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“Very disappointing”

Casa Crespo Cooking Class
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Oaxaca Cooking Class
Ranked #8 of 24 Food & Drink in Oaxaca
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Cooking classes are held at CASA CRESPO Restaurant. Casa Crespo is a cooking school devoted exclusively to the cuisine of Oaxaca. What better way to learn more about this region´s culture than by savoring Oaxacan cuisine?
Useful Information: Baby buggy parking
Reviewed 17 November 2013

Oscar, the owner/chef, came across very uninterested. He shared very little information and didn't ask me any questions and was generally unfriendly. He was also rude and dismissive of his staff in front of me. I was the only student so did get to choose the menu, but it actually turned out to be one of the least tasty meals I ate in my whole time in Oaxaca! I didn't actually cook that might of it - mainly cut a few tomatoes, put a few things in the blender, stirred a few saucepans. The course was actually very short. It started at 11am (although I sat there on my own for 15 mins), then we went to the market where again Oscar seemed very uninterested in my questions. We finished preparing everything by about 1.15pm. Then I ate on my own. Unfortunately when the food was served it was cold, so I had to ask them to heat it up - I heard the microwave beep! I emailed 5 different cooking schools and only 2 responded. I chose this class as it fitted with my timetable. Very disappointing, over priced. And a very dirty kitchen!

1  Thank JustineaCarter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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89 - 93 of 177 reviews

Reviewed 2 September 2013

After reading some good reviews I chose this place for my family over Casa de los Sabores and I'm really disappointed I did. Several things really bothered me.

1. Oscar is really emotionless and straight-faced which really negatively impacts the atmosphere.

2. The kitchen is dirty. I would never accept any restaurant kitchen looking like that, let alone my own kitchen at home, and for someone who invites guests into his kitchen on a daily basis it was a total turn off. It also made us not want to even try the restaurant.

3. He has a helper who flittered between housekeeping and helping out with our food and I didn't see him wash his hands in between. Maybe he did, but that bothered me too.

4. There were worms/bugs in several of the raw ingredients and Oscar was ready to cook them up into our food. When I pointed it out he would reply "That's how you know it's organic. Would you rather eat organic or not?" The point is not that I don't mind the worm in the zucchini flower but cooking it into our food is an entirely different matter. Sorry but if a cockroach was crawling on the food I would NOT want it put into the blender and stirred into my guacamole. (Which consequently made me wonder if he did that with the food for the restaurant!?)

5. He didn't eat the final meal with us, which I found REALLY bizarre. It just seemed like he was totally disinterested in getting to know his guests. We found him afterward in the next room sitting at his computer eating a totally different meal. I get that it might be tedious to eat the same thing everyday, but at least humour your guests and sit with them for a few minutes. Make them feel like you actually enjoyed spending time with them. This is, afterall, the hospitality industry.

6. When we were at the market we wanted to buy chicharron and the price the lady gave was high. I understand Spanish so I heard him commenting to the lady but he made no attempt to bargain on our behalf or help us out in any way.

Let me be straight - this wasn't a totally awful experience. In the end my family had fun because we did it together as a family, and we did learn some new things.
It's just that we were really sooo excited to do this and compared to other cooking classes this fell WAY short of our expectations.

Would we recommend others to Casa Crespo? No. (Sadly)

4  Thank ecakes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2013

I approached this class with a bit of hesitation, seeing some of the negative reviews. I tried to book somewhere else but it was not available. However, I enjoyed the class and learned a lot. Oscar was informative and pleasant, without being overly self-absorbed and talkative. We were a group of 7 students, and everyone had chance to try their hand in making each dish, and his assistant only really set up ingredients and equipment and cleaned up after us. We first sat as a group and agreed what we wanted to cook, Oscar having given us 4-5 choices for each course. So we made ceviche appetizer, tortilla soup, mole rojo with chicken, interesting tortillas with squash blossoms and cheese in the dough, and several other things. We then sat together around the large table in the very pleasant dining room and ate it all, followed by a sip of mescal. Great day.

Thank ditchnapper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2013

actually wanted to do a cooking class with Seasons of My Heart of La Casas de la Sabores but unfortunately their classes didnt suit my schedule so I went for Casa Crespo, even though I had some reservations after reading some lukewarm reviews on Tripadvisor.

Being a cooking class junkie in countries like Bali, Malaysia and Thailand, I should have heeded their advice. Oscar makes little attempt to build any rapport with his students and definitely doesn't appreciate any questions. Its almost like he's reading from a pre-memorised script and he doesn't want to veer from this. He told us all the recipes that we would be making would be easy for us to make at home or find substitutes for. However when the class started and I asked for the substitutes for avocado leaves and some of the herbs he used, he said we dont need substitutes because you can find this áll in Mexico. I explained that in Australia it would be difficult to find these ingredients, as it would be for the Dutch people in our group, he said there is no substitute and then just left it at that!

Not having own cooking station, we took it in turns to fry some ingredients, and the next person would take them and then grind them etc. Meanwhile there were so many opportunities while we were cooking for Oscar to talk more about the food culture of Mexico, instead we were met with silence as five of us watched one of the students cooking until it was our turn. The other students were very friendly so at least we conversed once we learned that Oscar wasn't going to speak unless he absolutely had to!

At the end we ate our meal on our own while Oscar sat in the other room reading the newspaper. He clearly isn't a people person!

So in short, you are better off booking with other cooking school, or save your money and use it to splurge on one of Oaxaca's many finest restaurants instead!

5  Thank lostandwandering
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 18 June 2013

I took several cooking classes with Oscar last summer and learned to make so many different dishes and salsas!

* Oscar gives a great explanation of different ingredients during the market tour – thoroughly enjoyed learning about the ceremonial uses of herbs and products
* Students prepare a variety of dishes in a relatively short amount of time and still have time for other afternoon activities
* Loved the variety of salsas – we typically made four in each class, homemade ice cream, and agua fresca!

Classes at Casa Crespo are $65 and take place Tuesday through Saturday at 10:00 a.m. and on Sundays at 11:00 a.m. and last approximately four hours. There is no minimum class size. Oscar focuses on ingredients and techniques from Oaxaca’s eight regions, with an emphasis on easy replication of dishes at home. Students receive morning coffee, a tour of the Sanchez Pascuas organic market, recipes (emailed after class), beer or mescal, and a four-hour class and group meal.

1  Thank lovelylola81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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