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Host: Sofia

Merida, Mexico

USD
$22-$64 per person

Traditional Yucatecan cuisine in a homey atmosphere

Host offerings
  • House
  • Home cook
  • Pets
  • Vegetarian
  • Alcohol
  • Transportation
  • Cooking experience
  • Market visit
  • Food tour

Meet Sofia

Born in Mérida, Sofia delights in preparing local Yucatecan and Mayan dishes that showcase the cultural heritage of the Yucatán Peninsula. An accomplished home-cook, Sofia learned to cook from her mother and grandmother and says the talent runs in the family. For the last 20 years Sofia has run a home-stay for visitors to Mérida and you might meet some of the guests during your visit. Sofia loves having guests in her home and gets great pleasure by sharing her Yucatecan culture through food and a pleasant conversation. “I've been receiving guest at home for more than 20 years, and each one of them takes a bit of my heart with them but they also leave a bit of theirs!”

What to expect

Please note menu might vary. If there are particular dishes you are interested in trying, please include your request in the booking form.

In-home meal: (1-10 guests) Yucatecan cuisine has been influenced by a variety of cultures, from the indigenous Mayan people, to the Spanish colonizers, to the Dutch and Lebanese who migrated to the region. Sofia prepares traditional Yucatecan dishes such as sikil pak con tostadas (traditional dip made from ground pumpkin seeds, served with tortilla chips), sopa de lima (chicken soup with lime), Yucatecan tamales, which are wrapped banana leaf, empanadas de chaya con queso de bola (pastries flecked with a local green, chaya, stuffed with Edam cheese), pollo o cochinita pibil (perhaps the Yucatan’s most famous dish of slow-cooked chicken or pork which has been marinated in an achiote and sour orange marinade, wrapped in banana leaves). For dessert Sofia serves homey dishes like dulce de papaya con queso de bola (papaya stewed in sugar served with Edam cheese). Please note that family in Mexico can be very social so you may be joined by members of Sofia's family who stop by on occasion.

Cooking experience: (1-6 guests) Step inside the kitchen with Sofia for a practical, hands-on cooking lesson of Yucatecan and Mayan favorites. Sofia will teach you to prepare traditional recipes from scratch so be prepared to get your hands dirty! You will learn to prepare the entire meal as well as a fiery habanero salsa. You can expect the cooking lesson to last about 3 hours, followed by your meal. Please note that Sofia lives in a modest home with no air-conditioning. In summer months, it may be warm.

Market visit: (1-10 guests) Meet Sofia at her home and then go to Chuburná Market for a tour of the vendor's stalls. She will teach you about the regional produce on offer and you’ll pick up a few ingredients before returning to her home for your cooking lesson.

Notes: Sofia's home is also a homestay. While your Traveling Spoon experience will be private, there may be other guests present in her home.

Languages spoken: Spanish

Traveler reviews

Cooking with Sofía was a wonderful experience!!! She invited us right into her home and into her heart. She shared with us some wonderful recipes as well as some very personal stories and 'tricks of the trade'. Sofía gave us an authentic experience from the moment we set foot in her house. The food was absolutely delicious and it was a very memorable evening. Thank you once again, Sofía, know that your hard work is extremely valid, appreciated and respected. Wishing you all the best. For an unforgettable experience, I recommend the cooking class with Sofía 100%.
- Scott March 21, 2018

Our family had a great experience with Sofia and were very happy with the many dishes she taught us to prepare and the effort she made to properly introduce us to the ingredients and educate us about them. She provided interesting information about the influences Spaniards/Europeans had on traditional Mayan recipes. Since our group had one person with dietary restrictions, Sofia went out of her way to customize the menu to accommodate everyone and get very fresh ingredients, which was greatly appreciated. The food was delicious and our family will surely use the recipes she provided in the future. Since we were a larger group, the cooking portion of the activity took a bit over 4 hours. At the risk of stating the obvious, the kitchen got very warm with all the cooking going on, so I recommend dressing for hot weather! Overall, a highly recommended experience.
- Alanna January 12, 2018

We had an absolutely incredible time learning to cook Yucatecan cuisine with Sofia. She is warm and welcoming, and made us feel very comfortable. The food we made was fantastic and we got to take home the recipes - we'll most definitely be trying them out this year. I highly recommend for anyone, regardless of your cooking background - Sofia is a great instructor for beginners as well as people who have more experience cooking.
- Alissa January 02, 2018

This was an amazing experience that my daughter and I will never forget. Can not wait to go back and do it again soon. Sofia was patient communicated well in both English and Spanish and tailored our experience to make sure my daughter was just as engaged as I was.
- Melissa November 22, 2017

Learning to cook Yucatecan food with Sofia was an amazing experience!! I totally recommend her class, she is very friendly and cooks incredibly good! I had a great time in her kitchen and the food was delicious!
- Bety October 16, 2017

Discovering Yucatan with Sofias cooking lesson was the highlight of my trip to lovely Merida. Sofia focused on the basics of cooking a complicated cuisine rich in Mayan and European roots. I lost count of the many dishes and sauces we prepared as she asked me to taste and smell the ingredients of Achiote, Chaya, Passion fruit, and many other ingredients native to the area but not familiar to me. Growing up Mexican in America, I can compare her to an aunt passing down our family recipe. I found it to be a privilege to be in her home kitchen and sharing a culture I could not have experienced in any restaurant in Yucatan. I was fortunate to have Sofia to myself preparing Pollo Pibil wrapped in banana leaves and other dishes from the pans on the stove to a setting on the table, complemented by sipping wine with Yucatan folk music in the background on her patio table. After we said farewells and kissed on the cheek goodbye, the cab ride to the hotel gave me time to reflect and realize the value of Sofias class was far more valuable to me than gold. As I cook these dishes for my family and coworkers, a piece of Yucatan will always stay with me. I highly recommend taking Sofias cooking class on a list of things to do while visiting Merida, Yucatan. Thank You Sofia!
- Cecilia September 22, 2017

Sofia did an incredible job of introducing me to both Mayan and Yucatecan cuisine. Every dish we made was steeped in tradition and history. I loved making my own tortilla chips and dips, as well as trying lesser-known dishes like spiced fish steamed in banana leaves. Everything we made was mouth watering, and Sofia offered cooking tricks and tips every step of the way. She truly loves Yucatecan culture, and is always happy to talk about its history, its traditions and, best of all, its food!
- Heather, Traveling Spoon Ambassador

Sofia was such a gracious hostess, a wonderful "chef," and a very effective teacher. Our experience was very relaxed and hands-on. We loved doing most of the cooking, guided by Sofia's expertise. She was lots of fun and the food turned out DELICIOUS!!! Sofia really allowed us to learn by guiding us as we did the actual cooking. She really knows her stuff and offers it with humor and flair! She focused on traditional techniques and ingredients which was perfect!
- Carol

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Sofia

$22-$64 USD

per person
100%
Satisfaction Guaranteed
  • 100% Satisfaction guarantee or your money back
  • Free cancellation up to 48 hours in advance
  • Your credit card will not be charged until your host accepts your booking
Pricing (per person)*
1 person 2-4 ppl 5+ ppl
In-Home Meal
$30 $26 $22
Cooking Experience + Meal
$50 $42 $36
Market Tour + Meal
$60 $50 $42
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
$64 $60 $50
Alcohol
$4 per person
Transportation
$18 per car
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
1 person 2-4 people 5+ people
In-Home Meal
$30 $26 $22
Cooking Experience + Meal
$50 $42 $36
Market Tour + Meal
$60 $50 $42
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
$64 $60 $50
Alcohol
$4 per person
Transportation
$18 per car
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
Experience Timings
Lunch Dinner
In-Home Meal
2:00pm-4:00pm 7:30pm-9:30pm
Cooking Experience+ Meal
11:00am-4:00pm 5:00pm-10:00pm
Market Tour+ Meal
9:00am-1:00pm
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
9:00am-6:00pm

Meet Sofia

Born in Mérida, Sofia delights in preparing local Yucatecan and Mayan dishes that showcase the cultural heritage of the Yucatán Peninsula. An accomplished home-cook, Sofia learned to cook from her mother and grandmother and says the talent runs in the family. For the last 20 years Sofia has run a home-stay for visitors to Mérida and you might meet some of the guests during your visit. Sofia loves having guests in her home and gets great pleasure by sharing her Yucatecan culture through food and a pleasant conversation. “I've been receiving guest at home for more than 20 years, and each one of them takes a bit of my heart with them but they also leave a bit of theirs!”

What to expect

Please note menu might vary. If there are particular dishes you are interested in trying, please include your request in the booking form.

In-home meal: (1-10 guests) Yucatecan cuisine has been influenced by a variety of cultures, from the indigenous Mayan people, to the Spanish colonizers, to the Dutch and Lebanese who migrated to the region. Sofia prepares traditional Yucatecan dishes such as sikil pak con tostadas (traditional dip made from ground pumpkin seeds, served with tortilla chips), sopa de lima (chicken soup with lime), Yucatecan tamales, which are wrapped banana leaf, empanadas de chaya con queso de bola (pastries flecked with a local green, chaya, stuffed with Edam cheese), pollo o cochinita pibil (perhaps the Yucatan’s most famous dish of slow-cooked chicken or pork which has been marinated in an achiote and sour orange marinade, wrapped in banana leaves). For dessert Sofia serves homey dishes like dulce de papaya con queso de bola (papaya stewed in sugar served with Edam cheese). Please note that family in Mexico can be very social so you may be joined by members of Sofia's family who stop by on occasion.

Cooking experience: (1-6 guests) Step inside the kitchen with Sofia for a practical, hands-on cooking lesson of Yucatecan and Mayan favorites. Sofia will teach you to prepare traditional recipes from scratch so be prepared to get your hands dirty! You will learn to prepare the entire meal as well as a fiery habanero salsa. You can expect the cooking lesson to last about 3 hours, followed by your meal. Please note that Sofia lives in a modest home with no air-conditioning. In summer months, it may be warm.

Market visit: (1-10 guests) Meet Sofia at her home and then go to Chuburná Market for a tour of the vendor's stalls. She will teach you about the regional produce on offer and you’ll pick up a few ingredients before returning to her home for your cooking lesson.

Notes: Sofia's home is also a homestay. While your Traveling Spoon experience will be private, there may be other guests present in her home.

Languages spoken: Spanish

Traveler reviews

Cooking with Sofía was a wonderful experience!!! She invited us right into her home and into her heart. She shared with us some wonderful recipes as well as some very personal stories and 'tricks of the trade'. Sofía gave us an authentic experience from the moment we set foot in her house. The food was absolutely delicious and it was a very memorable evening. Thank you once again, Sofía, know that your hard work is extremely valid, appreciated and respected. Wishing you all the best. For an unforgettable experience, I recommend the cooking class with Sofía 100%.
- Scott March 21, 2018

Our family had a great experience with Sofia and were very happy with the many dishes she taught us to prepare and the effort she made to properly introduce us to the ingredients and educate us about them. She provided interesting information about the influences Spaniards/Europeans had on traditional Mayan recipes. Since our group had one person with dietary restrictions, Sofia went out of her way to customize the menu to accommodate everyone and get very fresh ingredients, which was greatly appreciated. The food was delicious and our family will surely use the recipes she provided in the future. Since we were a larger group, the cooking portion of the activity took a bit over 4 hours. At the risk of stating the obvious, the kitchen got very warm with all the cooking going on, so I recommend dressing for hot weather! Overall, a highly recommended experience.
- Alanna January 12, 2018

We had an absolutely incredible time learning to cook Yucatecan cuisine with Sofia. She is warm and welcoming, and made us feel very comfortable. The food we made was fantastic and we got to take home the recipes - we'll most definitely be trying them out this year. I highly recommend for anyone, regardless of your cooking background - Sofia is a great instructor for beginners as well as people who have more experience cooking.
- Alissa January 02, 2018

This was an amazing experience that my daughter and I will never forget. Can not wait to go back and do it again soon. Sofia was patient communicated well in both English and Spanish and tailored our experience to make sure my daughter was just as engaged as I was.
- Melissa November 22, 2017

Learning to cook Yucatecan food with Sofia was an amazing experience!! I totally recommend her class, she is very friendly and cooks incredibly good! I had a great time in her kitchen and the food was delicious!
- Bety October 16, 2017

Discovering Yucatan with Sofias cooking lesson was the highlight of my trip to lovely Merida. Sofia focused on the basics of cooking a complicated cuisine rich in Mayan and European roots. I lost count of the many dishes and sauces we prepared as she asked me to taste and smell the ingredients of Achiote, Chaya, Passion fruit, and many other ingredients native to the area but not familiar to me. Growing up Mexican in America, I can compare her to an aunt passing down our family recipe. I found it to be a privilege to be in her home kitchen and sharing a culture I could not have experienced in any restaurant in Yucatan. I was fortunate to have Sofia to myself preparing Pollo Pibil wrapped in banana leaves and other dishes from the pans on the stove to a setting on the table, complemented by sipping wine with Yucatan folk music in the background on her patio table. After we said farewells and kissed on the cheek goodbye, the cab ride to the hotel gave me time to reflect and realize the value of Sofias class was far more valuable to me than gold. As I cook these dishes for my family and coworkers, a piece of Yucatan will always stay with me. I highly recommend taking Sofias cooking class on a list of things to do while visiting Merida, Yucatan. Thank You Sofia!
- Cecilia September 22, 2017

Sofia did an incredible job of introducing me to both Mayan and Yucatecan cuisine. Every dish we made was steeped in tradition and history. I loved making my own tortilla chips and dips, as well as trying lesser-known dishes like spiced fish steamed in banana leaves. Everything we made was mouth watering, and Sofia offered cooking tricks and tips every step of the way. She truly loves Yucatecan culture, and is always happy to talk about its history, its traditions and, best of all, its food!
- Heather, Traveling Spoon Ambassador

Sofia was such a gracious hostess, a wonderful "chef," and a very effective teacher. Our experience was very relaxed and hands-on. We loved doing most of the cooking, guided by Sofia's expertise. She was lots of fun and the food turned out DELICIOUS!!! Sofia really allowed us to learn by guiding us as we did the actual cooking. She really knows her stuff and offers it with humor and flair! She focused on traditional techniques and ingredients which was perfect!
- Carol

Read More
Pricing (per person)*
1 person 2-4 ppl 5+ ppl
In-Home Meal
$30 $26 $22
Cooking Experience + Meal
$50 $42 $36
Market Tour + Meal
$60 $50 $42
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
$64 $60 $50
Alcohol
$4 per person
Transportation
$18 per car
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
1 person 2-4 people 5+ people
In-Home Meal
$30 $26 $22
Cooking Experience + Meal
$50 $42 $36
Market Tour + Meal
$60 $50 $42
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
$64 $60 $50
Alcohol
$4 per person
Transportation
$18 per car
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
Experience Timings
Lunch Dinner
In-Home Meal
2:00pm-4:00pm 7:30pm-9:30pm
Cooking Experience+ Meal
11:00am-4:00pm 5:00pm-10:00pm
Market Tour+ Meal
9:00am-1:00pm
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
9:00am-6:00pm
FAQ

    You can cancel your experience 48 hours or more before your experience date and receive a full refund. To request a cancellation once you have made a booking simply log in and click the "Request Cancellation" link from the bottom of your booking. Your refund will be processed immediately (note it can take up to 10 business days for this refund to post to your credit card statement). Please note that for cancellations within 48 hours of your experience we unfortunately cannot offer a refund; this is because our hosts typically purchase food and begin their preparations up to 48 hours before the experience.

    Most of our hosts are able to accommodate dietary restrictions and allergies, including vegetarian and gluten free options. For vegetarian travelers, we have an icon on each host profile to indicate whether that host can also offer a fully vegetarian menu. There is a section in the booking form to note any allergies or dietary restrictions which will be sent directly to your host.

    If you have a question about an experience, create a reservation and include your note in the field "Write a note to your host". Once you request a booking you can continue to message your host directly to ask any specific questions. You can always cancel your booking and receive a full refund as long as you cancel 48 hours in advance.

    Your card will not be charged until your host accepts your booking. Typically hosts respond to bookings within 72 hours. In the event your host is unavailable on your selected date and your host rejects your booking your credit card will not be charged.

    Your host's detailed contact information, including their phone number, address, and direction notes, will all be provided immediately upon successful confirmation of your experience (after your hosts accepts your booking and your credit card is successfully processed). This information will be emailed to you to the email address you used to sign up, and will also be visible on your Traveling Spoon profile.

    All prices are noted per person prices unless otherwise specified. Transportation is typically charged on a per car basis, but otherwise all prices are per person. Children aged 5-11 are 50% off, and infants aged 0-4 are free.

    Some hosts offer alcohol as an optional add-on for travelers who are of legal drinking age. Pricing for alcohol is visible on the host profile page and includes one to two glasses of wine, beer or local alcohol.

    Some hosts offer transportation as an optional add-on for travelers. Typically this is round trip transportation with pick up and drop off at your hotel. Pricing is quoted per car. Specific instructions for transportation will be provided in your confirmation details when your booking is confirmed.

    Many of our hosts accommodate solo travelers. You can see if a host accepts solo travelers by looking at the traveler range found next to the experience descriptions on the host profile (indicated by the numbers in parentheses next to "In-home meal", "Cooking experience" and "Market visit").

    Your safety and security are our top priority. To ensure this, Traveling Spoon personally vets 100% of all hosts, including an in-person host visit, to ensure each host and experience meets our strict quality requirements.

    Hosts typically respond to booking inquiries within 72 hours. If for some reason you have not heard from your host or if you have any questions you can always contact us at reservations@travelingspoon.com.