Hands-on cooking classes and presentations bring the art, food and history of Mexican food to life
Los Angeles – (February 4, 2019) – In anticipation of the opening of LA Plaza Cocina, the country’s first museum/teaching kitchen dedicated to Mexican cuisine scheduled to open Summer 2019, LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes is offering an enticing slate of food talks and tastings that will take participants on a culinary journey of México’s finest food and drinks throughout 2019.
Now in its seventh year, this series of presentations and tastings brings the art, food, and history of Mexico and Mexican cooking in the United States to life. Sessions will take place at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes main campus until the opening of LA Plaza Cocina.
Among the series’ highlights are three workshops led by renowned historian and chef Maite Gomez-Rejón of ArtBites; a focus on women, including pioneers of Mexican cooking and an expert on wine; an outdoor presentation on the cultural history of Mexican food by renowned lecturer Gregorio Luke; and presentations by local chefs and restaurateurs, including Chef Gilberto Cetina Jr. of Holbox, Dora and Socorro Herrera of Yucas, and Deysi Serrano of Milpa Grille.
LA Plaza Cocina’s programming is segmented into four series:
- Hecho con Amor – Learn the secrets of L.A.’s best-known chefs at these hands-on cooking classes. Sessions are limited to 16 participants.
- Pláticas y Pruebas – Pairing authors and experts on Mexican cuisine and beverages in a learning environment, followed by a tasting. Classes are limited to 50 participants, unless otherwise noted.
- Sabor a México – Chefs and experts present the flavors of México’s regions and holidays. Classes are limited to 30 participants.
- Documentary Films – Full-length films followed by a tasting. Screening limited to 30 participants.
Prices will vary. Tickets available at Eventbrite.com and at the door.
Calendar: 2019 Food Talks and Tastings @ LA Plaza Cocina
Hecho con Amor: Milpa Grille’s Croquetas de Elote
Saturday, February 9 | 11am – 1 pm | $40
Boyle Heights’ Milpa Grille pays homage to our ancestors and the practice of milpa crop-growing traditions. Deysi Serrano will present insights on the history of milpa agriculture and assist attendees in preparing Croquetas de Elote, corn fritters with amaranth pudding topped with a salad mix of onions, squash, beans, and limón. Tickets available at Eventbrite.com.
Pláticas y Pruebas: Mujeres, México and Wine
Thursday, March 7 | 7pm | $40
Discover wine from Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico’s newest wine region. Participants can escape to el valle in Baja California Norte via LA Plaza’s wine tasting class. Learn about the various varietals with Ana Laura Martínez, founder and director of Baja California’s Culinary Art School. Tickets available at Eventbrite.com.
Pláticas y Pruebas: Female Pioneers in Mexican Cooking
Thursday, March 14 | 7pm | $25
Learn about two women who changed the face of cooking in Mexico. In 1896, Vicenta Torres de Rubio was the first woman to publish a cookbook, Cocina Michoacana. For three decades, Josefina Velasquez de Leon led a cooking empire that lasted until the mid-1960s, publishing 140 cookbooks, including the first bilingual cookbook printed in the U.S. A tasting will also be offered as part of the program. Guest Speaker & Chef: Maite Gomez-Rejón, ArtBites. Tickets available at Eventbrite.com.
Hecho con Amor: Chef Humberto Raygoza, The Chori-Man
Saturday, April 6 | 11am – 1pm | $40
Learn all about making artisan chorizo from Chef Humberto Raygoza, a fourth-generation chorizo maker. His hands-on class explores his family’s legacy. Tickets available at Eventbrite.com.
Pláticas y Pruebas: From Grano a Mano
Thursday, April 11 | 7pm | $25
Ricardo “Rick” Ortega, co-owner of Kernel of Truth Organics’ tortilla factory in Boyle Heights, makes Los Angeles’ first exclusively organic tortillas. Learn the process of nixtamalization, and discover the rich history developed in Mesoamerica thousands of years ago. A tasting will also be offered as part of the program. Tickets available at Eventbrite.com.
Pláticas y Pruebas – Celebrating Mexican Cuisine Under the Stars with Gregorio Luke
Saturday, April 20 | 7pm | $40
México has one of the finest cuisines in the world as the only cuisine designated by UNESCO as an “Intangible Cultural Heritage.” Gregorio Luke, Mexican art and culture expert, will take you on a journey from ancient Aztecs and Mayans to the present in this amazing culinary adventure. A tasting is included in the program. Small bites provided by Chiguacle and coffee provided by Café Barrera. Sponsored by AARP California. Tickets available at Eventbrite.com.
Sabor a Michoacán, Tierra del Molcajete
Thursday, May 2 | 6pm | $40 In this hands-on class, participants will learn about the origin of the molcajete, how to season it, and prepare three authentic salsas using tomatillos, tomatoes, chile de arbol, cascabel and more. Bring your own molcajete or purchase one at our La Tienda museum gift store. Guest speaker: Oscar Ochoa, owner of El Machete Handcrafted Chilli Sauce. Tickets available at Eventbrite.com.
Docs@LA Plaza: Agave: The Spirit of a Nation (2018)
Thursday, May 23 | 7pm | $40
In Mexico, families have passed down the tradition of distilling agave for generations.Discover how this delicate plant has carried the weight of a nation and the people trying to protect it. Mezcal tasting after the screening. Guest Speaker: Jaime Mateo, CEO of Mezcal Los Javis. Tickets available at Eventbrite.com.
Sabor a Yucatán
Thursday, June 6 |6pm | $40
Discover the unique culinary traditions of the Yucatán. In this class, native Mayan cuisine will be explored with Maite Gomez-Rejon of ArtBites and attendees will prepare a Yucatecan feast. Menu may include panuchos and papadzules. Tickets available at Eventbrite.com.
Pláticas y Pruebas:Craft Cocktails: The Art of Elevated Drinking
Thursday, June 27 | 7pm | $40
Jaime Mateo, son of maestro mezcalero Javier Mateo, shares the history of mezcal, its production, and the qualities that make it so unique. Attendees will learn what is needed to stock a well-appointed home bar, proper techniques to mix like a master, and of course, taste their way through classic cocktails with a modern twist of mezcal. Featured speakers: Sol Luongo and Dan Faesi. Tickets available at Eventbrite.com.
Pláticas y Pruebas: Yucatán Summer Dinner PartyThursday, July 11 | 7pm | $25
Gilberto Cetina Jr., chef and owner of longstanding family establishment Chichen Itza shares summer-time recipes, including Sikil ‘Pac (roasted tomato and pumpkin seed dip) and Xec (citrus jicama salad) from the pages of his cookbook Sabores Yucatecos: A Culinary Tour of the Yucatán. Tickets available at Eventbrite.com.
Sabor a México Tropical
Thursday, July 25 | 6pm | $40
Bring paradise to your kitchen. In this hands-on cooking class taught by chef and food anthropologist, Paola Briseño Gonzalez, you will learn the secrets of mastering the bright, full flavored essential coastaldishes that you usually eat while relaxing on a beach in México. Learn to make fish ceviche and coconut Micheladas. Tickets available at Eventbrite.com.
Pláticas y Pruebas: Valle de Guadalupe Wine Tasting Thursday, Sept 12 | 7pm | $40
In this class, participants will learn about Baja California wine methods of production, the history of wine in El Valle, and taste a sample of wine country. A special guest wine maker will guide attendees through México’s best vintages. Tickets available at Eventbrite.com.
Hecho con Amor:Yucas’ Salbutes
Saturday October 5 | 11am – 1pm | $40
Enjoy a taste of the Yucatán with chefs and owners Dora and Socorro Herrera. After a lively, mouth-watering discussion of what is served at James Beard Award-winning Yucas, listed in 2018 Zagat as one of the “Best Mexican Restaurants in L.A.” attendees will learn to make salbutes, a popular Yucatán snack great for a quick lunch, or a special party. Tickets available at Eventbrite.com.
Pláticas y Pruebas: Café de Veracruz con Casa Barrera
October 24 | 7pm |$25
Java lovers will discover coffee directly from Coatepec,Veracruz, México, which is 100% farmed at 1,250 meters above sea level. Participants will learn about Mexican coffee agronomy, processing, production and roasting techniques as they taste coffee in its purest form. Tickets available at Eventbrite.com.
Sabor a Navidad
Thursday, December 5| 6pm | $40
Christmas is a time when friends and family get together to celebrate and food and drink play an essential part during the holiday season. In this hands-on cooking class participants will create confections and drinks traditionally eaten at Christmastime in México. Guest speaker and chef: Maite Gómez-Rejon, ArtBites. Sponsored by AARP California. Tickets available at Eventbrite.com.
ABOUT LA PLAZA: LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes celebrates the past and inspires the future by sharing the untold stories about the history, culture, values, and traditions of Mexican, Mexican American, and all Latinos in the founding and continuing evolution of Southern California through compelling and culturally enriching exhibitions, educational programs, and public programming. Located near the site where Los Angeles was founded in 1781, LA Plaza’s 2.2-acre campus includes two historic and renovated buildings (the Vickrey-Brunswig Building and Plaza House) surrounded by 30,000 square feet of public space that includes an outdoor stage and edible teaching garden. LA Plaza is a Smithsonian affiliate and Los Angeles County museum.
LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, 501 North Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Hours: M, W, & Th, 12-5 pm, Fri-Sun 12-6 pm
Abelardo de la Peña Jr., LA Plaza