In Puerto Morelos, the little colonial gem midway between Cancun and Playa del Carmen, activities are afoot to prepare for the beginning of tourist season. Like many other businesses, The Little Mexican Cooking School, a fairly new feature on the Riviera Maya landscape, is no exception. Re-opening it’s doors in October after summer hiatus, the school launches their second season of “Food Adventures for Curious Travelers” on October 5th.

The Little Mexican Cooking School 

After putting over 500 tourist-students through their school last season, and being rated by TripAdvisor as #1 Excursion in the region, The Little Mexican Cooking School is committed to stand by it’s mission: to offer Authentic Mexican Cooking classes to curious travelers, in an intimate setting and to exceed expectations. There are new things brewing for the new season, of course, a new Chef, some new recipes and new products in their store. But first…

HOW IT STARTED: Oddly, the partners of such a successful venture, did not know each other beforehand. Both, curious travellers (an Australian newly planted in Puerto and a Canadian, who met in Puerto Morelos through happenstance), found common ground in the idea of a local cooking school. As food-nut travelers themselves, they felt that stepping into an authentic Mexican kitchen and learning the ropes from the natives, would be a deeply satisfying way to experience Mexico. With Catriona’s business acumen fully established and a local town charity under her belt, and Patti’s background in the restaurant business, the venture took root and the two began their conversation by internet, producing a ‘real live school’ 5 months later. Launching December 8, 2009 most of the classes sold out and they never looked back.

NEW THIS SEASON: Chef Pablo Lopez Espinosa de los Monteros joins the school after spending 7 years in Canada operating his own restaurant in Squamish British Columbia. Café Maya, specialized in healthy versions of authentic Mayan fare. Café Maya was awarded the CRITICS CHOICE AWARD in Squamish B.C. Canada in 2008.

The Little Mexican Cooking School 

Mexico beckoned and Pablo brought his wife and daughter, Maya, back to Mexico last year to reconnect with his roots, taking the helm of a restaurant in Nayarit. When the call came to lend his talents to our cooking school in Puerto Morelos, Pablo responded! Teaching the way of Mexican food and culture is really his passion. We are very pleased to have him as our main chef this season.

CLASSES: Held on Tuesdays and Thursdays and some Fridays, during the Fall, with more starting in December. Classes start at 10 am and include a little breakfast of Mexican Coffee and pastries. The teaching session follows, finishing with a hearty ‘sit-down’ Mexican late lunch.

OTHER NEW THINGS: A little shop at the school offers many authentic Mexican culinary tools as well as our cookbooks, aprons and signature prepared spices and bottled preserves. More items are on offer this season. And…

THE ULTIMATE MEXICAN FOODIE WEEK! Stay at one of the school’s two, double bedroom suites for your week in Mexico and live the life of real foodies! This package includes your personal use of the pool and rooftop terrace; your own luxury bathroom; the use of the kitchen for your breakfast and the fun of partaking in 2 cooking classes and all lunches prepared that week. The BIG BONUS: travel with us on our shopping expeditions to Cancun’s authentic Mercado 23 each Monday, the Puerto Morelos experience in the Mexican colony of shops and corner markets - La Colonia, most mornings; and weekday walks to the fisherman's wharf for our fish.

For more information and to book a class or the ‘Stay With Us” Foodie Adventure online go to

The Little Mexican Cooking School

Contributed to Life's a Beach by: Patti Murphy