By Meghan Fitzpatrick
Recently, the Cabo Wine Club invited me to attend one of their renowned cooking lessons, this one being hosted at the Maria Corona restaurant in Cabo San Lucas.
Maria Corona sits on a side street, tucked away behind Boulevard Paseo de la Marina and Lázaro Cárdenas. With a welcoming white and terracotta exterior and a lovely garden bounded by a low wall, the restaurant’s charm and character are evident at first glance. Surprisingly, the eatery is much bigger inside than it appears from the outside; however, even with its high ceilings and spacious floor plan, Maria Corona feels cozy. It is decorated in a traditional Mexican theme complete with hanging lanterns and a woven, palapa-style ceiling. A color scheme of warm red and orange add to the pleasant, friendly atmosphere.
The restaurant itself is part of the Baja Cantina Group in Cabo, a network that also includes the Baja Cantina Marina Restaurant, Baja Cantina Beach Restaurant and the Tiki Bar. Owner Jorge Gonzalez Sanchez opened Maria Corona in May, 2009. The restaurant was named for his grandmother Maria Corona, born in 1916, whose recipes have been passed down through the generations. One of the restaurant’s classic recipes is Mole Poblano, ground beef picadillo with almonds, raisins and cumin; the mole is handmade with toasted chiles and almonds, handmade tortillas. And there are always handmade salsas prepared in a traditional stone molacajete with a tejolote, otherwise known as a mortar and pestle. The entire menu is orchestrated by Executive Chef Javier Galindo. Chef Galindo complements the menu at the Maria Corona with authentic Mexican fare — tamales, homemade tortillas, tortilla soup, an excellent selection of seafood and high quality meats. For me, a personal favorite is Maria Corona’s own signature cheese fondue.
Chef Galindo also supervises cooking classes (classes can be booked for groups or individuals) at Maria Corona, teaching things like the history of the ingredients and how to use classic tools in Mexican cooking (like the molcajete and tejolote), as well as preparation. In our class, that lasted 3-4 hours, we ground up spices, roasted them, cooked cheese fondue, and learned how to crush serrano chiles. We also learned the secrets of making fabulous guacamole.
If you are looking for authentic Mexican food in an establishment where you can dine in style, Maria Corona is definitely the place to go. In addition to its excellent food menu, the restaurant also boasts a large beverage menu. There is an extensive selection of wines, beers, and a full cocktail menu including the restaurant’s signature mango margarita.
The Maria Corona restaurant is open seven days a week from 2 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
The Cabo Wine Club hosts cooking lessons throughout Baja Sur every month. For more information about their cooking lessons or any of their tastings or events, visit their website.
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