After experiencing how good Oaxacan cuisine was to eat we decided we had to learn some more about the background to the complex flavours of the food we enjoyed and also how to cook some. We had never been to a cooking class before and this was certainly an all round educational, boozey and fun day in Oaxaca.
Our course was run by a local chef, restaurateur & bleacher of all types of produce (to kill the nasties on the outside of the food & a little bit of your insides). He goes by the name of Agustin. What a character.
The first part of the day was spent touring one of the central produce markets of Oaxaca to decide on the menu & buy some ingredients with Agustin & the 5 others attending the class. Our menu consisted of:
- Salsa Picante
- Mole Negro
- Mole Rojo
- Chile Rellenos y pollo
- Chile Rellenos y queso
Touring the market gave us a good opportunity to once again explore the variety of produce available in Oaxaca and ask questions about what certain things were called, their use and to taste fresh things.
After the market we all ventured back to Agustin’s space above his restaurant to begin learning. We were given aprons to wear, books to take notes in & beer to drink.
Of the meals we cooked, mole was the most complex, requiring 20 ingredients plus the chillies. The types of chillies and the method to using them is the difference between the negro and rojo moles.
The dried chillies are shredded and either blanched in chicken stock for the rojo or charred and then blanched for the negro.
The cooking class that was supposed only go for 4 hours, went for well over 6 with a fridge full of cold cervezas consumed, a bottle of Mezcal sipped at and bellies plentyfull with the delicious food created.