Today we woke up bright and early to group up and head out just in time to use the grand kitchen at the breath-takingly beautiful La Salle University here in our gorgeous sister city, Cancún. After greeting a past head chef of the Ritz Hotel, José Hernandez, and his swift paced companion, Chef Cezar Ramirez, Los Diez split into three groups to tackle our food challenge of the day.
On the menu is an array of traditional Mexican dishes; Guacamole, Salbutes con Pollo, Caldillo Rojo (a rich red salsa), and Agua Horchata (rice milk?). As we split up there were actually no mistakes! We understood, if not everything, nearly everything they asked of us, which made for a truly inspirational experience. As Emma the Amazing Schatzman says “At least now I won’t be stuck eating Peanut Butter and Jelly all my life.” Emma was among the first group who conquered a magnificent blend of cilantro, jalapeños, tomatoes, onions, a touch of salt, pepper and cream, and of course, fresh avocado. While group one was working on Guacamole group two was preparing tortillas, balling up the corn maize dough and flattening it to perfection for the Salbutes, just before Chef Cezar and his spectacular assistant Haley finished them off with a scorching oil bath. Group three must have been working at double the pace to dish out a double dose of Caldillo Rojo and Agua Horchata. With the skilled shredding talents from Juan Anaranjado, they also conquered some amazing chicken. By this point our mouths were watering from the wonderful aroma filling the air. After group one finished their Guacamole blend they teamed up with group two and three to lend a helping hand and I must say for our first kitchen experience here in Cancún ¡la comida fue deliciosa!