The Ritz-Carlton Cancun Culinary Center

Cooking lessons for the entire family at the Ritz-Carlton Cancun Culinary Center, where ingredients are mixed together for family fun.

Story by Theresa Catena
Photography by Paul Aizaga

Looking for a new family adventure in Cancun, Mexico? Something fun, spicy and memorable, that you and even your teenage children can enjoy all together? Try a fun and flavorful trip to the recently opened Culinary Center at the Ritz-Carlton, Cancun. A family of four, (including this city girl with a reputation for knowing how to make killer reservations) we courageously abandoned our beach towels, sunglasses and Havaianas, and enrolled in the Real Mexican cooking class at the Ritz this past summer.

An inspiring, recreational kitchen decked out in high-performance Viking and overlooking the cerulean ocean, the Culinary Center Chef, Aldo Novoa, cunningly kicked off our class with a lesson on Tequila, along with an exercise in making fresh, zesty Margaritas from scratch. What followed was a laughter-filled education in the art of authentic Mexican cooking. From useful preparation techniques to a bit of culinary showboating, Aldo entertained and enlightened us on not only how to prepare such delicious dishes as red snapper ceviche and chicken and poblano enchiladas, but also on the practical and historical reasons for using specific ingredients.

As we chopped, sipped and stirred; reveled in our creations and sipped a bit more, we realized it was already time for dessert. A batch of warm traditional Churros, but generously dipped in hot, dripping chocolate ganache, received a unanimous and well-deserved “Y-U-M!”

Although an unexpected adventure, our time at the Culinary Center was a tremendous and memorable experience that kept us all engaged. Better still, we returned home armed with both our recipes and a determination to recreate our experience with our friends… which we did, along with the willing participation from both of our teens.