Barriga llena, corazon contento translates to full belly, happy heart and it is how I felt at the end of the cooking class with Chef David Luna. Our students were divided into four brigades (as they are called in kitchens) and each brigade made three out of four dish options: Sikil Pak (a dip made out of pumpkin seeds), Lomitos de Valladolid (pork in a spicy sauce), Dzotobichay (Chaya tamales) and arroz con leche. All of the dishes are from the Yucatan Peninsula; two of the dishes are 100% endemic to the region and two of them were invented here, but with European influences. Can you guess which is which?
Cooking in a professional kitchen was a great way for the students to put together their leadership and Spanish skills. They practiced delegating, interpreting the recipe written in Spanish and asking questions when needed. The students also engaged in a friendly competition between the brigades in which the team who finished first did not need to wash dishes. Miles’s brigade won, but all the brigades delivered delicious food!