You wouldn't be here if you weren't curious.*
Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?
*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?
Wine & champagne keep topping up, hummingbirds circle nearby, sweet smells, sizzle & laughter fill the air: Cooking classes really are some of my favourite creative travel activities. Not only because of the fun, interactive elements such classes provide, but also because of the real connection with locals (and other visitors) you make.
Not exactly “hard work”: Cooking classes such as these make for fun and intimate human encounters, a wonderful opportunity to relax and engage at the same time.
“Teresita La Bella” serves us our own, home-made Argentinian empanadas … They literally taste twice as good from being crafted by our own hands!
Cooking – and eating – is such a central part to any culture it perfectly unlocks all remaining mysteries after one week in Buenos Aires: What’s the “best” way to fill a typical Argentinian empanada? How do you create this perfect Malbec red wine sauce to go with your steak?
We are even catching a glimpse of sweet family life of “Teresita La Bella”, complete with her husband and granddaughter who are helping out during the workshop. The cooking class takes place in their private home about 30 minutes south of downtown Buenos Aires, a very beautiful house in a quiet neighbourhood. We literally sit back and relax … after first having to prepare our empanadas, that is!
The cooking experience starts with a visit to the local market of the neighbourhood, boasting fresh fruit and vegetables from around the region. The smell alone … wonderful. It is worth getting here.
Back in the kitchen, “work” starts by explaining the perfect mixture for empanada dough, which we are then gently kneading and rolling out for the filling.
Teresita has already prepared this filling the night before in order to let it sit and have the meat soak up all the flavours. We each are handed recipes in order to recreate the meal back home: I can’t wait to treat our families!
Markus and I: “They way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Well, yes! It could not be more true with my lovely gourmet man. 😀
I proudly show off my first wrapped up empanada. It reminds me of a technique used back home in Carinthia (Southern Austria) called “krendln”. Interesting!
Our empanadas …
… fried with a beautiful sweet & spicy filling … amazing. We let the taste linger, enjoying the atmosphere in Teresita’s beautiful summer garden.
Even hummingbirds come to stop here, attracted by these beautiful fake red flowers. They are such an exciting sight to us! – and very common to people around here. 😀
Finally, the highlight of our four-course meal complete with amuse gueule, Champagne & wine: A beautiful steak simmered in home-made Malbec red wine sauce. The entire cooking class is priced at US $130, which is really good considering all that you get! Definitely recommend you try it yourself.
Disclaimer: I was invited by Teresita La Bella to experience this cooking class. All opinions are my own.
Ready for learning even more about creative travel?
Elena has recently published "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Chock full of inspiratinal stories, travel tips and advice, it offers everything you need for planning and managing your next creative escape, addressing beginners and experienced travelers alike. Here's how to get your hands on it