Join us for seven days in this artist community for cooking classes, cultural events, shopping adventures, and grand dinners. Located high in the mountains north of Mexico City, this colonial town (now a UNESCO World Heritage Site) was listed by Conde Nast Traveler as the 8th best travel destination in the world. Famous for its mild high desert climate and colonial architecture, San Miguel de Allende is known for its art galleries, craft shops, outdoor markets, art and language institutes, fine restaurants, and a large expatriate population drawn from throughout the world. It’s a town of cobblestone streets, pealing church bells, intense colors, and endless holy days, fiestas, and celebrations. Hugh and his wife, Teri Sandison, have been visiting San Miguel de Allende for years. They know many of San Miguel’s artists, writers, gallery owners, and townspeople, and have used these contacts to create an “insider’s” tour to one of the world’s most romantic and captivating small towns. Hugh and Teri are your hosts for every event throughout the week, each limited to only 12 people per session.

About the climate: San Miguel is in the high desert country of central Mexico, about 6,000 feet above sea level. January and February attract many tourists from snowy North America. This is the “dry season” with crisp clear days. Evenings are in the mid-40s, while the afternoon temperatures are in the high 70s. It’s a magical time of year to visit San Miguel.

About safety: San Miguel is small conservative Catholic town, far removed from the troubled border nearly 800 miles to the north. In the 11 years of operating this program, none of our attendees has ever experienced any crime.

Traveling to San Miguel: You’ll fly into the nearby airport in Leon and be met by a private driving service. Within 90 minutes, you’ll be walking along the cobblestone streets of San Miguel.

Hugh Carpenter’s Camp San Miguel classes are created for the independent traveler wanting to combine a cooking vacation with plenty of free time to pursue their own interests while in San Miguel, Mexico. Features include lunches, receptions and dinners, as listed in the class itineraries. Airfare, hotel accommodations, car rental, and other items not described are not included.

Contact us today to find out more about enjoying a fabulous week of hands-on cooking and wine tasting and all the other exciting activities that you can get only at a cooking school hosted by cookbook author and chef extraordinaire Hugh Carpenter.

Camp San Miguel tour price per tour member: $2,580 ($500 deposit required with balance due 90 days before class begins). Payments may be made through PayPal or by personal check [enroll and pay].

Class Itinerary

Saturday: Dinner at Casa Sierra Nevada Restaurant Andanza.
For our opening dinner, we are treated to contemporary Mexican cuisine at the Sierra Nevada restaurant, Andanza. After dinner, we walk a short distance to the town square (“centro” or “jardin”) to enjoy the beautiful view of the cathedral, listen to mariachi bands at every corner, and watch the vibrant night life. (D)

Sunday: Colonial House Tour, Dinner at Restaurant Moxi.
This morning you have the choice of two activities. You can explore San Miguel, its shops, art galleries, and restaurants, or you can go on the “House Tour,” which gives you the chance to "see behind the doors" of three great San Miguel houses. This afternoon, Hugh and Teri lead the group through La Aurora, San Miguel’s Design Center, to meet some of their favorite artists at work in their studios. Dinner tonight is at one of San Miguel's most sophisticated restaurants, Restaurant Moxi at Hotel Matilda. The restaurant is under the direction of Mexico City's most famous chef, Enrique Olvera of Restaurant Pujol. (D)

Monday: Cooking with Chef Ruben at Sazon, Market Tour, Cocktail Party.
Our morning begins as we gather at Sazon, centrally located just one block from the jardin. It is in this beautifully arranged indoor-outdoor cooking layout set inside an 18th-century colonial building that we gather for our cooking. A charming and enthusiastic teacher, Chef Ruben from the Casa Sierra Nevada Hotel conducts the class. We spend about two hours cooking, followed by lunch served in the garden courtyard. After lunch Teri leads all participants on a tour of both the covered produce and flower market and the crafts market. Remainder of the afternoon is free. In the early evening we are the guests of Bill and Heidi LeVasseur at their beautiful home. Bill has assembled one of the largest mask collections in Mexico, and Heidi has an extensive textile collection. They introduce us to the world of Mexican folk art as we drink margaritas and enjoy a large selection of traditional Mexican foods. (L,D)

Tuesday: Guanajuato Tour and Lunch, Diego Rivera Home.
This morning we drive to the colonial city of Guanajuato, about a one-hour drive from San Miguel. Guanajuato is a charming European-style city squeezed onto the steep slopes of a ravine, with narrow streets twisting around the hillsides and roads that disappear into a series of converted mine tunnels. Built in the 18th century from silver mining wealth, much of the fine architecture remains intact. This state capital is the home of a great university, many museums, and public art, and has a sophisticated European feeling. San Miguel’s top guide, Leandro Delgado, leads us along the twisting streets, through the historic monuments, into Diego Rivera’s home, along a short walk to the studio of a famous ceramic artist, and then for a leisurely lunch in the tree-shaded central plaza. Your evening is free, or meet Hugh and Teri on the rooftop terrace of the luxurious Rosewood Hotel. (L)

Wednesday: The Church at Atotonilco, Lunch at Nirvana Restaurant, Visit to Mayer Schacter and Susan Page's Folk Art Gallery.
This morning we drive a short distance from San Miguel to tour the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Church of Atotonilco, which is utterly unlike any other Catholic church. Then we drive a short distance for lunch at a beautiful indoor-outdoor restaurant set in the San Miguel countryside, Restaurant Nirvana. Chef Juan Carlos Escalante is known throughout Central Mexico for his innovative Mexican fusion cuisine, ane he will be at the restaurant to welcome us and to cook for us. On our way back to San Miguel, we visit the estate of folk art collectors Mayer Schacter and Susan Page. Their folk art collection is world class, plus they have a large gallery of folk art that is for sale. Trip Advisor calls their gallery “the best shopping opportunity in San Miguel.” This evening we dine at Mi Casa Restaurant and listen to gypsy jazz with famous guitarist Gil Guitierez and his group. (L,D)

Thursday: Optional Horseback Riding, Cooking and Lunch at Rancho de la Capilla.
Our day begins with the choice of an early morning horseback ride through the rustic and beautiful Mexican countryside. This is an optional activity. Later, the rest of us travel outside of town to reunite with the horseback riders at Rancho de la Capilla. This is a private and secluded 18th-century rancho that was lovingly restored by Kathy Lichter and Steve Zazula. They are our hosts for an authentic Mexican traditional lunch prepared by three talented rancho cooks. This is sure to be fun! It’s an utterly glorious setting. For dinner choose from San Miguel's many restaurants, or join Hugh and Teri for a no-host dinner at one of their favorite places. (L)

Friday: Cooking with Chef Ruben at Sazon, Jewelry Shopping, Graduation Dinner.
This morning we meet at Sazon for our last cooking class, which features several different mole sauces prepared under the leadership of Chef Ruben. The afternoon hours are free for you to take care of last-minute shopping or enjoy other adventures. Our evening begins with a visit to the beautiful home of jeweler Bill Harris and Howard Haynes. We tour the property, enjoy a glass of wine, view their extensive art collection, hear their wonderful stories of life in San Miguel, and shop for jewelry! Then we go for our “Graduation Dinner” to The Restaurant at Sollano #16. This is San Miguel’s most popular restaurant. Chef-Owner Donnie Masterton creates a dinner that blends both rustic and refined Mexican country cooking—all dishes not on the menu and cooked by Donnie. As we savor the food, we lift our glasses, make farewell toasts, and recall our adventures. (L,D)

Saturday: This is a travel day home, or you may decide to extend your stay in Mexico.
We hope you return to visit us again in San Miguel.