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A Classic Cooking Class in Cusco

Cusco, Peru is not only the gateway to Machu Picchu but also a world renown cuisine destination. There are several great restaurants in Cusco, including some of the best in the world. One bite of some fantastic Peruvian cuisine and you will want to learn how to make the dishes and enjoy them at home. So there are several different cooking classes to attend and enjoy. Attending a cooking class in Cusco was on Shelby’s (my little sister) list of things to do during our trip. So, we found the best cooking class in Cusco, Cusco Culinary! Cusco is known for their delicious Peruvian cuisines such as chicken, ceviche and potatoes. One bite of an authentic Peruvian dish and you will want to learn how to make it at home. Therefore, if you have a few days in Cusco during your trip to Peru, we highly recommend you take a cooking class at Cusco Culinary. You will not only have a great experience with the chef at the market and studio, but you will be able to take home the recipes and knowledge for a four-course dinner meal.

 

Full disclaimer –  We were offered a generous discount by Cusco Culinary for our cooking class in Cusco. As always, our opinions are non-biased and our own. We want to thank Cusco Culinary for their generosity and for everyone following and supporting us on all of “Our Sweet Adventures.”

 

Why Cusco Culinary is the Best Cooking Class in Cusco

When you are looking for a cooking class in Cusco, you want to find a company that values the local community, farmers and producers. Why? Cusco Culinary recognizes this dedication to Peruvian cuisine and applies it to their Cusco cooking class. They only use organic produce grown in the Andean communities near Cusco, such as the Urubamba Valley and Amaru.

In addition to their respect and quality care in their produce, Cusco Culinary provides their guest’s with a full Peruvian experience during their cooking class. It includes a visit to the San Pedro Market to see the variety of produce in Peru, as well as learning about the produce and ingredients from your chef. This is one of the highlights of the cooking class because it’s an intimate experience being immersed in the local community. Then you head to their cooking studio and prepare pisco sours along with a four-course lunch or dinner. The entire experience lasts around four to five hours and costs $69 per person.

 

San Pedro Market

A cooking class in Cusco is not complete without a visit to one of the city’s most notable markets, San Pedro Market. Moreover, even if you do not do a cooking class, going to the San Pedro Market is one of the best things to do in Cusco. Inside the San Pedro Market is a mix of culinary ingredients and souvenirs. It has the feeling of a farmers market but on a much larger scale. There are several local farmers at their stands selling everything they produce i.e. meat, fruits, vegetables, cheese, bread and more.

We were very excited to hear that our cooking class in Cusco would begin by meeting our chef, Jesus, at San Pedro Market. Chef Jesus took us into San Pedro Market for a Peruvian culinary tour of knowledge. He explained the different varieties of fruit grown in Peru and the ones we would be working with during our cooking class. We were able to taste different passion fruits that we had never seen before. Each one looked and tasted so different – it was amazing. Chef Jesus also took us to see the cheese, bakery and chocolate aisles. He would talk with such passion every time he showed us something unique to Peruvian cuisine. It was very inspiring to see his passion for Peruvian cuisine that we became even more excited for our Cusco cooking class.

 

Cooking Studio

After our visit to the San Pedro Market, we walked to Cusco Culinary’s cooking studio for around ten to fifteen minutes. Their cooking studio is absolutely beautiful. We definitely felt immersed in Peru’s culture with the atmosphere Cusco Culinary created in their studio.

The white marble table was in the center of the studio with bar stools around it. Then to the side of the marble table was a long wooden dining table where we would sit and eat our four-course dinner. Everything was ready for us, all we had to do was watch and learn. Chef Jesus and his assistant always made the experience as easy as possible for us. We always had our own cooking utensils to prepare every course. Then they would clear our cooking utensils and any mess that (Adam) would make and provide us with clean utensils for our next project. The entire night was well organized to create a fun learning environment for us.

 

Learning How to Make Pisco Sours

The first thing we learned during our cooking class in Cusco was the famous Peruvian drink, pisco sour. We not only learned about the traditional pisco sour, but also ways to enhance it! Chef Jesus elevates the traditional pisco sour by using the Peruvian passion fruit he showed us at San Pedro Market. This was Shelby’s highlight of the entire cooking experience as she was eager to learn and taste the famous cocktail. However, it ended up being a favorite experience for all of us.

Making pisco sours was a lot of fun and surprisingly very easy to make. After learning from Chef Jesus, we are confident that we can throw the best pisco sour cocktail party!

We made pisco sours during our cooking class in Cusco!

 

First Course – Ceviche

The first course of our cooking class in Cusco was Peru’s national dish, ceviche! Ceviche is raw fish cured in an acidic juice such as, lime or lemon. Then the fish is accompanied by different ingredients per taste. Cusco, is not the only culinary destion for ceviche in Peru. There are several restaurnts in Lima, Peru that excel in Ceviche.

Cusco Culinary took us on a grand ceviche adventure where we were able to learn and create three different ceviche recipes. The types were: classic, asian style and their ancestral way with tumbo (Peruvian fruit). We each started with slicing our fresh trout very thinly like sashimi (thank goodness no one cut themselves). Then we were given one of the types of ceviche to make. During our lesson, we were surprised to learn that Peruvians only marinate their fish in the juice for five minutes. In the United States, we have to marinate it our fish a lot longer, so it was interesting to see the difference.

We made three different types of ceviche during our cooking class in Cusco with Cusco Culinary

The final touches on the ceviche included Peruvian corn nuts for a contrast of texture. Each type of ceviche was fresh, unique and delightful, but the traditional and asian style were our favorites.

 

Second Course – Moraya and Potato Cake with Tarwi

Cusco Culinary is all about showing their guests the best of Peruvian cuisine, so for our second course we learned about moraya and tarwi. Moraya is a dehydrated potato used by the Andean community to conserve and store potatoes for a long period of time. Tarwi is an edible and spicy bean grown in the Andes and used within the community.

We created our potato cake by slicing our regular and moraya potatoes and layering them in a tin foil cup with cheese and an evaporated milk mixture. Delicate work went into our potato cakes to make six perfect layers. Then we baked it while we started preparing the tarwi sauce.

Once it was baked to perfection, we placed our potato cake on top of our tarwi sauce and garnished with sprouts. We found the potato cake to be very similar to Au Gratin potatoes, but with exceptional new flavors. The dish was well balanced and we loved the vibrant color of the tarwi sauce.

 

Third Course – Mushroom Quinotto

We learned a lot during our cooking class in Cusco, especially how excellent the Peruvians are in elevating simple ingredients to create delicious dishes. Quinoa is a high protein grain used for centuries in the Andes. Quinotto is simply quinoa cooked in the style of risotto, an Italian dish. Simple, yet pure genius!

With the exception of the pisco sours, cooking this dish was the most fun. We were able to cook the quinotto over the fire and torch creamy cheese on top. Although we do not like quinoa, we truly enjoyed this dish and found it quite filling. It was extremely hearty from the high protein quinoa and mushrooms. Definitely a healthy dish we are excited to prepare at home.

We made quinotto during our Cusco cooking class

 

Fourth Course – Cherimoya Cream with Praline

Alas, our favorite course during any meal, dessert. This course was surprisingly the most interesting one for us. Once again, Cusco Culinary creates another dish that emphasizes on their cuisine by using an Andean fruit, cherimoya. Cherimoya is grown 1500 – 2000 meters above sea level and has one of the most unique flavors we’ve ever tasted. There is no distinctive flavor per se, but more of a mix of tropical flavors of bananas, mango, papaya and a hint of strawberry. We used the cherimoya to create a cream as the base of our dessert.

We also used another local fruit (cannot remember the name) into small pieces and placed them into a martini glass. Then we added our luscious cherimoya cream on top, followed by our crushed almond praline. For finishing touches, we garnished our dessert with an open golden berry.

What we really enjoyed about this Peruvian dessert was tasting new fruits that can only be found in Peru. The dessert was well balanced using only the natural sweetness from the fruits keeping it light and refreshing. In addition, there was a sweet, nutty contrast of texture from the almond praline. Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed it!

 

Recipes of your Cooking Class in Cusco

One of the best parts about Cusco Culinary is that they email you the recipes from the cooking class. The recipes are in both English and Spanish and take you step by step through the process of each course. In addition, it also includes the information of the Peruvian ingredients. We took in a lot of knowledge in our lovely four hours of cooking with Chef Jesus, so we were thrilled to find he included everything in our recipe packet. Now we can recreate every delicious dish at home with ease!

 

Our Overall Experience with Cusco Culinary

Overall we had an amazing experience with Cusco Culinary. It was everything we wanted and more out of our cooking class in Cusco. Chef Jesus created a fantastic learning environment. The class was very engaging from teaching us about the produce, to teaching us culinary techniques. We really enjoyed being able to be hands on in every process of cooking our dishes.

We cannot say enough great words about our experience with Cusco Culinary. If you are looking to take a cooking class in Cusco, we highly recommend Cusco Culinary!

 

Cusco Culinary
San Andres Street 477
Cusco 08000, Peru
+51 084 225 183
info@cuscoculinary.com
http://cuscoculinary.com

 

We had so much fun during our cooking in Cusco with Cusco Culinary. They were the best!

 

 

Looking for more posts on Peru? Check out these!

The Best Things to See During a Sacred Valley Private Tour

A Complete Guide to Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

The Ultimate Packing Guide for Hiking the Inca Trail 

Machu Picchu Body Ready – a Guide on Training for the Inca Trail

Everything You Need to Know About Hiking Huayna Picchu 

 

 

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32 COMMENTS

  • Michelle

    Ooh this sounds perfect for us. We love experiencing the cooking culture in places we visit and taking home some new recipes. I still remember pisco sours from my first (and only) trip so far to Peru – over 10 years ago. We’ll definitely look this up if we’re able to return soon.

    • oursweetadventures
      AUTHOR

      It was definitely a fun experience we hadn’t done before but always wanted to do. We will look for this more often

  • Roxanne Weijer

    That Moraya and Potato Cake with Tarwi sounds and looks delicious!! Trying different foods around the world is something we love about travelling. Once in a while, we take cooking classes but we definitely need to do more of them! You made me enthusiast for Peruvian food.

    • oursweetadventures
      AUTHOR

      It definitely tasted amazing! We think one of the best parts of traveling is trying the new foods.

  • Lauren

    Love this! I did a free “cooking” class in Lima at a hostel. We did one dish – ceviche – and it was delicious! This seems like a much more involved experience haha. Would have loved to make that mushroom quinotto!

    • oursweetadventures
      AUTHOR

      The ceviche we made was awesome! The quinotto was amazing!

  • Hannah

    This looks like so much! I’ve always wanted to take a cooking class while traveling but have never done it. All of these dishes (and drinks) look so yummy!

    • oursweetadventures
      AUTHOR

      We will definitely look at cooking classes more often when we travel because this was wonderful.

  • Josy A

    This looks sooooo fun!! I blooming love good cooking classes!!
    I love that they started with pisco sours so you have something to relax you while you make all the other dishes!

    If we make it to Cusco (I hope we will!) I will definitely check this out!

    • oursweetadventures
      AUTHOR

      This was our first cooking class and it was a lot of fun. The Pisco Sour was a great way to start and it was delicious.

  • Anna Schaeffer

    I’ve always wanted to taking a cooking class abroad! This post is definitely inspiring me to take one on my next trip.

    • oursweetadventures
      AUTHOR

      You should definitely look into it wherever you go because this was a blast. We will look into it more often for sure.

  • Zoe

    What a great post, those cooking studios look like the perfect cosy size for a fun class! I hate it when its just a empty bare room!! Getting the full recipes afterwards are always great for trying again at home. Though I have never remade anything since from some classes i’ve taken hehe.

    • oursweetadventures
      AUTHOR

      It was a very modern studio we felt and inviting for everyone. We will definitely be using the recipes some time soon because we really enjoyed the Pisco Sour.

  • Jenny Ventura

    Wow, what an amazing experience! It sounds like something right up my alley!

    • oursweetadventures
      AUTHOR

      This was a lot of fun. You should definitely try this when you can!

  • Emily Hines

    I’d love to do this next time I travel. That whole menu looks so yummy but I think that mushroom dish would likely be my favorite.

    • oursweetadventures
      AUTHOR

      We loved the Quinotto! We will be looking for this on our next trips as well. It was a lot of fun and educational as well.

  • Suzy

    Mmm this certainly gets the tastebuds tingling! Looks like an awesome experience, it’s always such a pleasure to learn local cooking skills in new places! And so great you got to keep the recipes, hope they turn out as good second time around!

    • oursweetadventures
      AUTHOR

      We enjoyed everything we ate! it was so cool to cool to prepare everything and learn about its origins as well.

  • Farah al Zadjaly

    This is definitely something I am adding to my list when I go to Peru. Love learning to cook food from around the world. Peruvian food is lovely and full of great flavours. Thank you for inspiring me.

    • oursweetadventures
      AUTHOR

      It was really cool to learn about the food and its origins while we were preparing it. The food in Peru was incredible. Hope you can make it there soon

  • Lyne

    Oooh, the Cherimoya Cream with Praline looks delish! All those dishes does actually, a cooking class is such a great activity to discover another country culture and you can do the recipe at home later so, total win!

    • oursweetadventures
      AUTHOR

      The class brought us much more than food which was unexpected. We truly enjoyed that he taught us the origins of the food. It added another element to the experience.

  • Madhu

    Wow this cooking class looks like so much fun and learning also. Dishes too looks too delicious.would love to take such classes

    • oursweetadventures
      AUTHOR

      We enjoyed every aspect of the class. The eating, the learning, the eating, the preparing and the eating haha.

  • Rebecca

    Oh this looks like so much fun, I wish I’d done this on our trip to Peru! Peruvian food is SO GOOD.

    • oursweetadventures
      AUTHOR

      The food in Peru is amazing. It was so much fun to be able cook, eat and learn about the food while we were there.

  • Carrie Ann

    Christina, I just ate dinner but now I’m hungry again?!? I would love to take a class like this when I visit Peru. I adore ceviche, but I would be too nervous to try to make it on my own (without the expert supervision). You guys look like you had a fantastic time!

    • oursweetadventures
      AUTHOR

      Whenever we reread this post we get hungry and excited all over again. The ceviche was amazing and it was a great experience to prepare it as well as eat it! We had an amazing time that is for sure.

  • Sheree

    Nice! I absolutely love ceviche so this would be perfect 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    • oursweetadventures
      AUTHOR

      We all LOVE ceviche too! Glad you enjoyed my post. Hope you can enjoy a cooking class in Cusco yourself!

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