I have just returned from 8 days in Oaxaca, Mexico where I had the opportunity to learn from and cook with Rick Bayless, Susana Trilling, Ricardo Munoz Zurita and Elaine Gonzales (the chocolate guru).
I also met Gary the wine guy who is based here in San Diego, and Ron Cooper the maven of Mezcal. As many S.D. hounds know the Valle de Guadalupe just north of Ensenada is beginning to turn out some very interesting wines. Both Gary and Rick indicated the market in Tijuana was surprisingly good. I asked Susana how many of her mole ingredients would be available there, and she told me I could most likely find everything but one of the dried black chiles, so I brought back a decent supply of them. My production chef and I are going to practice the recipes I learned to see how well we can reproduce them here, which, with the exception of the Black Mole, shouldn't be too difficult. The Black Mole will take practice ;-)
Again, as many of us here know, San Diego is not exactly a mecca for good Mexican food, which seems kind of weird since we're right on the border. So here's the deal -- how many of you out there would be interested in 1)doing a tasting on the Mexican wines, possibly with food pairings? 2) An actual road trip down to the Valle of Guadalupe for winery tours? 3) A Mezcal tasting? 4) A road trip to Tijuana to check out the market 5) Chile tasting and/or instruction 6) Introduction to other Mexican food products and how they are used and finally 7) Cooking classes based on some of the recipes I learned?
I'm looking for some feedback so that I can gauge what kind of interest level there might be. I am willing to put any of these "events" together. I now have access to the proper resources and I have access to 3 commercial kitchens where we could meet. As some of you know Mexican food is my passionate interest and food of choice. I am also a very good teacher and would like to share what I learned and introduce others to the pleasures of the Mexican table. Anyone interested in learning to cook something other than Tacos and Burritos? You can respond here, or send me a private e-mail.