1) Is this a class in which I will just watch? Or will I actually get to cook?
Our classes are designed to suit any cooking style and skill set. Some people prefer to just watch, others want to be in on the action! All are welcome. This is not a class about basic knife skills, so most chopping and other prep work has been done in advance to save time. What you WILL do, however, is participate in those cooking chores that are unique to Yucatecan cuisine. We will have you charring, grinding, stewing and sautéing all day long, so be sure to get a good night’s rest the evening before!
2) What is the typical class size at Los Dos?
Classes typically have 4-10 students. However, please contact us if you have a larger group.
3) What if there aren’t enough students on the day I’m hoping to take a class?
In most cases we can happily arrange a private class for you. These are held for one to six people, depending on the class. The advantages of a private class are, of course, that you can enjoy one-on-one interaction with the chef. You can also help plan the menu – if, for example, you wish to focus on chiles or other specific foods. Private classes are also wonderful options for families or small groups traveling together.
4) Should I bring anything? May I bring my own knives?
Everything at Los Dos is provided – all ingredients, a recipe/workbook, towel, utensils and a Los Dos apron (yours to keep!) We do not recommend that you bring knives due to airport security issues.
5) Can I keep my cell phone with me?
As they do at theaters, we ask that you shut off your phone during class so as not to disturb other students. But you are welcome to use your phone during our brief breaks or to take photos. All texting devices, digital tablets and other gadgetry are strictly discouraged during class and our communal meals.
6) What if I’m a vegetarian or have other food restrictions?
Our philosophy is “When in Rome do as the Romans do.” What’s the point of trying to learn about a region’s cuisine if you are finicky about its food? But beyond philosophy, there are practical considerations that restrain us: so many diverse food allergies, food phobias and food restrictions have reached a fever-pitch of popularity north of the border that we simply cannot make special plates for everyone. This is not a restaurant with extensive menus but a school in which a small variety of dishes is prepared for all. Furthermore, most of México isn’t as caught up on food trends as is much of the industrialized world so finding special ingredients can be challenging. Finally, beware: if you have an aversion or are allergic to pork, lard, corn, crispy pork skin, tomatoes, beans, beef and more succulent pork, you are going to starve to death in Yucatán. That said, we do offer a vegetarian Maya Menu exclusively in private classes in which the entire group agrees to that menu.
7) What about tipping?
If you are particularly appreciative of the treatment you received from our staff, you may certainly offer them a gratuity. Tips remain totally at the discretion of the student and can be given directly to the staff member.
8) May I pay on the morning of the class?
Unfortunately, no. Because we must make several preparations in advance – including the purchase of ingredients, ordering your workbooks and aprons, etc. – we must receive your full payment at least 72 hours before the day of your class.
9) Can I give you a credit card number over the phone?
The way we can accept payments with credit card is through the secure online PayPal system. You do not need a PayPal account to pay through PayPal.
10) Can I call Los Dos to make my reservation over the phone?
No. We hope to be able to accommodate as many requests for classes as possible, which means we must juggle the itineraries of many travelers seeking different classes at different times. This requires a lot of back-and-forth through e-mail, coordinating each person’s requests. For this reason we can only make your reservation via e-mail. Please contact us here.
11) What can I do if I don’t see a class listed on your schedule when I’m going to be in Mérida?
We suggest considering a private class. We can even occasionally arrange these on weekends but in all cases we try to accommodate your schedule. A private class can be a very convenient option for those with a tight itinerary. Or consider signing up for the Yucatán Express, which can be scheduled on any day when there are no public classes.
12) I’m not that skilled in Spanish. How will I understand the class?
Not to worry. All classes at Los Dos are taught in English.
13) How long does the class last, and when should I arrive?
All classes at Los Dos begin promptly at 9:00 am. To make sure you arrive on time, you are invited to join us for coffee and pastries at 8:30 am. Because class ending times occasionally vary, we suggest that you do not make any other significant plans for the day you spend at Los Dos.
14) My companion hates to cook, but he loves to eat! Is there a way he can join us for the meal?
Certainly! Spouses, significant others or friends who don’t wish to take the cooking class may also join us for cocktail hour and dinner, depending on space at the table. Please inquire as to availability.
15) What should I wear?
The only important thing is for you to be comfortable. We are on our feet most of the day, walking to the market and then cooking in the kitchen. A comfortable pair of shoes is a must! Whether you wear shorts or not is up to you: tourists in shorts here are a common sight, but shorts definitely peg you as a tourist! It is rare (although not impossible) to see mature adult Meridanos wearing shorts. As a special gift, you will receive a Los Dos apron, which will protect whatever you decide to wear during the class.