My busy schedule doesn’t always award me the time to experiment with new activities. Luckily, I received the most delightful invitation the other day. I was immediately drawn to the creative flair of the package that was sitting on my desk. A miniature cutting board and cheese knife wrapped with twine held the cutest invitation that read like a recipe. My kind of packaging, as I have a huge appreciation for attention to detail. Of course, I thought it was ingenious and had to make time to attend. And so, I was introduced to Belize Food Tours in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye.
However, the details didn’t stop just at the invitation. The venue was sprinkled with little touches all over; the gorgeous wood countertop, the “I am a Belizer” selfie wall, the collection of kitchen plates for wall décor, the colorful placemats and beautiful cutting boards. The best was the salt and pepper canoes with spoons – cutest thing ever! There were also funky aprons participants wore with things that read, “One Hot Tamale,” “I believe I can fry,” and “If ih nuh bun ih nuh dun!”
In downtown San Pedro, located right across from Fidos, you’ll find The Belizean Kitchen. This doubles as the headquarters of Belize Food Tours. It is a sanctuary for foodies looking to learn about the rich and diverse flavors of Belizean cuisine. Moreover, the atmosphere is light and warm, giving you the feeling of going over to a friend’s house for dinner. The large U-Shaped island console with a stove in the center gives everyone a first-hand view of what is cooking. The gracious hosts are seasoned (pun intended) chefs Farrah, Felipe and Kiran. The passion for the art of cooking permeated through this energetic trio – sure to inspire the most challenged cookout there to become a master chef and at the same time having fun while doing it.
“Mek wih Kuk!”
The tour consisted of creating a three-course meal from scratch, using fresh and locally sourced ingredients. The preparation started with dessert! A savory potato pound was on the menu and because of the lengthy cook time of 1hr 45 mins, it was the first item to be made. We all took turns in working with the ingredients (such a grating the coconut and sweet potato) that would contribute to the delicious dessert.
Although, next up was the appetizer; we made mouthwatering conch and shrimp ceviche. Learning how to dice the onions, cilantro and tomatoes just the right way made all the difference. Once we completed (and ate) our ceviche, we washed it all down with a local rum and wine tasting interlude. Before the cooking session continued we were even treated to an impromptu Punta lesson from Chef Farrah! Felipe did his best to keep up, but Chef Farrah is the real punta master at the Belizean Kitchen.
Next, it was time to prepare the main course, which was called The Three Amigos of Masa. It was a combination of three Belizean fast food favorites – panades, garnaches, and salbutes – a personal favorite of mine, as I love anything corn related. However, you’d be surprised how easy they are to make after you’ve had a lesson on it!
The Tour is a Great Date or Group Activity on the Island
With the Belize Food Kitchen seating 12, this hands-on cooking class is, of course, the perfect tour to do as a group. The Belizean Kitchen provides many comforts and tools to make this an all-around must-do activity. Not to mention, they even have local beer and cocktails if you’re up for it. I had a mid-morning panti-rippa (coconut rum and pineapple juice) along with my ceviche. It doesn’t get much better than that! Between the charming setting, fabulous teachers and the incredible food, you are sure to have a delicious time with Belize Food Tours. Thanks again to Monica Gallardo for the beautiful imagery.