OH! Food Workshop TulumSustainability. Carbon Footprint. Environmental Impact. In 2012, these terms are now a part of our everyday vernacular. Regardless of your stance on global warming, I think we all can agree that each one of us needs to do our best to minimize the negative impact increased travel might bring to the more delicate corners of the globe we explore. In keeping with this sentiment, over the past decade, "Eco-tourism" has exploded into what is now the fastest growing segment in the travel industry with no signs of abating. One can now easily plan a whole vacation geared toward conservation and preservation!

The idea for the OH! Food Workshop came about as a result of a late dinner on the shores of the Caribbean where a chef and a developer shared their ideas about sustainable tourism and decided to develop a workshop that would share their knowledge and passion about alternative lifestyles. Hartwood Restaurant Chef/Owner Eric Werner and Casa de las Olas Co-Owner Jimmy Greenfield have built businesses in Tulum that resonate with their core beliefs on sustainability. Both businesses support the environment, the local people, their economy and their culture.

Casa de las Olas TulumCasa de las Olas provides simply elegant eco-friendly accommodations on the beach in Tulum, Mexico, a growing Mayan community located a short distance from the Cancun International Airport where the jungle and Caribbean Ocean meet. The property is 100% solar powered and makes use of geo-thermal cooling and rainwater catch systems. Grey water is re-purposed to maintain the indigenous plants that make up the landscaping and a composting station is in constant use processing organic waste materials into nutrient rich soil.

Fruit Market in TulumThe founders of Hartwood Restaurant bring their core beliefs about sustainability straight to the table. Hartwood is a "Farm to Chef" restaurant that is 100% solar powered. Chef Werner sources the finest local ingredients in his culinary creations and chooses to prepare all meals by hand, without the use of any electrical appliances. "Farm to Chef "cooking is back to basics and showcases the rich complex flavors drawn out by slow roasting and open fire cooking. OH! Food Workshop will show participants how to successfully combine sustainable cooking methods with eco-friendly development and building practices in this unique tropical retreat.

This, the first OH! Food Workshop, will be held from November 30 - December 5, 2012. The event will be hosted by Werner and Greenfield and Ricardo Garcia Gaxiola, accomplished sommelier and owner of Off the Vine in Playa del Carmen, three men that will keep you learning and keep you laughing for 5 straight days! This will be an intimate travel experience that includes Tulum beachfront accommodations, cooking classes, a welcome evening, and a dinner party to celebrate the week on the shores of the Caribbean. To top it off, the final evening will feature event sommelier, Ricardo Garcia, hosting a special dinner where guests will learn more about the culture of Mexico through its world renowned wines and tequilas. 

Come to the shores of the Mexican Caribbean November 30th - December 5th and learn how you can develop a healthy sustainable lifestyle with out compromising taste, luxury, decadence or beliefs. You can have it all and feel good about it!

Space is limited so email info@casadelasolas.com to reserve your spot and to inquire about room availability and pricing.

Michele Kinnon

I moved to Mexico with my family in 2004 with the hope of offering our children a more global education and world view. Since then, we have traveled through Mexico, Belize and Guatemala, gathering friends and life experiences and learning a lot about ourselves along the way. When we are not out and about exploring, Rob and I own and operate BuyPlaya, a Playa del Carmen real estate company and FurnitureMex. "Life's a Beach" is a catch-all blog where you may find anything from restaurant reviews, to recipes, gardening tips, commentary about expat daily life, local events, information about moving to Mexico and educating children in Playa del Carmen. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter and .