Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A week at Rancho La Puerta Spa in Mexico

I have wanted to visit Rancho La Puerta Spa for the last 15 years. And now that I'm finally here it's everything I thought it would be. It took me a few days to get into it. I had to relax, get work out of my head and just get into the groove of being at a health spa in Mexico. Imagine..... Great food, working out as much or as little as you want, getting massages, hanging out in a perpetual state of relaxation for 1 full week. No cell phone, no TV, no computer and just the Mexican breezes, beautiful sun and breathtaking sky and stars. Today we visited the cooking school and culinary center, La Cocina Que Canta, ("the kitchen that sings") and organic gardens where I will be teaching this week. Overwhelming is my only word.

The organic gardens at La Cocina Que Canta are over the top. I picked zucchini and their blossoms for the risotto I'm teaching in today's class. We also harvested radicchio, mizuna and purslane for a salad. My class menu also includes skewers of Mexican shrimp with salsa verde with tons of herbs from the garden. The kitchen is huge with terra cotta tiles, hand painted Mexican bowls and crockery and the largest butcher block island I've ever seen. It must be 25 feet by 5 feet. Everyone is so psyched about the cooking classes partly because it's the highlight of the week and there is no wine at the Ranch however they do serve wine at the classes. (Don't tell but we smuggled in 4 bottles which everyone does. Every night we return to the casita for a glass or two on the veranda overlooking the mountains after working out all day.) One student came from Chicago just to meet me and take my class. There are a lot of fans of my PBS "Cooking Class" series here.

The week consists of three hands-on cooking classes including a tour of the garden and picking all the veggies we need for class. In between I'm working out non-stop doing circuit training, aqua-biotics, breakfast hikes, getting massages, pilates, stretch classes, yoga, getting pedicures, eating meals give you the caloric intake for each dish, doing reflexology, and just hanging out. But I'm dying for some salty potato chips and dark chocolate!


jbs410 said...

Thanks Joanne for mentioning me in your blog. You WERE the highlight of my trip here. You are wonderfully talented and a delight to spend time with!!! Judy from Chicago

kimberly said...

hi joanne,
just wanted you to know that we returned home to miami LATE last night, and for father's day, i thought i would replicate the eggplant jam, and the gazpacho soup that we made at the ranch...and it was soooooo delightful pretending that i was still in that magnificent kitchen...La Cocina Que Canta! wasn't that a fun day? i have some incredible pictures of the entire week and am hoping to upload them all by tommorrow. it was an absolute PLEASURE to take your class, and to meet you (and charlotte)---les totally enjoyed dinner tonight (we also grilled our first burgers in a week), and the kids were semi liking the soup---but what do they know? it certainly looked very pretty and colorful and i had so much fun preparing. (i will add that i missed not having my assistant alejandro helping me out)
anyway, just wanted to connect and say hello, and check out your blog---sending positive energy your way.
ps every time we toast, we are having loving eye nice is that????

Anonymous said...

Hola Joanne,
Thank you for such a fun cooking class at La Cocina Que Canta while at Rancho La Puerta. I agree this place is wonderful. I fixed the fig leaf wrapped salmon for my sweet husband on Father's Day and he loved it. The leaves keep the salmon so moist.

We all had so much fun learning from you. I look forward to purchasing your Tequila cookbook also. Tequila is big in Texas.

Gracias, cindy from Dallas