A great way to spend a day in Mérida  is learning about Yucatecan cuisine at Los Dos (Calle 68 between Calles 65 and 67, tel. 999/928-1116, www.los-dos.com ) cooking school. American David Sterling, a Manhattan transplant and accomplished chef, conducts fun and informative classes at his gorgeously refurbished colonial home.
The popular “Taste of Yucatán” course (US$75 pp, minimum four people, 8:30 a.m.–4 p.m.) starts at Los Dos with pastries and coffee and a short introduction to Maya and modern Yucatecan cuisine. Then it’s off to the market with David to buy fresh vegetables, fish, meat, chiles, cilantro, corn dough for tortilla chips or tamales—anything and everything you’ll need. Back at the kitchen you don a Los Dos denim apron (yours to keep) and prepare a midday snack of tacos and homemade salsa.
After a short break, the real cooking begins; depending on what you found at the market, it may include cochinita pibil, pollo pibil, tamales, panuchos, or other Yucatecan classics. The class ends with a grand, white-tablecloth dinner featuring your creations, plus complimentary wine and beer.
Friends can join you for drinks and dinner for US$35 per person. Private classes and three-day workshops are also available. Reserve by email at least 48 hours in advance—and preferably more—as the schedule fills up fast.