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Posted by in Viña del Mar | 0 comments

Chilean Cooking Class Valparaiso

Would you like a pisco sour and some ceviche? Because we know how to make that now! We took a fun Chilean cooking class in Valparaíso yesterday. Pictured on the left is our instructor, Vlad, and our new friends Laura and Chris.

They’re traveling in Chile and Argentina for several weeks, and have an excellent travel photo blog called Out There Somewhere. They’re professional photographers and all around good people. I encourage you to lose track of time looking at all their awesome photos.

The class started with a trip to the mercado in Valparaíso with Vlad where we picked up all of our ingredients, including reineta. It’s a meaty, white fish that’s very popular in Chile.


Chilean reineta fish


Vlad also pointed out this other interesting seafood called piure. It’s red-orange and comes out of rocks, and if you eat too much your pee will turn the same color. Here’s a street vendor removing some from the rock.


Chilean shellfish


Our instructor Vlad was a very interesting dude. He’s a former marine turned school teacher, but during summer vacation he teaches these cooking classes. He was telling us about today’s much anticipated ruling by the International Court of Justice on who owns a triangle-shaped stretch of ocean (map) along the Peruvian-Chilean border, which is important for the country’s fishing industry.

If the court rules in favor of Peru, Chile would be required to gradually return the territorial waters to Peru. And apparently Chile’s big concern is that it would spur Bolivia to file similar claims. Here’s the background on the War of the Pacific in 1879-83 between Peru, Bolivia and Chile if you’d like to learn more.

Vlad taught us how to make a number of Chilean dishes: ceviche, pebre (salsa), pastel de choclo, empanadas de pino and drunken pears. We also did a tasting of Chilean wines and made our own pisco sours. Here’s our classmate Chris putting the egg wash on the empanadas before they went into the oven.


Cooking empanadas in Chile


Everything came out delicious — as well as beautiful, thanks to Vlad’s attention to presentation. Look how nice this ceviche looks! The class was a really memorable experience, both because of the food and the people. Friends in San Francisco, we promise to cook you something when we get back.



UPDATE: Laura and Chris posted their photos from the class!

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