you’re able to, get to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each student so you can adjust your style of teaching to meet their needs.

This may be tough in larger classes, but see if you can try conversing with each student for at least a couple minutes to see what their cooking experience consists of, and what they hope to get out of the class.

Having these exchanges can be extremely valuable in regards to teaching the best class possible and providing the most effective cooking insight to those who want it.

5. Be organised

There can be a lot of preparation and chaos before the day of the class, so maintaining personal organisation will make sure everything runs smoothly. Actions like creating an order list of ingredients based on the number of students and setting your budget, do up a preparation list of anything that needs to be prepared before the class. This makes it easier to do the whole” here is one I prepared earlier” this is particularly ideal if you are making any deserts that need setting, ice cream that needs to chill, or items that may need overnight marinating or slow braising. Having a written flow of work for yourself is also a great way to stay on track, giving you an idea of what recipes will be started first by which students and how you will facilitate the class to keep it all running on time, take into consideration the cooking, preparing and if needed the chilling down on dishes, as this will be important in the running of the class and fitting it into your designated time schedule. Writing up a summary sheet for the students to follow, is a great idea although handing out of the recipes and getting students to follow the recipe is ok for school-based students but offering a cooking class to the general public coming in to learn a particular skill and just handing them a recipe to follow will not appreciate as they are coming to your class to learn off your experience and culinary skills. So it’s a good idea for you to facilitate and guide the class and have the recipes printed to hand out at the end of the class.

At Putia Cooking School, Dominique’s experienced team of chef facilitators offer a bespoke range of cooking classes. The best thing? After all that cooking, participants sit down on the beautiful deck and enjoy the fruits of their labour.

Where do you sign up for a class? Right here, select your class and book online. It’s that simple.


Fire Up the Grill and Celebrate Summertime

Grilling is a cooking technique that often comes with summertime memories and conversations on the back deck or patio. The classic grilled flavor often reminds us of warmer temperatures and fresh produce. Whether you consider yourself a grill master already or are just starting out in this versatile cooking method, there&rsquos always something new to try in firing up the grill.

What are you grilling this season? Let us know in the comments or on our social media pages!


25+ Recipes, Ideas and Tips for Cooking with Preschoolers

Cooking is a great activity for preschoolers. You can develop social skills and life skills as you work together to create something. These activities provide hands-on experiences with math and science. You can cook to extend a book like Stone Soup or The Little Red Hen. These cooking recipes with kids (plus tips and ideas) will help build those life skills.

Use these tips, tricks, ideas, and recipes as you cook with your preschoolers.


Watch the video: Marinade für Fleisch selber machen - ein Rezept (January 2022).