Josefina Velazquez de León (2nd from right) and students in her cooking school in Mexico City.
An early pioneer of Mexican cuisine, now almost forgotten.
She is my hero and inspires many of my recipes for my classes and dinners.

Read my post about her life."A Culinary Phoenix" and you will understand why I think she deserves more credit and be lifted out of obscurity.

Mis en place for making sopes 

Classes are held at La Piña Azul Escuela de Cocina, Orizaba 39 A, San Miguel de Allende, Gto. Mexico
All cooking classes are 75. USD per student or Mexican Pesos at the currant exchange rate. Payable in cash.
Classes are 3 to 3 ½ hours long, followed by a meal or tasting with non-alcoholic beverages. Recipe booklets are included.
Reservation: Classes require minimum of 4 days advance notice.
Class Format:
Classes require a minimum of 4 students. They are mostly demonstration style with some hands-on experience.
Classes can be taught in English, broken; but understandable Spanish and German.
Class Schedule:
To make it easier for visitors, classes are by appointment to fit into their travel schedule.
Booking: Please contact Kirsten West

My goal when teaching my classes is, no matter which cuisine, to show how to make tasty meals from fresh ingredients that are easy to prepare at home.

When teaching students from other countries visiting Mexico, I try to give them a deeper understanding of Mexican cuisine and culture. 
Please go to my  “UNESCO in the Mexican Cuisine" post. You will be surprised and already have learned more.


Options for classes range from making crisp and delicious salsas and rich tasting seasonings. From traditional holiday meals to complex moles. Seasonal ingredients are always my helpful guide for choosing the menus for my classes.

Other Cuisines
The trademark of Italian cuisine, besides pizza and pasta, is its simplicity and emphasis on fresh ingredients. Making pizza at home is a snap after you learn how to make stovetop grilled pizza. When making pasta from scratch, it is most rewarding to make pasta that is not commercially available such as raviolis with seasonal fillings to be served with complimentary sauces. Baking biscotti for dipping in your espresso is always a winner.
If you think French food is difficult to make, then you might be thinking of chefs cooking. However French home cooking can be surprisingly easy to prepare yet still sophisticated and ideal for entertaining. Meat, fish or vegetable terrines with their advanced preparation are a stress free option. Crêpes are delicious and will always be in style, either served with savory or sweet fillings

Fish terrine with parsley sauce, pickled red onions and capers.
German food is much more diverse and delicious than its reputation. I know, because this is what I grew up with. My father had an exceptional love and interest in food, which I gladly became part of. His native Bavarian dishes were his first love, which he taught me how to cook. A clear chicken broth with farina dumplings and fresh herbs is a favorite. Potato pancakes with applesauce were always welcome. Fried pork chops with red cabbage and potato fingerlings are a classic dish.

 For the grand finale there is nothing like apple strudel, which is easy to make with store bought phyllo pastry
I spent part of my childhood in Denmark, my mother’s home country. I read “Babette’s Feast” by Karen Blixen when I was 10 years old and I think it paved the way for my pursuit of culinary explorations for the rest of my life. The delicious open-faced sandwiches, which are unique to Denmark, are still some of my favorite. They are beautiful to look at and can be made from any of your favorite cold cuts, cheeses, vegetables and sauces. 

The national dessert is ‘rødgrød med fløde” which is a refreshing berry pudding topped with whipped cream and a perfect fitting for any meal. 

Single Subjects:
Pasta making - Baking (breads, cakes, cookies) - Preserving (jams, vegetables, fruits) and Freezing.

New York baker Jim Lahey's famous recipe for "No-knead Bread", easy to make

As we are looking to a future concerned with saving energy, there are many ways to preserve foods without using electricity. We can learn by looking back.
Market in Coyoacan, Mexico City

Visit the San Miguel de Allende organic market each Saturday from 9-4

Chino farms, California


I am also able to travel to other locations, I am comfortable with TV apperances or addressing a large audience.

Please contact Kirsten West

Buen Provecho! Bon Appetit!