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Host: Ismael

Mexico City, Mexico

USD
$28-$80 per person

Contemporary Mexican cooking inspired by family recipes

Host offerings
  • House
  • Professional cook
  • Pets
  • Vegetarian
  • Alcohol
  • Transportation
  • Cooking experience
  • Market visit

Meet Ismael

Ismael is a professionally trained chef and wine expert who excitedly shares his passion for Mexican cuisine with his guests. He first learned to cook from his grandmother who taught him to prepare authentic home-style favorites. After attending culinary school he worked in some of Mexico's top restaurants before starting his own catering and private events business. His favorite style of cooking is deeply rooted in his grandmother's kitchen, with a modern twist. A true wine-lover, Ismael earned a master's degree in wine in Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California's wine growing region. Don't forget to ask him about his love of artisanal Mexican cheeses, too!

Ismael lives with his father and younger sister who might join you for a meal if they are home during your visit. Ismael can cater to a wide variety of dietary restrictions and often creates unexpected vegetarian versions of traditional Mexican dishes. If you have any special dietary needs, just ask!

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: (1-7 guests) At Ismael's table you will enjoy a variety of dishes that showcase his grandmother's traditional family recipes brought into the 21st century. He experiments with different ingredients to update and elevate traditional Mexican dishes and street food, resulting in fresh, seasonal dishes bursting with flavor. You might taste a Veracruz-style ceviche, tacos gobernador from northern Mexico (a rich, cheesy shrimp taco), or fish al pastor with grilled pineapple, his twist on the famous famous tacos al pastor.

For an additional charge Ismael offers Mexican wine and exotic cocktails, designed to complement your meal.

Cooking experience: (1-4 guests) Learn to prepare 2-3 dishes in a hands-on lesson in Ismael's kitchen. As you cook together he will tell you the stories behind the dishes you prepare, as well as how he came to learn and perfect his recipes. Additional dishes for your meal will be made in advance. You can expect to cook for about 1 hour before sitting down together to share the meal you helped to prepare.

Market visit: (1-4 guests) Meet Ismael for a visit to Mercado San Juan, Mexico City's oldest gourmet market. For many years this was the only market in the city to sell imported gourmet goods and is now known as a haven for high quality ingredients and artisanal products. Ismael will take you to his favorite dealers, showing you where he selects the best fish, meat and produce. You might pick up a few ingredients for your meal before heading to his home, a 20 minute subway ride from this bustling marketplace.

Traveler reviews

What a stellar experience! Ismael started off with an incredible tour of the local market that only someone truly connected with all the vendors could provide and then took us back to his home in a wonderful quiet neighborhood close to the city center and we cooked an awesome traditional Mexican meal together. Everything we made was delicious, but also simple enough to make at home (we've already made some of the dishes back home). Ismael spoke great English and shared his love of Mexican food and culture with us. This experience was easily one of the highlights of our time in Mexico City - already recommended this to many friends!
- Andrew S. November 14, 2017

I hardly know where to begin it was such a great experience. My friend and I (the lesson was just the two of us) met Ismael not far from the market and after a short walk we were surrounded by sights and smells and tastes that were just delightful. We got to try cherimoya, the freshest mangos and figs I've ever had, plus edible flowers, and that was just at the fruit vendor. Ishmael suggested the menu--guacamole, lime soup, chicken adobo tacos, zapote and we bought all our ingredients there at the market. We also bought some crickets. Yes, I said crickets, they're nicely crunchy and go great on a guacamole taco. We took an Uber to Ishmael's home (and met several family members) where we started cooking. Besides learning a lot about the ingredients and the recipes, we got to try making tortillas. While we cooked, we tasted frequently for spice/salt levels so we knew we'd like everything. I feel we got a great feel for Mexican cooking, some excellent recipes, and a warm welcome in to Ishmael's home. I highly unreservedly recommend this excursion.
- Kate November 15, 2017

My wife and I had a great time as guests of Ismael and his lovely family. We elected to budget plenty of time for the experience, and meet Ismael for a market tour before proceeding to his home. This gave us a much more in-depth taste of where the locals get their ingredients, and even getting samples & tastes of the raw ingredients (some also that weren't necessarily a part of our menu for the day). The food & drink prepared at Ismael's home was delicious, and throughout the whole day we learned a tremendous amount about how these ingredients and recipes have come to integrate into the local & regional culture in Mexico. Gracias Ismael por su hospitalidad!
- Eating in Hayward September 19, 2017

I had an absolutely fabulous time with Ismael - he is such a gem. Throughout our cooking class he told the history of the dishes we cooked, as well as how he learned the recipes. Ismael made lovely cocktails to accompany the food--he’s really a pro behind the bar! He also whipped up a coffee cocktail for dessert, which was the perfect end to a perfect meal. Ismael seems to know all there is to know about food and drink, and doesn’t hesitate to share! He is incredibly passionate about both cooking and hosting. It was truly a pleasure to share a meal with him.
- Heather, Traveling Spoon Ambassador

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Ismael

$28-$80 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
1 person 2-4 ppl 5+ ppl
In-Home Meal
$38 $36 $28
Cooking Experience + Meal
$56 $50 Not offered
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
$80 $72 Not offered
Alcohol
$12 per person
1 person 2-4 people 5+ people
In-Home Meal
$38 $36 $28
Cooking Experience + Meal
$56 $50 Not offered
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
$80 $72 Not offered
Alcohol
$12 per person
Experience Timings
Lunch Dinner
In-Home Meal
2:00pm-4:00pm 8:00pm-10:00pm
Cooking Experience+ Meal
12:30pm-3:30pm 6:30pm-9:30pm
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
10:30am-3:30pm 3:30pm-8:30pm

Meet Ismael

Ismael is a professionally trained chef and wine expert who excitedly shares his passion for Mexican cuisine with his guests. He first learned to cook from his grandmother who taught him to prepare authentic home-style favorites. After attending culinary school he worked in some of Mexico's top restaurants before starting his own catering and private events business. His favorite style of cooking is deeply rooted in his grandmother's kitchen, with a modern twist. A true wine-lover, Ismael earned a master's degree in wine in Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California's wine growing region. Don't forget to ask him about his love of artisanal Mexican cheeses, too!

Ismael lives with his father and younger sister who might join you for a meal if they are home during your visit. Ismael can cater to a wide variety of dietary restrictions and often creates unexpected vegetarian versions of traditional Mexican dishes. If you have any special dietary needs, just ask!

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: (1-7 guests) At Ismael's table you will enjoy a variety of dishes that showcase his grandmother's traditional family recipes brought into the 21st century. He experiments with different ingredients to update and elevate traditional Mexican dishes and street food, resulting in fresh, seasonal dishes bursting with flavor. You might taste a Veracruz-style ceviche, tacos gobernador from northern Mexico (a rich, cheesy shrimp taco), or fish al pastor with grilled pineapple, his twist on the famous famous tacos al pastor.

For an additional charge Ismael offers Mexican wine and exotic cocktails, designed to complement your meal.

Cooking experience: (1-4 guests) Learn to prepare 2-3 dishes in a hands-on lesson in Ismael's kitchen. As you cook together he will tell you the stories behind the dishes you prepare, as well as how he came to learn and perfect his recipes. Additional dishes for your meal will be made in advance. You can expect to cook for about 1 hour before sitting down together to share the meal you helped to prepare.

Market visit: (1-4 guests) Meet Ismael for a visit to Mercado San Juan, Mexico City's oldest gourmet market. For many years this was the only market in the city to sell imported gourmet goods and is now known as a haven for high quality ingredients and artisanal products. Ismael will take you to his favorite dealers, showing you where he selects the best fish, meat and produce. You might pick up a few ingredients for your meal before heading to his home, a 20 minute subway ride from this bustling marketplace.

Traveler reviews

What a stellar experience! Ismael started off with an incredible tour of the local market that only someone truly connected with all the vendors could provide and then took us back to his home in a wonderful quiet neighborhood close to the city center and we cooked an awesome traditional Mexican meal together. Everything we made was delicious, but also simple enough to make at home (we've already made some of the dishes back home). Ismael spoke great English and shared his love of Mexican food and culture with us. This experience was easily one of the highlights of our time in Mexico City - already recommended this to many friends!
- Andrew S. November 14, 2017

I hardly know where to begin it was such a great experience. My friend and I (the lesson was just the two of us) met Ismael not far from the market and after a short walk we were surrounded by sights and smells and tastes that were just delightful. We got to try cherimoya, the freshest mangos and figs I've ever had, plus edible flowers, and that was just at the fruit vendor. Ishmael suggested the menu--guacamole, lime soup, chicken adobo tacos, zapote and we bought all our ingredients there at the market. We also bought some crickets. Yes, I said crickets, they're nicely crunchy and go great on a guacamole taco. We took an Uber to Ishmael's home (and met several family members) where we started cooking. Besides learning a lot about the ingredients and the recipes, we got to try making tortillas. While we cooked, we tasted frequently for spice/salt levels so we knew we'd like everything. I feel we got a great feel for Mexican cooking, some excellent recipes, and a warm welcome in to Ishmael's home. I highly unreservedly recommend this excursion.
- Kate November 15, 2017

My wife and I had a great time as guests of Ismael and his lovely family. We elected to budget plenty of time for the experience, and meet Ismael for a market tour before proceeding to his home. This gave us a much more in-depth taste of where the locals get their ingredients, and even getting samples & tastes of the raw ingredients (some also that weren't necessarily a part of our menu for the day). The food & drink prepared at Ismael's home was delicious, and throughout the whole day we learned a tremendous amount about how these ingredients and recipes have come to integrate into the local & regional culture in Mexico. Gracias Ismael por su hospitalidad!
- Eating in Hayward September 19, 2017

I had an absolutely fabulous time with Ismael - he is such a gem. Throughout our cooking class he told the history of the dishes we cooked, as well as how he learned the recipes. Ismael made lovely cocktails to accompany the food--he’s really a pro behind the bar! He also whipped up a coffee cocktail for dessert, which was the perfect end to a perfect meal. Ismael seems to know all there is to know about food and drink, and doesn’t hesitate to share! He is incredibly passionate about both cooking and hosting. It was truly a pleasure to share a meal with him.
- Heather, Traveling Spoon Ambassador

Pricing
1 person 2-4 ppl 5+ ppl
In-Home Meal
$38 $36 $28
Cooking Experience + Meal
$56 $50 Not offered
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
$80 $72 Not offered
Alcohol
$12 per person
1 person 2-4 people 5+ people
In-Home Meal
$38 $36 $28
Cooking Experience + Meal
$56 $50 Not offered
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
$80 $72 Not offered
Alcohol
$12 per person
Experience Timings
Lunch Dinner
In-Home Meal
2:00pm-4:00pm 8:00pm-10:00pm
Cooking Experience+ Meal
12:30pm-3:30pm 6:30pm-9:30pm
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
10:30am-3:30pm 3:30pm-8:30pm
Host Contact
  • You can message your host directly once you've made your booking
  • Address and phone number will be provided upon booking confirmation
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.

    Once you request a booking you can message your host directly to ask any specific questions. Your messages will be emailed directly to the host and any responses will be forwarded to your email and can also be seen on the Traveling Spoon website.

    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 as per person prices unless otherwise specified (typically transportation is charged on a per car basis, but otherwise all prices are per person).

    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.