La Cocina Que Canta Cooking School

Set in the heart of our six-acre farm, La Cocina Que Canta (“The Kitchen That Sings!”) celebrates the magical results of cooking with just-picked organic ingredients. The colors, aromas, and tastes that emanate from La Cocina are nothing short of amazing. Your sensory experience combines with the camaraderie and energy that occurs when you cook side-by-side with great teaching chefs. Working together, each class creates and dines on a delightful meal—an unforgettable culinary memory.

Cooking Classes

SS_184x184_c_3During classes the kitchen fills with conversation, questions, laughter…and the savory scents of rosemary, roasting peppers, fennel, barbecued shrimp, and other “Mexican-Mediterranean” essential ingredients that characterize a fusion of both Rancho La Puerta’s healthy, light-eating style and that of the teaching chef and his or her favorite techniques and recipes.

La Cocina regularly hosts internationally renowned guest chefs and cookbook authors such as Deborah Madison (best-selling author and founding chef of Greens in San Francisco), John Ash (master teacher and best-selling author of “From the Earth to the Table”), Patricia Wells (famed author and cooking teacher in Provence and Paris), Anne Willan (cookbook author and founder of École de Cuisine La Varenne in Paris in 1975), and many many more.

Sign up for hands-on classes
Hands-on Lunch Cooking Class $90 + tax
Hands-on Dinner Cooking Class $95 + tax

Book a Cooking Class

acrobat2011La Cocina Que Canta brochure

A message from Executive Chef Denise Roa

Specials 150x200_e_2Welcome to our cooking school La Cocina Que Canta and Tres Estrellas, our organic farm! I’m honored and grateful to have this opportunity to cook and teach in one of the world’s most beautiful cooking schools. Better yet, a world-class organic farm greets us each morning with new wonders, all only steps from our door.

Throughout my career I have been a teacher of culinary students in professional academies, and worked in many positions in San Diego’s finest restaurants. I’ve also owned my own restaurant. But nothing compares to this! I believe that many people have forgotten or never experienced what food can taste like in-season and at its peak of freshness. Great cooking does not have to be complicated. Ingredients—if they are the best—do not need to be enhanced by cream, butter or salt.

Most important, I believe that the food we eat dictates the way we feel. Organic, healthful meals enhance our energy. Great flavors allow us to enjoy food more… while actually eating less. And great teachers inspire us to explore a wide and wonderful world of healthful eating.

Join me—as well as the guest chefs we have invited for your week—to experience how to cook great meals that are simple, nutritious, world-class in flavor and beauty, and equally important…fun!

Culinary Week


April 4-11, 2015

A Mexican Cultural-Culinary Experience!
Guest chefs, delicious food and fun activities—and plenty of learning—are the hallmarks of this very special week tailored for every home cook who loves food…and wants to learn new skills, recipes, and experience the rich culture of Mexico.

During this Culinary Week, when you step into the courtyard of our culinary center known as La Cocina Que Canta (The Kitchen That Sings), your senses will come alive with the sounds of happy voices drifting out of the teaching kitchen, and the aromas of just-picked pungent Mexican oregano, roasting chilies and a hint of chocolate—yes, chocolate, the ambrosia of the ancient Aztecs.

As a Rancho La Puerta guest for the week, you can pick the specific events you wish to attend. The rest of the Rancho La Puerta experience is as abundantly complete as other weeks: a full slate of fitness classes and activities, hikes, workshops, relaxation, entertainment, guest presenters, and all the other unique programs that make Rancho La Puerta an unforgettable experience and great value.

  • Week of April 4-11, 2015

  • Monday, April 6, 4 p.m.-7:30 p.m.

  • Experience authentic farm-to-table cooking at this delicious learning experience. Classes begin with an interactive tour of Tres Estrallas six acre farm, where students harvest their own seasonal and organic ingredients. Students then prepare food under the supervision of the teaching chef and enjoy a gourmet meal together.
  • Tuesday, April 7, 4 p.m.-7:30 p.m.

  • Experience authentic farm-to-table cooking at this delicious learning experience. Classes begin with an interactive tour of Tres Estrallas six acre farm, where students harvest their own seasonal and organic ingredients. Students then prepare food under the supervision of the teaching chef and enjoy a gourmet meal together.
  • Wednesday, April 8, 4 p.m.-7:30 p.m.

  • Enjoy a salsa making demonstration by Executive Chef Denise Roa, embark on an organic garden tour, and indulge in a healthy farm-to-table Mexican dinner. End the night salsa dancing to lively music with our own very talented Manuel Velazquez.
  • Thursday, April 9, 1 p.m.- 9 p.m

  • Barry, known for his critically acclaimed Bingo with Barry!, takes his humor and wit on the road on what is bound to be an unforgettable wine tour. Visit two wineries and enjoy a gourmet dinner in the Valle de Guadalupe, which the New York Times has hailed as the “next Napa Valley.”
  • Friday, April 10, 12 p.m. -2 p.m.

    (this date is subject to change)
  • Tecate’s ultimate dining experience, owned by Mariela Manzano, a former chef at Rancho La Puerta. El Lugar de Nos, which translates into “Our Place,” specializes in seasonal, local and fresh cuisine.
  • *Space is limited.

Special Events

Special Events & Private Parties

La Cocina’s buildings and grounds—and its stellar staff, teaching programs, and catering team—are available for private parties and dinners, group retreats, “team building,” and other special events.

Visit our Wedding and Events page for more details

Our Cookbook

ranchoCOVERCooking with the Seasons was a Finalist/Nominee for a James Beard Award—the “Oscars” of the food world

Great cooking, using fresh, local, seasonal ingredients – is at the heart of the experience offered by Rancho La Puerta. Cooking with the Seasons, a beautiful, hardbound cookbook published by Stewart, Taboori & Chang, with 120 luscious seasonal recipes, transports that regenerative experience to your own home kitchen. It will change the way you think about food and cooking—and, quite possibly, help you live the longer, healthier life.

To order a copy direct from Rancho La Puerta, signed by Deborah Szekely and her co-author, please call our Reservations Department at 800-443-7565. Orders of five or more books can be signed AND personalized with your message—a great gift idea. $35 plus shipping and tax, if applicable.


Current Weather

May 30, 2015, 5:29 am
real feel: 53°F
humidity: 73%
wind speed: 9 mph NE
Forecast May 31, 2015
Each week has a number of special events (see below). These take place in addition to the full slate of classes and activities led by our resident staff.
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