Culinary Concoctions

Cooking class: a new favorite special-occasion activity! To help celebrate Ben’s upcoming birthday, we ventured to CulinAerie downtown. It was so much fun! Highly recommend it. For celebrations, team building opportunities or just to spice up your life.

Cooking class

How it works:

1. Sign up for a class based on the menu schedule. Ben and I attended the Mar y Tierra – Latin Surf & Turf class. There were three dishes to make: Mussels with Chorizo and Rice, Peruvian Marinated Flank Skewers and Chocolate Mousse.

2. Attend the 3 hour session. Cooking assistants arrange stations prior to starting, so students don’t have to do any prep. Such a great bonus! A chef leads the class and provides in-depth demonstrations, culinary tips and a bit of one-on-one coaching. Our chef was Eliza Gonzalez, a self-taught Mexican chef with a personal tagline of “Always flavorful, fresh and authentic”. I don’t think you can go wrong with a motto like that. Throughout the class we arranged the meal components and indulged in additional appetizers and wine.

Cooking class

3. Enjoy the meal! By the end of class all of the dishes came together seamlessly for an amazingly fresh and flavorful spread.

Cooking class

In my opinion, the surprising standout was the mussel, chorizo and rice dish; also know as paella! Chorizo is something I’ve never attempted to work with, but will have to try it again – it’s just so flavorful! Adding in the recipe below!

Mussels with Chorizo and Rice


  • 1 lb. mussels
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1 roma tomato, grated
  • 1/2 lb. dry Spanish chorizo, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups short grain rice
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 3 cups chicken for fish stock
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley


  1. Prep the clams: Clean and debeard mussels. Discard open mussels that won’t close back if pressed or ones with broken shells. put back in the fridge until used.
  2. Cook the rice: In a medium pan, heat up the oil. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 1 minute. Add garlic and turmeric and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomato.
  3. Stir in chorizo and rice and cook for a couple of minutes. Add stock and wine, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and add mussels. Cook for about 18 minutes or until all liquid is evaporated. Garnish with parsley and serve.

The steak marinade was also pretty great. Combine:

  • 2 tablespoons aji Amarillo
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 teaspoons vinegar (any type except balsamic)
  • … and marinade for 1 – 24 hours!

Cooking class

When can we go back?!


– EmPan


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