Tag Archives: Costa Rica culinary

Unique Cooking Classes in Costa Rica

Nothing about Costa Rica is run of the mill, so you’d expect that any cooking class you’d come across in this country of flourishing wilderness, fertility and delightful produce, would be quite something. And it is! Fancy taking home more than just fantastic memories from your next adventure vacation in Costa Rica? Then add one of the following inspiring and totally unique cooking classes to your itinerary, and you can recreate your Costa Rica holiday vibe at home for many years to come.

From learning to make cheese and chocolate to discovering real farm life and exploring the health benefits of an organic diet with superb ingredients, the most unique cooking classes in Costa Rica are sure to be an unforgettable highlight.

Cooking Classes in Costa Rica:

Cheese-Making Class – Queso Canaan

Queso CanaanCooking classes in Costa Rica is one of Costa Rica’s true hidden treasures. This cheese factory, located in the Chirripo Valley merely 80 miles south-east of the capital, San Jose, is run by a family whose love for milk, and newfound passion for making cheese, is something to behold. With skills learnt in Switzerland merely 15 years ago, the Mata-Hernandez family have literally changed their lives, and have turned their 40-year old milk farm into the country’s most revered artisanal cheese farm. The family create a Swiss-like cheese that’s immensely tasty, rich and milky, and spending a few hours learning and practicing the art of cheese making here just feels like an absolute privilege.

On a day-tour (something you can organize through your hotel) you’ll be part of the process right from the start: from the milking of the cow, to the boiling of the milk, the adding of the salt and the final curing. The cheese wheel you create will have to age a few months, but you’ll still have the chance to take home a tasty morsel of this unique cheese at the day’s end. For a country that isn’t particularly renowned for its tasty matured cheeses, the Queso Canaan produce has been a huge hit, especially with expats and tourists. As a consequence, Queso Canaan is now found served and for sale in many hotels, restaurants and resorts (even as far north as San Jose) but visiting the original farm is highly recommended. The family is still keeping its boutique production small, creating merely a few pounds of cheese a day. Visits by tourists are highly cherished.

Chocolate Workshop – Samaritan Xocolata

Chocolate cooking classes in Costa RicaRight next door to Queso Canaan is where you’ll find Samaritan Xocolata, yet another of Costa Rica’s hidden gems. This artisanal chocolate factory uses only the best organic cacao beans, and is committed to sustainable and socially-conscious farming.

They run hands-on workshops that allow you to learn all about the history of chocolate, the modern cultivation practices and the process needed to create divine bonbons and chocolate bars. Unlike many other chocolate making tours, at Samaritan you will actually make your own chocolate bar (and yes, take it home!) as well as sample the vast array of sweet treats they produce. If you’re not a chocoholic by the time you visit Costa Rica, then add this workshop to your list of must-dos and we can guarantee you will be by the time you leave!

Farm experience – Granja Eco Turistica Victoria

Classes in Costa RicaA tour of Granja farm in La Fortuna gifts a fantastic insight into the life of a working Costa Rica farm and is a wonderful experience for the whole family. Aside from the delightfully charming family, who’ll welcome you with open arms (and moonshine in shot glass!) you’ll meet a plethora of animals that you can milk, herd and feed. A visit to this farm culminates in a delicious home-cooked meal, but if you prefer to be more hand-on you can include a cooking class and make a day-long excursion out of your visit of it. Absolutely recommended, especially if traveling with children.

Cooking Classes in Costa Rica – The Healing Cuisine

Specialized cooking classes in Costa RicaWorkshops with The Healing Cuisine, in Santa Teresa, are less about traditional Costa Rican cooking than about the health benefits gained from utilizing the exceptional organic ingredients grown in the region. Cooking class menus take advantage of the freshest of produce to make exceptionally yummy dishes like fish tacos, coconut shrimps and tangy ceviche. The Healing Cuisine’s emphasis is very much on healthy eating and utilizing organic ingredients to cleanse and revitalize the body while satisfying the taste buds. Healthy eating has never tasted this good! Considering the fact that Costa Rica’s fast becoming a mecca for health retreats, the Healing Cuisine is right on the money with its healthy take on delectable cooking. There are various styles of cooking to choose from, including tropical, gluten free and raw. The Healing Cuisine offers casual cooking classes and more intensive 10-day workshops.

Want to include one of our favorite cooking classes to your adventure tour of Costa Rica? Ask us how!


Unforgettable Fusion Dining in Costa Rica

Traditional food trayDiving headfirst into a new culinary world is one of the best things about traveling and never is this prospect more delectable than when visiting Costa Rica. Although the country has suffered for years from a somewhat valid reputation as a less-than-inspiring foodie destination – with local fare being labeled bland when compared to that of its neighbors – a brand new culinary wave has picked up momentum. Fusion cooking has taken over the world and in Costa Rica it has become an incredible way to propel the amazing fresh produce for which this country is so revered, into culinary superstardom.

What happens when you blend delightful French, Italian, Asian and international flavors with world class organic Costa Rican produce? A whole new world of decadent deliciousness.

Visit one, two or all of the following world class restaurants on your next adventure trip to Costa Rica and discover just how tasty this tropical haven can really be.

Restaurante Grano de Oro, San Jose

Restaurante Grano de OroFrench culinary master Francis Canal has a knack for fusion creation, and his delights at the Hotel Grano de Oro’s signature restaurant are no exception. Step into this fine-dining establishment and we guarantee you’ll be swooning before you even take a single look at the menu. The charming old-world décor and impeccable service leave no doubt that you have just entered one of Costa Rica’s most precious hotels, and the elegance certainly complements the quality of sumptuous fare on offer.

Although Monsieur Canal has reached cult status in San Jose, thanks to his heavenly crème brûlée, you really ought to savor at least two more dishes before succumbing to this sweet sin. If the Costa Rican organic snails sautéed with wild mushrooms and camembert cheese, served in a faultless pastry shell, don’t get your juices flowing, then perhaps the crème brûlée of porcini mushrooms, spicy gorgonzola and goat cheese will. Home-made pasta and a selection of fine meats and seafood will definitely appeal to every taste. Just do make sure you leave room for dessert…that organic vanilla custard crème brûlée is really as good as it sounds!

Sobre las Olas, Cahuita

Sobre las OlasTake just one unforgettable bite of the ceviche prepared at Sobre las Olas and you’ll be forgiven for thinking this alone is reason to visit Costa Rica. This gorgeous little gem is set along the pristine shores just north of Cahuita town and is owned by a couple of Italian chefs who have imported the flair and tastes of their homeland and incorporated that with the best and most organic local produce available.

Seafood is the absolute highlight of any feasting here, with fresh muscles, squid, swordfish and lobster cooked to perfection with abundant herbs and olive oil. A few meat and vegetarian options are also available. Looking for a super romantic spot and drool worthy dining experience? Then don’t walk past Sobre las Olas! When it comes to iconic seaside locations, they really don’t get better than this. For reservations, call +506 2755 0109.

El Mirador Bar & Restaurant, Manuel Antonio

El Mirador Bar & RestaurantThe Manuel Antonio National Park hides many treasures, with Arenas del Mar being just one of them. In this spectacular resort, set amidst tropical wilderness, you’ll discover one of the most phenomenal ‘dinner with killer view’ spots n the whole country. El Mirador has been involved in an exciting new concept in the last few years, whereby some of the best chefs from the US are flow in periodically, to spice up the menu using the best local ingredients available. The eclectic and very creative creations are nothing short of extraordinary. Think yellow fin tuna prepared with avocado and spicy pineapple salsa, or grilled zucchini, sweet potato and almond mousse. And that’s just the entree! Add a 5-leaf sustainability rating to the golden setting and scrumptious meals and you’ve got yourself a pretty amazing Costa Rican culinary treasure.

Stashu’s con Fusion, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Ever been served a meal that looks so good you almost don’t want to eat it? This perfectly describes Stashu’s meals in a nutshell. Creativity is at the forefront of all that emerges from the kitchen of this gorgeous establishment, along with a head-spinning injection of spicy Asian flavors. Curries, stir fries and seafood tacos are just a few of the treats on offer. Boasting a laid back and serene atmosphere, cool live music and impeccable service, Stashu’s has really come a long way since its inception as one of Puerto Viejo’s very first eateries.