Aura Cocina Mexicana: The Best Mexican Cooking Class in Mexico City

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Looking for a Mexican cooking class in Mexico City? You’re in luck. Below we describe our Mexican cooking class with Aura Cocina Mexicana. There are many Mexican cooking schools in the country. And there are many Mexican cooking classes in Mexico City, the capital. That’s why today I’ll tell you about one of the best Mexican cooking classes in Mexico City: Aura Cocina Mexicana.

_taco on plate Best Mexican Cooking Class in Mexico City

cooking peppers. Best Mexican Cooking Class in Mexico City

ingredients. Best Mexican Cooking Class in Mexico City

Aura Cocina Mexicana: The Best Mexican Cooking Class in Mexico City

If you’ve looked through this blog at all, then you know that we LOVE exploring Mexico with our kids. We’ve also fallen in love with Mexico City: there is so much to see an do in this town!

We also love food and culinary experiences. That’s why it was natural to look for Mexican cooking classes in Mexico City and other places in the country. We approached Graciela Montaño of Aura Cocina Mexicana about working together. And we were thrilled to work collaborate on one of the many Mexican cooking classes she offers.

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TLDR: Aura Cocina Mexican Cooking Class in Brief

_Taco al Pastor 1 Best Mexican Cooking Class in Mexico City

collage 1. Best Mexican Cooking Class in Mexico City

_Aura Cocina plate Best Mexican Cooking Class in Mexico City

Want to read about the best cooking class in Mexico City but just want the main details? Read below:

  • The class is approx 4 hours long: Our class (Tacos al Pastor) started at 10 am and ended at around 2 pm.
  • You’ll work with a professional chef: Graciela has been cooking and teaching Mexican cooking classes for years. She’s also a TV personality in Mexico and a brand ambassador for high-end cookware
  • You’ll visit a market: Our Mexican Cooking Class also included a small market tour. Here we bought some of the ingredients and sampled a few traditional Mexican foods.
  • Classes in English or Spanish: Don’t speak Spanish but want to take a Mexican cooking class in Mexico City? No problem. We took our Mexican Cooking Class at Aura Cocina completely in English.
  • No spicy? No Problem: Not all Mexican Cooking classes are for spice fiends. If you don’t like spicy food, let them know and they can adjust the menu.
  • Vegetarian & Vegan options available: But contact Aura Cocina Mexicana ahead of time.
  • Large groups possible: Whether you’re three people or thirty, Aura Cocina Mexicana has space for you.
  • It’s in a great neighborhood: After your class is over, consider a walk through the beautiful Roma district. This is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Mexico City.

Aura Cocina Mexican Cooking Classes in Mexico City

collage 2. Best Mexican Cooking Class in Mexico City

Kitchen studio. Best Mexican Cooking Class in Mexico City

Aura Cocina Mexicana is the passion project of Graciela Montaño. Among her other culinary work, she is the Mexican ambassador for cookware and culinary conventions and is part of a cooking show on Mexican television (channel 11, Monday through Friday at 12:30). Aura Cocina, however, is a labor of love and something she has been planning for years. Now as it begins, we feel lucky to see her vision in the early stages of its realization.

The Aura Cocina Mexican Cooking School is tucked into a cozy corner of the hip Roma district. Looking more like a family home than a classroom, the Aura Cocina Mexicana cooking space is stylishly decorated with traditional items from across the country. A large dining table sits in front of the kitchen. Traditional Mexican ceramic plates and bowls adorn the table. Fresh-cut sunflowers accent the table next to beautifully embroidered cushions.

Market Tour: Aura Cocina Mexican Cooking Class

Mercado Medellin. Best Mexican Cooking Class in Mexico City

Before we start our Mexican cooking lesson, Graciela escorts us to the Mercado Medellin. This local market is only a few blocks away and has everything you need for a Mexican cooking class, but also specialty stalls for the Colombian residents of the neighborhood.

Our goal was to pick up a few ingredients for our Mexican cooking class today: a mango, and a few peppers. Graciela walks us through the market, explaining stalls and the origin of many of the fruits and vegetables that we saw here. We learn the differences between the dozens of dried chiles types for sale. Then we got a mini-history lesson on the Mesoamerican diet and where to see signs of it today in markets like this one.

Then we go on a short sampling tour. We try a few small spoonfuls of mole, one of Mexico’s most unique and emblematic dishes. Next up was a stall selling delicacies from the state of Oaxaca. I knew there would be cheese involved — we love Oaxacan cheese and have been experimenting with different ways to cook it. But what I was hoping for was something a little more exotic that Oaxaca is known for.

Mercado Medellin 2. Best Mexican Cooking Class in Mexico City

Mercado medellin ants. Best Mexican Cooking Class in Mexico City

I’m talking about bugs.

In Oaxaca, they eat a variety if six-legged critters, and I’ve enjoyed most of what I’ve tried in the past. Not interested? You can skip this. My kids did, but they sure wanted to see (and film) ME sampling then. I tried crickets and ant eggs, and would happily have eaten more, but as they are delicacies, I was only able to try a small sample.

Time To Cook — Mexican Cooking Class in Mexico City

_knife, mango & peppers Best Mexican Cooking Class in Mexico City

collage 3. Best Mexican Cooking Class in Mexico City

Now it was time to return to the kitchen. When we arrived, Graciela’s staff had already laid out all the materials and utensils for us to prepare lunch.

Aura Cocina Mexican Cooking Class offers a variety of traditional Mexican cooking lessons. For example, she has classes to prepare moles, salsas, and other traditional Mexican dishes. For us, I chose her most popular course: tacos al pastor. We love eating streetside tacos just about anywhere in Mexico. Yet this involves lots of labor for the street seller. You must stack the pork on a spit, and then roast as it turns. Few people have such devices at home, so Graciela’s recipe is for how to make tacos al pastor at home.

_cutting a mango Best Mexican Cooking Class in Mexico City

One of the first things we needed to prepare was the marinade for the pork. Graciela taught us how to cut and prepare the dried chiles. From cleaning them (no soap and water!) to pulling the vein, extracting the seeds and soaking the remainder. Other skills we learned along the way was the proper way to cut a mango, and how to skin a jalapeno. We also used the molcajete, the traditional stone mortar-and-pestle-like grinder used for salsas and other Mexican ingredients.

No Spicy? No Problem

I’ve mentioned peppers several times, but if you don’t like spicy food, don’t worry. This Mexican cooking class can accommodate those who cower from the heat. They can also accommodate both. For example, I LOVE spicy food, but my kids do not. In this case, Graciela made two different versions of the mango salsa, one for them, and one for me.

As we worked, Graciela patiently explained the process and the purpose of every technique we used. Her staff hovered in the background, grabbing items we chopped and finishing the process. For example, my boy finished cleaning and preparing the chiles for the marinade. No sooner had he put the knife down did someone grab the prepared chiles and place them in the food processor for us.

Singing, Dancing & Cooking

tortilllas. Best Mexican Cooking Class in Mexico City

_corn and grinder Best Mexican Cooking Class in Mexico City

Graciela played us some of her favorite music for us. We listened to classical composers as well as Los Angeles Azules (the Blue Angels) and realized that we had heard it before. A lot. One of the most popular acts in the country, we’ve heard the Blue Angels everywhere. We’d heard them on public buses, in restaurants and blaring out of trucks and taxis over the last year.

Graciela likes to sing and dance, as well, so she and her staff taught us a few moves.

Once the marinade had set and the salsas were ready, it was time to cook the meat and make the tortillas. I was on grill duty, while the kids made the tortillas. We had made tortillas before in the Yucatan, but it was a challenge. Little old ladies on the side of the street make it look easy. Yet in practice, it was a real challenge not to tear them after pressing them flat. Graciela told us her technique using two fingers. From then on out, the kids were cranking out warm fresh corn tortillas one after the other.

Time to Eat! Mexican Cooking Class

tacos al pastor. Best Mexican Cooking Class in Mexico City

Before we knew it, everything was ready to eat. We had a basket of fresh, warm corn tortillas. And to fill them, we had succulent and seasoned pork and pineapple, and a variety of sauces made by our own hands.

The colors were amazing. There was the bright red from the achiote in the pork complemented by the green cilantro. Then there was bright yellow of the mango salsa. Vibrant, bold, and delicious.

Corn cake. Best Mexican Cooking Class in Mexico City

After we ate our fill, Graciela presented us with dessert: a cake made of sweet corn and topped with a walnut liquor. The kids skipped the walnut topping but if you enjoy amoretto like I do, then you’d probably like it.

After coffee and a few more traditional Mexican sweets, our Mexican cooking class was over. Full and sleepy, we walked around the Roma neighborhood for a while before jumping in an Uber back to our hotel for an afternoon nap.

Have You Taken a Mexican Cooking Class in Mexico City?

_portrait with Graciela Montaño Best Mexican Cooking Class in Mexico City

Have you taken a Mexican cooking class in Mexico City or elsewhere in the country? Do you know about any Mexican cooking lessons or Mexican cooking schools that we should know about? We love taking cooking classes wherever we go, and we want to take more Mexican cooking lessons when we can find them. Let us know about the best Mexican cooking schools so we can share with our readers — and maybe try them ourselves!

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Disclosure: Aura Cocina Mexicana sponsored this Mexican cooking class in Mexico City.  However, my opinions are my own and I only recommend places/services that I believe will genuinely help you find the best cooking classes in Mexico City and anywhere else. We honestly loved this Mexican cooking class in Mexico City and recommend it highly. We hope to take more Mexican Cooking classes with Aura Cocina on our own again in the future: so many of their tours sound great: not just the tacos al pastor cooking class! If you know of another great Mexican cooking class in Mexico City, please let us know. 

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