Black miso fish tacos at Enrique Olvera's Manta
Francisco Estrada Photography

Jose Garces, Enrique Olvera, Ray Garcia, and Rick Bayless are teaching  courses, which run in three-day installments throughout the year.

Gowri Chandra
April 10, 2018

Chef Enrique Olverasometimes DJ, all around noisemaker—is now sharing his taco-making skills with the universe. As part of an inaugural Taco Academy series at Rosewood Mayakoba resort near Mexico’s Playa del Carmen, the World’s 50 Best chef will be teaching participants the complexities of making masa, foraging for herbs, and even pit-roasting barbacoa. The the final installment of the four-part series will take place from November 16 to 18, and other chefs scheduled to participate earlier in the year include Ray Garcia of L.A.’s Broken Spanish, Rick Bayless and James Beard Award-winning Jose Garces.

While a full schedule or prices have yet to be released, the carnitas-laden curriculum will likely vary by chef. Garcia will be kicking off the series from April 19 to 21, and everyone everywhere is hoping he’ll reveal the secrets to his rabbit mixiotes. At his downtown L.A. restaurant Broken Spanish, the vermilion rabbit stew is presented to diners wrapped in cellphone pouch to evoke the gift that it is. Dishes like these have been turning heads. To stand out for Mexican cuisine in L.A. is no easy feat, but native son Garcia has managed to do it—and he may be the most well-known chef in the city parlaying modern Mexican flavors.

Bayless, who will be teaching the course from May 25 to 27, needs little introduction. While the chef has detractors who question his Mexican-American cuisine, or more significantly, the systems of privilege and race behind it, the fact remains that Bayless was able to portray Mexican cuisine in an elevated context when few other chefs in America were able to do so. In part, writers like Francis Lam have said, because of aspects of privilege. Bayless, a bilingual chef who has traveled extensively through Mexico, has spent decades studying the cuisine and remains one of the most well-known chefs cooking Mexican-American cuisine today.

The third course in the four part Taco Academy series will be led by Jose Garces over Labor Day weekend: from August 31 to September 2. The Ecuadorian-American chef and restaurateur is probably best known for his Philadelphia-based collection of restaurants, which have solidified a representation of the Latin diaspora in a city not normally known for it.

And finally, rounding out the year-long series in November will be Olvera. Known for many things, one of the chef’s biggest accomplishments is perhaps venerating the taco to the limits of conscientiousness. Painstakingly sourcing once obscure varieties of corn—Cónico, Chalqueño, and Bolita—from the far reaches of Mexico, his enduring study of nixtamalization is belied by the few seconds in which it takes to polish off one of his tacos. Thus, a class in learning how to make them is sure to be more than the sum of its parts.

At the moment, ticket information can be found by emailing the following address: mayakoba@rosewoodhotels.com.