Ricky Avila and Michele Andrie of Mextopia have planned a special all-inclusive trip to Oaxaca, Mexico and want to invite as many of their friends to join them. The very special excursion is open to anyone, and they have already hosted at least one meeting at their restaurant to explain the adventure.
“The trip combines two of our favorite things: travel and food. For our first food trip we chose Oaxaca because of the Mole and it is such a special place we wanted to share it with our customers! We hope this is only the beginning. We plan to do a trip to Mexico every year,” Explained Avila.
The itinerary describes Oaxaca as the “Land of a Thousand Moles”. Mole is of course the Mexican sauce that Oaxaca is predominately known for can include upwards to 30 ingredients or more. The ingredients are all roasted and ground into a fine powder or paste depending on the ingredients used. This roasting and grinding process is extremely laborious and if done by hand, takes at least a day.
According to Chicago chef Rick Bayless who is best known for cuisine of the Oaxacan state, the ingredients of mole can be grouped into five distinct classes: Chiles, sour (tomatillos), sweet (dried fruits and sugar), spices, and thickeners (nuts and tortillas).
Each guest will be staying at the Hotel Aitana, a boutique hotel in Colonial Oaxaca City. The four-star 18th century hotel is within walking distance of most of the sites Avila scheduled to visit in the city., and is 8 blocks from the zócalo and 6 blocks from Santo Domingo.
Highlights for the trip include a variety of cooking classes, making moles, cheese and other dishes that are choreographed so there are no repeats at any of the lessons. There will also be tours of near-by cities to soak up local culture, as well a special mescal tasting.
A particular outing includes a visit to Chocolate Guelaguetza, near the Juarez Market in Oaxaca’s El Centro where guests will be treated to a special talk about the chocolate origins in Mexico. The portion of the trip was expressly encouraged by a University of California San Diego linguistic anthropologist who works in Mexico. After the talk the group will purchase a kilo of the chocolate and work with the product to work out a recipe for hot chocolate with milk, hot chocolate with water and chocolate atole.
To find out more about the Oaxaca excursion contact Avila at Mextopia.Ricardo Avila’s Mextopia 2104 Greenville Avenue, Dallas