Season of my Heart Cooking School in Oaxaca, Mexico

Oaxaca: Cuisine and Culture

New! Non-credit option available. See trip details below.

Culture and cuisine are inseparable. To study a culture, you must also understand its traditions concerning food. To study food, you also must understand the culture in which the food is/was created. While it is possible to observe both culture and cuisine from a distance, the best way to experience both is to be in the space where both exist in their most natural state. The goal of the trip is to provide students the opportunity to study, and more importantly, experience the cultural and food traditions of Oaxaca.

Each day of the trip will focus on different food and cultural aspects of life in the State of Oaxaca. The trip includes trips to key locations around Oaxaca and additional cooking courses at the Seasons of My Heart Cooking School, the premier culinary school in Oaxaca.

This program engages students in the connectedness of cuisine and culture through a study of the unique foods and peoples of the State of Oaxaca, Mexico. The course combines CUA 2075 (1 CR) and ANT 1101 ( 3 CR) to emphasize the following: hands-on cooking courses, offered through Seasons of My Heart Cooking School, cultural and cuisine-based field trips, and a focused study on the historical and cultural traditions of Oaxaca through an ethnographic lens in ANT 1101: Exploring Other Cultures. The Anthropology course will meet through a combination of pre-trip Remote Real Time class sessions and in field sessions while in Oaxaca. The Culinary Arts course will focus on professional and artisanal cooking practice and methods. The trip is limited to 10 people with priority going to current CMC students.

Trip Map

Trip Dates: September 25 – October 5, 2023 (October 5 is a travel day).

Courses:  CUA2075 (International Cuisine – 1 CR) and ANT1101 – (Exploring other Cultures I – 3 CR)

International Cuisine
This course will focus on the foundations of traditional Oaxacan cuisine, the influence of different cultures on modern Oaxacan cuisine, as well as a general survey of traditional and modern food production methods in Oaxaca. This will include, but not limited to, studying Moles, Mescal Production, Chocolate Production, agriculture/horticulture, taking a hands-on cooking courses, and learning about the history of food in the area.

Exploring other Cultures I
This course provides an anthropological understanding of Oaxacan, Zapotec, and Mixtec culture including language, process of enculturation, subsistence patterns and economics, kinship and descent, political organization, religion, art, history, and its reactions to the forces of globalization. This course will emphasize the traditional foodways, production and preparations, as well as cultural affiliations with food, land, and traditional culture in a global context.

Tuition:  See CMC Tuition Rates

Program Fee: $3,570 for shared room. Single accommodation available for an additional fee. Tuition and Airfare are NOT included. The program fee and tuition may be eligible to be covered by Financial aid.

Non-Credit Option: Non-degree seeking students and community members are invited to join the trip by selecting our non-credit option. Individuals who wish to participate in this way will complete and participate in all aspects of the program, and engage fully with the learning experience afforded, but will not receive college credit or a grade. A course fee of $800, in addition to the program fee of $3,570, will be charged instead of tuition.

Study Abroad Scholarship Funds are available for degree-seeking Culinary Arts and Culinary & Restaurant Management students. Complete the Study Abroad Financial Aid Request Form and you will be contacted by the CMC Foundation with further information about the scholarship.

Download the Study Abroad Financial Aid Request Form

Trip Leaders: Kevin C Clarke and Patrick Staib 

Registration Deadline: March 30, 2023, 50% deposit (non-refundable) is due. Full Payment due August 12, 2023.

Download the Study Abroad Oaxacan, Mexico, Trip Application

Let us know you're interested!

All questions are welcome.

Trip Leaders

Staib, Patrick, Ph.D.

Patrick W. Staib, Ph.D.

Professor, Social Sciences
Affiliated Faculty, Sustainability Studies

970-870-4448 |

Read more: Staib, Patrick, Ph.D.