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VIEW PHOTOS
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Host: Manuel

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

USD
$65-$120 per person

Authentic Mexican cuisine with a modern twist

Host offerings
  • House
  • Professional cook
  • Pets
  • Vegetarian
  • Alcohol
  • Transportation
  • Cooking class
  • Market visit
  • Food tour

Meet Manuel

Manu is a professionally trained chef who loves to create innovative, modern fusions of classic Mexican dishes. After completing culinary school in his hometown of Guadalajara, he traveled abroad and lived in Canada, Spain, and Norway where he worked in a series of professional kitchens. After being away for 6 years, Manu returned to Mexico where he could indulge in his love of the food from home.

Now happily settled in Puerto Vallarta, Manu is a private chef, and works in the tourism industry. Feel free to ask him for his recommendations for the best places in town to get truly authentic dishes such as aguachile and pozole, or amazing street food such as tacos al pastor and churros.

Manu lives in a small, but cozy house located close to the center of the city. He is experienced in catering to all types of tastes, allergies, and dietary restrictions. Upon booking, please be sure to let him know your preferences.

"I love to cook and to share my experiences and knowledge of food!"

What to expect

Please note menu might vary. If there are particular dishes you are interested in trying, please include your request in the booking form.

In-home meal: (2-6 guests) Manu's style of cooking is rooted in authentic Mexican cuisine, but includes influence from Asia and the Mediterranean. You can look forward to enjoying dishes such as fresh ahi poke with avocado, sopa de elote con rajas con crema (corn soup with creamy poblano peppers), platanillo de res (boneless beef shank) with nopales (cactus), and cacao arroz con leche (rice pudding with cacao).

Cooking experience: (2-6 guests) Join Manu in his small home kitchen to learn to prepare an authentic Mexican meal together. During your Puerto Vallarta cooking lesson, you can expect to learn how to make three dishes. Some of the dishes you might learn to cook are a fresh ceviche with the catch of the day, panela enchiladas, a unique dish made with authentic Mexican cheese, and a shrimp or octopus or mushroom al ajillo; all with traditional techniques and ingredients. You can expect to cook for about an hour before sitting down to share the meal together. If you are not a seafood fan, let Manu know a few days in advance and he can plan a menu with meat such as beef shanks.

Manu's style of cooking is rooted in authentic Mexican cuisine, but includes influence from Asia and the Mediterranean. Immerse yourself in Mexican food and culture with a local chef!

Market visit: (1-6 guests) You will meet Manu at his home before setting out for the Mercado Cinco de Diciembre, located a short five minute walk away. Together you will browse the stalls where you will have an opportunity to experience all the sounds, smells, and colors of a traditional Mexican marketplace. You will visit fruit and vegetable stands, a tortilleria (tortilla factory), a carnicería (butcher), and a pescadería (fish market), and learn how to choose the best ingredients from each. Upon returning to Manu's home, you will utilize all the fresh foods you gathered in order to create your meal together.

Languages spoken: Spanish, English

Sample menu

This is just a sample menu to give you an idea of the types of dishes the host cooks. Your menu will vary according to seasonal availability.
  • Catch of the day ceviche like mahi mahi
  • Panela enchiladas
  • Shrimp or octopus al ajillo
PERSONALLY VETTED REVIEW
A Traveling Spoon ambassador visited this host. Here is their personal review.

Manu is very easy going and nice to talk to. We had a fun conversation and he shared a ton of interesting anecdotes to accompany the meal. The dishes had a traditional feel with some modern touches, he is a really fast cook and really neat at that! I truly recommend him as a Traveling Spoon Host.

Ismael, Traveling Spoon Ambassador

Traveler reviews

5.0 (66)
Hello All, My fiancé and I took Manu's cooking class in mid July. I recommend without reservations. We had little Manu welcomed us into his home with a warm demeanor. We started off with an introduction and got to know a little bit about each other. We went to the market and saw old town PV. Seeing Manu interact with his community was so cool. It was a little slice of Mexico. We got back and started cooking. Manu was able to make jokes to ease comfort and easily explain every step. My favorite memory of the day was Manu talking about Japanese knives, cutting, and relating it to his passion for samurai swords. 10/10
- wooding July 26, 2022
Thank you Manuel for your professionalism and hospitality. If want to learn about real Mexican cooking, this lesson is a must. Special experience visiting the local market and banter with the merchants.
- Wayne_W July 21, 2022
My family and I had a wonderful time! The market visit was great, and chef was a fantastic teacher and host. The food was amazing!! My daughter can’t wait to try to recreate the dishes we learned when we get home and practice her new knife skills (chef will send you the recipes!). We have done many excursions in PV over the last 10 years, and this was one of my favorites because it was authentic-a real PV experience.
- CarrieK6 July 16, 2022
We had done a fish taco tour with Manu before and really enjoyed his knowledge of the area and the local food. When we saw he did a cooking class, we were excited to go! We met at his house, planned a menu and then did the short walk to the fish market, produce spot, tortilla factory and cheese shop so we could have really fresh ingredients. Manu explained some of the foreign items (to us) as well as showed us how to pick out the best stuff. Coming back to his home, we started the cooking class. Manu knows his food and is also great at explaining what he’s doing and why. Our meal consisted of smoked marlin tostadas and tasty cheese enchiladas that were so different (and so delicious) from anything we had had before. A couple of beers to accompany these and great conversation made the day just perfect. Thanks so much for a great adventure
- kkjellin2 July 13, 2022
My two granddaughters and I signed up for a class with Chef Manu. We visited a market, a tortilla factory and then went to Chef Manu’s home and prepared a ceviche and enchiladas. Chef Manu was very patient and we all had a lot of fun. Great experience!
- Wwagner June 27, 2022
Great experience!!! Manu was a gracious host and is a true artist at what he does. Recommending this to everyone who would like a real life experience.
- Melinda June 22, 2022
Outstanding morning at the market and cooking with Manuel. Knows the market vendors well and shopped for our food that morning. Best of all he decided what to make based on our conversation about what I liked and wanted to learn. Excellent experience.
- Manuel May 25, 2022
Manu was the sweetest most down-to-earth Chef! Thank you for opening up your home and sharing your cooking skills with us. My 11 year old son loved it! I think Manu was surprised how much of his food he ate! Or how much we ALL ate for that matter. LOL. I have since cooked the enchilada and ceviche several times. I have yet to make the pulpo but only because I haven't been able to purchase one that didn't way over 10 lbs. I have told many of my friends of this wonderful experience and recommended that they enjoy a night cooking/eating with you. Gracias Manu! Next time we are in PV, we will be sure to come see you!
- ychamb May 24, 2022
My group and I had an amazing time at Manu’s cooking class! The food was delicious and he gave us great personalized advice for when we cook at home. We can’t wait to try recreating the recipes at home! Manu was fun to talk to and gave us a ton of food recommendations for Puerto Vallarta. If we ever return to PV we will definitely be taking a class w him again, or signing up for one of his food tours!
- Isabella May 24, 2022
We spent a wonderful day in Puerto Vallarta with Manuel coming from our cruise ship the island princess. We learned how to properly make ceviche and became a fan of this dish. The cheese enchiladas were wonderful with the local cheese and the simple red sauce Manuel shows you how to make. What a wonderful way to spend lunchtime in Puerto Vallarta. Would recommend this to all visitors
- Greg_M May 17, 2022
We spent a wonderful day in Puerto Vallarta with Manuel coming from our cruise ship the island princess. We learned how to properly make ceviche and became a fan of this dish. The cheese enchiladas were wonderful with the local cheese and the simple red sauce Manuel shows you how to make. What a wonderful way to spend lunchtime in Puerto Vallarta. Would recommend this to all visitors
- Greg_M May 17, 2022
We enjoyed our cooking lesson with Manu and the visit to the market. He shared the recipes with us and great tips for knife skills and cutting peppers. We can’t wait to give it a try at home.
- Kathryn May 04, 2022
Such a wonderful afternoon spent with Manu! My husband and I have been all over the world and we take cooking classes wherever we go. This is by far the best class as it is private, just the two of us and Manu. No crowds. Up close and personal. The trip to the market was great and we learned about different fish and how to tell if they are fresh. We brought everything back to his house to the modest but highly efficient kitchen. Ceviche and enchiladas were on the menu and trust me when I say it was not like our Mexican “Tex-Mex in the states. Manu is personable and not bad to look at! Wowza! His knife skills were perfection and he taught us a couple of them. I will practice, practice and practice hoping I can try to do what he does with a knife. I highly recommend this class…..We will do it again when we return to Mexico in February.
- Manuel April 26, 2022
Manuel was a great host! It was a great private experience. And i now know how to make some amazing food!
- Matt April 05, 2022
One of our favorite experiences while in Puerto Vallarta- Manu taught us several cooking techniques and was a wonderful host! Don't miss this opportunity to enjoy a beautiful meal and learn more about Mexican cooking! We appreciated the recommendations Manu made for our trip - he was spot on for finding the best culinary experiences!
- Ann_A March 27, 2022
What a great cooking class. Manuel was personable & very knowledgeable. The market tour was icing on the cake. I would certainly take another one of his classes.
- Richard March 27, 2022
This was the highlight of our trip to Puerto Vallarta. Manu was so welcoming and had no problem accommodating our dietary restrictions (vegetarian, no eggs). The food we ended up making during our cooking class was one of the most memorable and delicious dishes I have eaten. We learned about knife-work and some true, authentic Mexican dishes. We even discovered some new ingredients, such as panela cheese that we can't wait to try. I highly recommend booking this experience!!!
- Vegi Yogi March 19, 2022
One of the great highlights of our PV trip was the cooking experience and market tour with Manu! My partner and I both love Mexican food and learned many great tips from our host chef. Manu (handsome and charming) was very easy going and an excellent instructor of his craft. I would highly recommend this excursion and we plan to do this experience again upon our next trip to PV. I solicited Manu to make a cookbook to share more of his recipes :)
- Relax8 March 14, 2022
We had a blast with Chef Manuel! The market was very interesting and informative. Chef was fun, very easy to talk with, and taught us a lot about cooking. He made two different kinds of ceviche and authentic enchiladas. All fresh and tasty—some of the best food we had on our trip and we ate at some amazing restaurants. So glad we chose to do this activity and we will do it AGAIN when we return to PV.
- 477lynj March 14, 2022
Manu was friendly and we enjoyed our visit with him, visit to the Market and our cooking class! Delicious Ceviche!
- Coreen March 12, 2022
This was an A+ experience! Miguel is an excellent teacher and so knowledgeable! The food was so fresh and delicious. Miguel is an absolute delight to spend your time with if you love food, cooking, laughing! This is truly an authentic Mexican culinary experience!!🥰
- Tracey March 05, 2022
Our experience with manual was a highlight of our trip. Not only did he prepare us a fantastic meal, he gave us restaurants recommendations and good cooking overall instruction. Definitely something that’s a must do when visiting Puerto Vallarta.
- Kathy February 25, 2022
Touring the market, purchasing fresh ingredients and then having Manu make our meal was fantastic! He shared so much information about the foods, cooking techniques and preparation. A wonderful experience, highly recommend this tour!!
- Kathryn February 25, 2022
Manu was fantastic and his food was even better! We started the afternoon with a walk to market where we purchased smoked marlin, fresh produce, and corn tortillas we watched them make. Then back to Manu's kitchen where he whipped up a tuna ceviche and taught us how to make chili relleno and enchiladas. I have always loved these foods. Manu set the bar high for the next restaurant that serves me any of these. I'm afraid nothing will ever be that delicious again. A great memory. Thank you, Manu!
- Manuel February 19, 2022
Manuel is a fantastic and talented Chef, who invites you into an authentic Mexican experience in his own home. A short walk from our resort, we met Manu at his home kitchen and spent a few hours learning, while he demonstrated recipes for two amazing ceviche’s, and a recipe for traditional enchiladas. Of course it was eye-opening coming from the land of Tex-Mex to see the way these dishes are supposed to be prepared. The all fresh ingredients made for a meal we had to make ourselves stop eating. The conversation was as great as the food as we got to know Manu and shared our culinary, travel, and life experiences as he cooked and instructed. I took pictures and notes to help improve my own recipes when I get the chance to get back home and cook. This was easily the best meal will have in our week’s stay in Puerto Vallarta!
- 145anotnio February 15, 2022
Manu was the most gracious host and amazing cook. We learned a great deal and ate splendidly. Being welcomed into someone’s home and having them cook for you is not an everyday occurrence. We were made to feel at home and after a discussion about what we liked to eat and what we might like to try Manu took us a short walk to buy the ingredients. Fresh shrimp, fish and veg were purchased and we were to see them prepared into the most tasty fish ceviche and shrimp enchiladas. Mouth watering freshness. En route we learned how to prep a chilli to retain the taste but lose the heat and we gained an insight into what it was like in PV during lockdown, when the tourist stopped coming, for those that remained. All in all we had the most enjoyable morning in Manu’s company. Ate extremely tasty and fresh Mexican food and learned to be a little less cautious when choosing what to eat. I couldn’t recommend this tour highly enough. We will definitely be back for a second helping when we return to Puerto Vallarta in the future.
- ps030660 February 14, 2022
Manu is passionate about cooking with fresh ingredients. His dishes have lots of texture, colors, and tasty flavors! We enjoyed the market experience and will recommend this to our friends and family.
- Kent_W February 06, 2022
Manu was personable and professional. He offered not only a tour but also some cultural information behind the market as well as the dishes that was prepared.
- Trek45 January 24, 2022
We loved this cooking class! Manuel is so much fun, a generous host and a great teacher who loves to share his craft. After a discussion of what we would like to make, we went to the local market where he showed us how to pick out the freshest of ingredients. We then went back to his home where he showed us tricks of the trade and spent time with us so that we feel confident in our own ability to recreate these dishes at home. We were so impressed with his knowledge of blending flavors and textures to make such delicious food. We are already planning to do another class with him the next time I’ll we come to PV.
- LibBanick January 22, 2022
The visit to the market was great! Chef Manuel was knowledgeable and had a relaxed manner that put us at ease. Chef shared several good tips both for recipes and cooking techniques. The food was fantastic. We will most likely be back and with more friends! We absolutely recommend this experience.
- Ana December 10, 2021
What a great way to learn how to cook authentic Mexican cuisine! Manu shared his extensive knowledge of cooking creativity, ingredients, knife handling and humor while making us feel completely at home. We would love to experience another class in the future.
- Laurale December 08, 2021
Warm, inviting, delicious Absolutely by far one of the most memorable experience’s in Puerto Vallarta!! Thank you Manuel so very much!
- Lucas November 30, 2021
What a great experience! It was interesting to see the market and all the fresh seafood. There was a shop that made fresh, 100% white corn tortillas. He bought them right off of the machine. Manuel took the time to ask us our likes and dislikes and tailored the experience to accommodate us. He made mahi mahi ceviche, shrimp aguachile, and enchiladas. Everything was delicious. We will book with him again when we return to Puerto Vallarta!
- Leslie_S November 16, 2021
Manuel is a wonderful host and teacher. He’s personable and very knowledgeable. We loved the market visit where we picked up fresh ingredients, including shrimp and Mahi Mahi. Manuel showed us how to make simple yet incredibly delicious dishes. We learned a few new knife skill tricks too. I can’t wait to try the recipes at home. I highly recommend taking this cooking class for authentic dishes and a charming, skillful chef.
- Mayson November 12, 2021
Quick and easy enchilada secrets, and the best Chile relleno we've ever had. After a interesting trip to the market Manu demonstrated how to make a simple yet delicious meal that we will make over and over.
- Scott_A October 24, 2021
Cooking tips were great. Manuel is very knowledgeable and made the class so worth it. His knowledge of the market. Food and fish was unbelievable. We will definitely take another class from him.
- Evelyn O October 23, 2021
We both enjoyed walking through the local market and learning how to make ceviche and authentic enchiladas. We can’t wait to try making that sauce when we get home! Thanks to Manu for teaching us these recipes and knife skills. We had a blast!
- Samuel September 22, 2021
Chef Manuel provided a wonderful opportunity to learn about Mexican foods, cooking, and culture. He was an energetic, personable, and charming instructor. He was sensitive to our food allergies and food likes in finalizing his menu. At the market, he took time to explain the various fish, fruits, and vegetables, as well as how and when they are used. The Chef made the recipes feel accessible and cooking fun. He took the time to demonstrate cooking techniques and allowed us to try our skills. The four of us who shared this experience felt it was one of the highlights of our visit to Puerto Vallarta
- 664nor August 06, 2021
Market tour was wonderful. Then learning about cooking methods and knife skills. The things I didn't know I needed to know.
- Cedes_H March 24, 2021
Choosing the freshest fish at a local market and making a simple, but delicious ceviche, was a highlight of our experience. Manu was knowledgeable, friendly, and considerate. The entire experience during Covid felt safe.
- Anne December 31, 2020
He was very professional it was one on one , and I learned news recipes and it was very fun ok ok ok ok ok ok ok Response published
- Mike October 20, 2020
My wife and I spent a morning with Manu (Manuel) on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Our only regret was not taking our two teenage boys because they would have loved it. This is our experience: 1) We research fun things to do in PV and cooking lessons pop up a few notches down from zip-lining, which we have already booked. These cooking lessons do not look like anything we have done in the US. These lessons involve a trip the market with the chef to acquire the foods available fresh that day. And after shopping, we are going to prepare the foods at the chef's house. That sounds different and fun, so we book online. 2) When we arrive in PV, I write the address and the phone number for the chef's house for the taxi driver to reference. That proves helpful because the driver does call Manu for directions. The house isn't difficult to find. It's just that taxi drivers find restaurants and hotels faster than they find residential addresses. 3) I knock on a nondescript door and Manu greets us with perfect English. He invites us into his immaculate, small house and our adventure begins with a conversation about our food preferences. After 20-30 minutes discussing potential dishes to make and our tolerance for food adventure, we walk to the market with Manu over cobblestone streets. He greets people and they greet him as we walk. Manu knows the neighbors and they know him. 4) Our first stop is the fish market, a lively place where Manu seems to be a celebrity. He knows everyone's name and they know him. They also know Manu seeks the highest-quality fish, so they show him their best. As Manu talks with the market staff, he identifies all the fish and shellfish for my wife and me and he shows us how to recognize the freshest fish. The market staff wraps our fish neatly and we repeat the process for vegetables and dairy products with a stop by a small tortilla factory. We acquire tortillas that are warm because the little assembly line has just produced them. Manu tells us all the produce is from the area, so this market resembles a US farmers' market, not a grocery store. 5) We return to Manu's house, and the preparation begins with a lesson in food safety. He washes the vegetables carefully and then disinfects them with an iodine wash which makes you question your own food-handling measures. He moves quickly, explaining the steps and the reasons as he goes. He is preparing two courses for us and wonderful smells fill the kitchen as he multi-tasks effortlessly. 6) While this is a lesson, this is not a group project because he is fast and needs no assistance. He slows to demonstrate good knife skills and he shows us the proper way to slice serrano peppers without abusing them in a way that releases too much heat. After a few attempts, we acknowledge we have been slicing peppers incorrectly for years and Manu takes charge again. He moves efficiently, always placing the knife here and the spoon there. We cannot believe how little space he requires to be so productive. 7) He assembles our first course, ceviche. It looks beautiful and tastes better. We conclude it is the best we will ever eat. When would we ever eat ceviche made in front of us from ingredients so fresh? 8) As we enjoy that course, he begins work on the next, enchiladas. The ceviche is so good we forget more food is coming. These enchiladas are unlike anything we have tried. They are small, filled with panela, a cheese that does not melt and they are delicious. 9) After spending the morning eating and conversing with Manu, he tells us how to walk to the tourist areas of PV. When we meet the rest of our group, we tell them about our morning and they envy our adventure. My wife and I recommend that you take a break from the resort, beach and ocean for 4 hours and treat yourself to this experience.
- Tommy D March 31, 2020
We had an amazing time. Manu is a super guy. He took us to the market and explained how to buy fresh fish and produce. We learned two recipes. Food was amazing. This a once in a lifetime experience.
- Chris S March 24, 2020
Terrific recipe for ceviche and enchiladas. Highly recommend taking the class!! Manu is a terrific teacher and very interesting and worldly young man. Kim
- Briantraveler January 17, 2020
Whether this is your first visit to Puerto Vallarta or your tenth, spending a few hours with Chef Manu will delight and inspire you. A professional chef with impeccable technique, creativity and a deep knowledge of Mexican traditions, Manu responded to our request for contemporary seafood dishes with a menu of two different ceviches, a simple octopus preparation and fantastic shrimp enchiladas. Going to the market with him was an education. His English is native-speaker level. A personal experience well worth the time and expense.
- Heidi Y November 19, 2019
Met Manuel at his home, discussed food options then headed to local produce, fish & tortilla markets...all were just a few minutes from his house. My wife & I really enjoy going to local markets & selecting fresh ingredients. We returned to Manuel's house and prepared 3 delicious courses; red snapper ceviche, octopus and enchiladas. We're looking forward to trying some of the new methods for cooking each that Manuel shared with us. Can't recommend this experience enough...we'll definitely sign up for another cooking lesson with Manuel again.
- M3567AJmgg November 14, 2019
Relaxed, informative, and easy. The first thing that set Manuel's class apart from similar classes is the menu is not fixed. When my wife and I arrived at Manuel's home we discussed our likes, dislikes, and what we were hoping to get from the class. Once we selected our dishes it was off to the market, which is a place you would not likely see by venturing off on your own. At the market, an item we had not planned on, caught my wife's eye- No problem, Manuel is flexible.Back at the house, we got busy cooking and hands-on time is entirely up to you. The dishes were amazing, of course, but what impressed me most was the simplicity of both ingredients and preparation. I left fully confident that I could duplicate what I learned at Manuel's. He's and excellent teacher and I learned far more than I expected.I highly recommend Manuel's class. Entirely worth the price.
- AlaskaKevinR November 05, 2019
This gastro experience with Manu was one of the highlights of our trip to Puerto Vallarta. We enjoyed our visit to the local market and the cooking lesson, but most of all we loved the delicious dishes Manu prepared; shrimp enchiladas, octopus, and his award-winning ceviche. Everything was delicious and couldn’t have been any fresher. Manu is an excellent chef and host. We had a wonderful time with him and look forward to cooking with him again on our next trip to PV.
- Stay796905 November 03, 2019
This is a unique experience. Going into a local's home. Seeing inside a real home. The chef took the time to ask us what we wanted. It is catered for the individuals. The only disappointing thing is you watch the cooking. No hands-on. But the local fish market, local fruit and tortilla. Food was amazing. I picked up a few tips. Would also be helpful to have a copy of the recipes to recreate the recipes.
- padies August 18, 2019
Fun and informative! My husband and I wanted to learn about local Mexican ingredients and cuisine; this was the perfect way to do it. Manu took us to the markets and showed us different ingredients (that we would otherwise have no clue to what they were or what dishes they were used in) along with advice on how to pick the best and/or freshest items. From there Manu cooked up the most amazing dishes that we were able to re-create at home. We had some dietary requests that were no problem and overall this was a 10/10 experience we would highly recommend!
- paigeguernsey July 11, 2019
I'm a frequent traveler who always tries to do a cooking class in every country I visit and I've had my fair share of good, very good and not so good classes over the years and I can confidently say that this class probably tops every other one I've experienced so far. Manu (Manny for his good friends) was an exceptional host and instructor.We started by talking about any particular preferences and aversions that he needs to take into account for the menu, he also wanted to know if there was a specific dish that I was keen to try before heading out to the market. You could tell that he knew the area INSIDE OUT as he greets, fist bumps and/or hugs one in every 3 people that we've met on our way to the market and back. We picked fresh Mahi-Mahi and shrimps from the pescetaria as well as a beautiful octopus, then some fruits and veggies and finally some freshly baked tortillas straight from the oven.Once back at Manu's place, we started preparing our 3 course meal with him explaining key techniques to really help nail reproducing these dishes as well as alternative ingredients that are more likely to be procured in the US (which is one of the reasons that set this class apart from all others, this attention to detail and thought given to how I could reproduce these dishes with produce that was local to my region (I live in the SF bay area). The Mahi-Mahi ceviche was MIND BLOWING!! I could do the course again just for that!The shrimp enchilada was exceptional (and I am NOT an enchiladas fan at all!) We finished with maybe one of the most tender octopus dishes that I have ever experienced in my life... There was no chewiness WHATSOEVER and the octopus had absorbed all the aromatics from that delicious broth, if you do not like octopus because of the texture and/or lack of flavor, his recipe would completely change your perspective I would HIGHLY recommend this class if you're in PV even just for a couple days, it is an genuine, authentic and epic experience that would please any food aficionado that is curious about what PROPER Mexican food should taste like.
- Taha_ben June 09, 2019
We had the best time on this tour. After meeting Manu at his home, we walked to a local market area, where Manu selected fish, shrimp, and vegetables for our meal. Back at his place he explained how to prepare, gave some knife skill lessons, and made the most INCREDIBLE meal. Menu changes depending on what’s fresh at the market, but we had Ceviche, Enchiladas (DEFINITELY not what you get in states), and Chile rellenos. Manu was a gracious host - the atmosphere was like having a meal with an old friend. Would highly suggest when in PV.
- capnlarsfl May 04, 2019
We were so happy that we selected Chef Manu for our cooking experience. We had the best time. We were two couples, one in our group is very picky. We devoured everything. Started out with a short walk through Chef’s neighborhood to the markets. Chef Manu gave us tips on how to select the freshest seafood available. Due to Chef Manu’s engaging personality it is clear the merchants like and respect his knowledge. Upon returning to Chef’s delightful home, we began our lesson. Chef is so precise and easy to understand. He explains everything and gives tips on what to do once you return home. We made the freshest ceviche, shrimp enchiladas and delicious tender octopus. Being from the Napa Valley, we have experienced wonderful food and excellent cooking classes, Chef Manu ranks among the best.
- 688cindyi May 02, 2019
The day was perfect, Manu did an amazing job making us feel welcome in his home. My wife and I were greeted immediately offered a drink. After taking time to discover what we liked we built a menu with Manu and were off to the market where we made our purchases. It was an amazing place where everyone new our guide and treated us as guests. After the market we took a short walk back to his house and he began to prepare and explain everything. He walked us step by step through the process and the culture of the dish. I can not say enough good things about this outing. And the food... wow just wow he is a magnificent chef!!
- Josh B May 01, 2019
One of the best ideas to do in PV! What a unique experience! Best Host! Beautiful Market! Tortilla factory! We learned so much! We are way too much! 3 adults a teen ( who was not excited) and a 5 year old went on this excursion. We enjoyed it all! I was worried about my picky eaters however I knew they would try everything.... my 5 year old loved the enchiladas and my 16 year old loved it all....My 16 year old made me buy all of the ingredients when we got home so she could make Red Snapper Ceviche and Garlic Shrimp Enchiladas.... inspiration at its finest! Thank you Manu so much for sharing your talents, your insight! And your kitchen!
- Brazilianmomma1 April 15, 2019
Four of us did this market tour and cooking. We had a great time and learned a lot from Chef Manu! I appreciate the education he provided and the tasty results. The market tour was fun- I personally love checking out markets wherever I travel and it's great to have a guide to show you the way. We all learned about some new-to-us fruits and vegetables. Everyone working the market seemed to love Manu as well- nice to be with someone who has a good rapport with people! Back at his home, which was neat and cozy, Manu demonstrated and prepared a few lovely items. We plan to attempt to recreate them, though not expecting them to be quiet as good as his- haha! We all recommend this activity if you enjoy food, markets and intimate cultural experiences.
- Wendy P March 22, 2019
Manu was fantastic and it was a real treat to experience this. I'll definitely visit again simply because I feel he has a lot more to share and for me to learn. (Maybe next time I'll even ask him for a little of that fusion flare he was talking about!)First off, if you're expecting a group to have cooking stations and everyone makes pico de gallo--this is not that experience. Instead, he focuses on local, traditional cuisine but with his unique perspective. We shopped with him for the food and visited his favorite local market, and he explained some of the regional vegetables and proteins along the way. He did the cooking and described his technique in detail; we took notes and asked questions. I've been making Mexican styled foods for many years but was surprised to learn several tips regarding ceviche, slicing serranos (you may roll your eyes here but I hadn't seen his technique before), properly cooking pulpo, etc. His explanations were clear and I feel extremely confident I can replicate the experience. In fact, I'm about to run off and make his table chili oil right now...We will definitely recommend him to everyone visiting PV!
- MPHarjo March 09, 2019
Manu was very accomodating to our likes and preferences. Very knowledgeable and soooo charming. It was fun to visit a different neighborhood.
- StacyJan February 13, 2019
Me and my husband did the cooking class with Manu and it was definitely the highlight of our trip, we learned so much about the Mexican culture (off the tourist area) and had the most amazing dishes (We still dream of those flavors and the smell in that kitchen) everything was so fresh and clean, We highly recommend this!
- Amber J February 05, 2019
Yes, everyone talks about the food at Manu's place (and it is absolutely wonderful to be sure!) but somehow everyone overlooked (at least in their review) the fact that this guy is not only a talented chef - but a pleasure to look at. Easy to find location, short distance walk to the market for a quick visit, and the off for cooking - or you can watch while Manu does all the work. Either way, a great time and a wonderful meal. We had mahi-mahi ceviche, octopus, and shrimp enchaladas - each bite better than the next. Thanks!
- serenity1631 January 02, 2019
It was an amazing cooking experience, he is so creative, genuine & easygoing Experience Chef. He make you feel at home & take his time to explain and share his knowledge. I love seafood & one of my favorites is Octopus. He surprise me with the tasting sauces. I was afraid to cook seafood, because i was thinking is so difficult, however he prepared a delicious & easy Ceviche, an amazing Pasta with veggies & shrimps and the main dish " Octupus in guajillo" Gorgeus!! i highly recommend him. He will make you the Best Meals of your life.
- Lissett O August 15, 2018
"Manu" was our guide and chef. My pal and I met up with Manu at his PV Old Town area house. We then walked a couple short blocks to the Fish and Produce market. The fresh fish was amazing, at least 5 different sizes/kinds of Shrimp, Red Snapper and others and even smoked Mahi. Then on to the produce, salad ingredients, veggies, fruit. On to fresh queso, eggs, and butter. We had a double suite with a full kitchen, so great to get extra fresh seafood and veggies. Manu showed us how to take dried chillis, roast and re-hydrate and make delicious sauce for our shrimp enchiladas and pork toastadas. Delicious!! The aromas in his quaint kitchen were amazing. Sea Bass Ceviche was so easy and tasty! He was so personable, a wonderful chef and teacher. We had such a lovely afternoon, heading back to the Marina with happily full tummies. Thank you, Manu!! Marcie and Judy
- pacunurse57 June 12, 2018
If you are a foodie, this is a must do trip! Manu is not only a great communicator, he is extremely creative and informative. Manu is a big supporter of fresh local food and supports long time family business in the market! His apartment is easy to find and in a true neighborhood just a quick walk to the market. We had a great time learning about what just came in the fish market that morning and let Manu take the lead, we are up to about anything!! So our request for octopus did not disappoint! We learned so many tips and techniques that we are able to use at home!! We actually plan on doing this again when we are back in Puerto Vallarta
- juliwoo96 May 05, 2018
We hired Manuel as a private chef for my birthday dinner and he was fantastic. We had fresh ingredients and seafood. A lot of local flavor and great planning went into this menu. It was great sharing the meal with him and getting to know the local culture. Thank you Manu!
- Shirley O March 02, 2018
Having dinner at Manu's apartment, is like hiring your own private gourmet chef for the night. He dazzled our group of four with his EXCELLENT culinary abilities.. Seriously, our mouthes were watering, with his ability to cook fresh sea food. We ate everything from tuna poke (with the perfect hint of spice), to ceviche, and the best ocutopus dish I've ever had ! Manu is also very personable, and explains each dish in detail, to tell you exactly what you're eating and why he made it a certain way. I don't think you could get a more intimate or unique experience at a local restaurant in Puerto Vallarta. This is the off-beaten path meal you've been looking for in paradise !
- Jon B January 12, 2018
We met Manuel at his house then walked a few blocks to a bustling local market where he pointed out the local fish caught that day. Just seeing where the local restaurants come to buy their seafood was lots of fun. We grabbed some fruits and veggies and went back to his kitchen. We helped him cut and prepare the fish for ceviche (he did ask our food preferences) and he helped us improve knife skills. We moved on to the most amazing fresh ingredient shrimp enchiladas and then to pork tostadas with a fresh fruit cocktail. We learned about local cuisine while helping as much or as little as we wanted. We learned about the events in the area as well. Manuel was easy to talk to and his cooking skills are outstanding.
- shannoncX6822KO December 30, 2017
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Manuel

$65-$120 USD

per person
100% VETTED
Learn more
  • No waiting! Booking confirmed instantly
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee or your money back
  • Free cancellation up to 48 hours in advance
  • Private experience
Pricing (per person)*
1 person 2-4 ppl 5+ ppl
In-Home Meal
Not offered $65 $65
Cooking Experience + Meal
Not offered $84 $84
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
$120 $100 $100
Alcohol
$10 per person
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
1 person 2-4 people 5+ people
In-Home Meal
Not offered $65 $65
Cooking Experience + Meal
Not offered $84 $84
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
$120 $100 $100
Alcohol
$10 per person
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
Experience Timings
Lunch Dinner
In-Home Meal
1:00pm-3:00pm 7:00pm-9:00pm
Cooking Experience+ Meal
10:00am-1:00pm 6:00pm-9:00pm
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
9:00am-1:00pm 2:00pm-6:00pm

Meet Manuel

Manu is a professionally trained chef who loves to create innovative, modern fusions of classic Mexican dishes. After completing culinary school in his hometown of Guadalajara, he traveled abroad and lived in Canada, Spain, and Norway where he worked in a series of professional kitchens. After being away for 6 years, Manu returned to Mexico where he could indulge in his love of the food from home.

Now happily settled in Puerto Vallarta, Manu is a private chef, and works in the tourism industry. Feel free to ask him for his recommendations for the best places in town to get truly authentic dishes such as aguachile and pozole, or amazing street food such as tacos al pastor and churros.

Manu lives in a small, but cozy house located close to the center of the city. He is experienced in catering to all types of tastes, allergies, and dietary restrictions. Upon booking, please be sure to let him know your preferences.

"I love to cook and to share my experiences and knowledge of food!"

What to expect

Please note menu might vary. If there are particular dishes you are interested in trying, please include your request in the booking form.

In-home meal: (2-6 guests) Manu's style of cooking is rooted in authentic Mexican cuisine, but includes influence from Asia and the Mediterranean. You can look forward to enjoying dishes such as fresh ahi poke with avocado, sopa de elote con rajas con crema (corn soup with creamy poblano peppers), platanillo de res (boneless beef shank) with nopales (cactus), and cacao arroz con leche (rice pudding with cacao).

Cooking experience: (2-6 guests) Join Manu in his small home kitchen to learn to prepare an authentic Mexican meal together. During your Puerto Vallarta cooking lesson, you can expect to learn how to make three dishes. Some of the dishes you might learn to cook are a fresh ceviche with the catch of the day, panela enchiladas, a unique dish made with authentic Mexican cheese, and a shrimp or octopus or mushroom al ajillo; all with traditional techniques and ingredients. You can expect to cook for about an hour before sitting down to share the meal together. If you are not a seafood fan, let Manu know a few days in advance and he can plan a menu with meat such as beef shanks.

Manu's style of cooking is rooted in authentic Mexican cuisine, but includes influence from Asia and the Mediterranean. Immerse yourself in Mexican food and culture with a local chef!

Market visit: (1-6 guests) You will meet Manu at his home before setting out for the Mercado Cinco de Diciembre, located a short five minute walk away. Together you will browse the stalls where you will have an opportunity to experience all the sounds, smells, and colors of a traditional Mexican marketplace. You will visit fruit and vegetable stands, a tortilleria (tortilla factory), a carnicería (butcher), and a pescadería (fish market), and learn how to choose the best ingredients from each. Upon returning to Manu's home, you will utilize all the fresh foods you gathered in order to create your meal together.

Languages spoken: Spanish, English

Sample menu

This is just a sample menu to give you an idea of the types of dishes the host cooks. Your menu will vary according to seasonal availability.
  • Catch of the day ceviche like mahi mahi
  • Panela enchiladas
  • Shrimp or octopus al ajillo
PERSONALLY VETTED REVIEW
A Traveling Spoon ambassador visited this host. Here is their personal review.

Manu is very easy going and nice to talk to. We had a fun conversation and he shared a ton of interesting anecdotes to accompany the meal. The dishes had a traditional feel with some modern touches, he is a really fast cook and really neat at that! I truly recommend him as a Traveling Spoon Host.

Ismael, Traveling Spoon Ambassador

Traveler reviews

5.0 (66)
Hello All, My fiancé and I took Manu's cooking class in mid July. I recommend without reservations. We had little Manu welcomed us into his home with a warm demeanor. We started off with an introduction and got to know a little bit about each other. We went to the market and saw old town PV. Seeing Manu interact with his community was so cool. It was a little slice of Mexico. We got back and started cooking. Manu was able to make jokes to ease comfort and easily explain every step. My favorite memory of the day was Manu talking about Japanese knives, cutting, and relating it to his passion for samurai swords. 10/10
- wooding July 26, 2022
Thank you Manuel for your professionalism and hospitality. If want to learn about real Mexican cooking, this lesson is a must. Special experience visiting the local market and banter with the merchants.
- Wayne_W July 21, 2022
My family and I had a wonderful time! The market visit was great, and chef was a fantastic teacher and host. The food was amazing!! My daughter can’t wait to try to recreate the dishes we learned when we get home and practice her new knife skills (chef will send you the recipes!). We have done many excursions in PV over the last 10 years, and this was one of my favorites because it was authentic-a real PV experience.
- CarrieK6 July 16, 2022
We had done a fish taco tour with Manu before and really enjoyed his knowledge of the area and the local food. When we saw he did a cooking class, we were excited to go! We met at his house, planned a menu and then did the short walk to the fish market, produce spot, tortilla factory and cheese shop so we could have really fresh ingredients. Manu explained some of the foreign items (to us) as well as showed us how to pick out the best stuff. Coming back to his home, we started the cooking class. Manu knows his food and is also great at explaining what he’s doing and why. Our meal consisted of smoked marlin tostadas and tasty cheese enchiladas that were so different (and so delicious) from anything we had had before. A couple of beers to accompany these and great conversation made the day just perfect. Thanks so much for a great adventure
- kkjellin2 July 13, 2022
My two granddaughters and I signed up for a class with Chef Manu. We visited a market, a tortilla factory and then went to Chef Manu’s home and prepared a ceviche and enchiladas. Chef Manu was very patient and we all had a lot of fun. Great experience!
- Wwagner June 27, 2022
Great experience!!! Manu was a gracious host and is a true artist at what he does. Recommending this to everyone who would like a real life experience.
- Melinda June 22, 2022
Outstanding morning at the market and cooking with Manuel. Knows the market vendors well and shopped for our food that morning. Best of all he decided what to make based on our conversation about what I liked and wanted to learn. Excellent experience.
- Manuel May 25, 2022
Manu was the sweetest most down-to-earth Chef! Thank you for opening up your home and sharing your cooking skills with us. My 11 year old son loved it! I think Manu was surprised how much of his food he ate! Or how much we ALL ate for that matter. LOL. I have since cooked the enchilada and ceviche several times. I have yet to make the pulpo but only because I haven't been able to purchase one that didn't way over 10 lbs. I have told many of my friends of this wonderful experience and recommended that they enjoy a night cooking/eating with you. Gracias Manu! Next time we are in PV, we will be sure to come see you!
- ychamb May 24, 2022
My group and I had an amazing time at Manu’s cooking class! The food was delicious and he gave us great personalized advice for when we cook at home. We can’t wait to try recreating the recipes at home! Manu was fun to talk to and gave us a ton of food recommendations for Puerto Vallarta. If we ever return to PV we will definitely be taking a class w him again, or signing up for one of his food tours!
- Isabella May 24, 2022
We spent a wonderful day in Puerto Vallarta with Manuel coming from our cruise ship the island princess. We learned how to properly make ceviche and became a fan of this dish. The cheese enchiladas were wonderful with the local cheese and the simple red sauce Manuel shows you how to make. What a wonderful way to spend lunchtime in Puerto Vallarta. Would recommend this to all visitors
- Greg_M May 17, 2022
We spent a wonderful day in Puerto Vallarta with Manuel coming from our cruise ship the island princess. We learned how to properly make ceviche and became a fan of this dish. The cheese enchiladas were wonderful with the local cheese and the simple red sauce Manuel shows you how to make. What a wonderful way to spend lunchtime in Puerto Vallarta. Would recommend this to all visitors
- Greg_M May 17, 2022
We enjoyed our cooking lesson with Manu and the visit to the market. He shared the recipes with us and great tips for knife skills and cutting peppers. We can’t wait to give it a try at home.
- Kathryn May 04, 2022
Such a wonderful afternoon spent with Manu! My husband and I have been all over the world and we take cooking classes wherever we go. This is by far the best class as it is private, just the two of us and Manu. No crowds. Up close and personal. The trip to the market was great and we learned about different fish and how to tell if they are fresh. We brought everything back to his house to the modest but highly efficient kitchen. Ceviche and enchiladas were on the menu and trust me when I say it was not like our Mexican “Tex-Mex in the states. Manu is personable and not bad to look at! Wowza! His knife skills were perfection and he taught us a couple of them. I will practice, practice and practice hoping I can try to do what he does with a knife. I highly recommend this class…..We will do it again when we return to Mexico in February.
- Manuel April 26, 2022
Manuel was a great host! It was a great private experience. And i now know how to make some amazing food!
- Matt April 05, 2022
One of our favorite experiences while in Puerto Vallarta- Manu taught us several cooking techniques and was a wonderful host! Don't miss this opportunity to enjoy a beautiful meal and learn more about Mexican cooking! We appreciated the recommendations Manu made for our trip - he was spot on for finding the best culinary experiences!
- Ann_A March 27, 2022
What a great cooking class. Manuel was personable & very knowledgeable. The market tour was icing on the cake. I would certainly take another one of his classes.
- Richard March 27, 2022
This was the highlight of our trip to Puerto Vallarta. Manu was so welcoming and had no problem accommodating our dietary restrictions (vegetarian, no eggs). The food we ended up making during our cooking class was one of the most memorable and delicious dishes I have eaten. We learned about knife-work and some true, authentic Mexican dishes. We even discovered some new ingredients, such as panela cheese that we can't wait to try. I highly recommend booking this experience!!!
- Vegi Yogi March 19, 2022
One of the great highlights of our PV trip was the cooking experience and market tour with Manu! My partner and I both love Mexican food and learned many great tips from our host chef. Manu (handsome and charming) was very easy going and an excellent instructor of his craft. I would highly recommend this excursion and we plan to do this experience again upon our next trip to PV. I solicited Manu to make a cookbook to share more of his recipes :)
- Relax8 March 14, 2022
We had a blast with Chef Manuel! The market was very interesting and informative. Chef was fun, very easy to talk with, and taught us a lot about cooking. He made two different kinds of ceviche and authentic enchiladas. All fresh and tasty—some of the best food we had on our trip and we ate at some amazing restaurants. So glad we chose to do this activity and we will do it AGAIN when we return to PV.
- 477lynj March 14, 2022
Manu was friendly and we enjoyed our visit with him, visit to the Market and our cooking class! Delicious Ceviche!
- Coreen March 12, 2022
This was an A+ experience! Miguel is an excellent teacher and so knowledgeable! The food was so fresh and delicious. Miguel is an absolute delight to spend your time with if you love food, cooking, laughing! This is truly an authentic Mexican culinary experience!!🥰
- Tracey March 05, 2022
Our experience with manual was a highlight of our trip. Not only did he prepare us a fantastic meal, he gave us restaurants recommendations and good cooking overall instruction. Definitely something that’s a must do when visiting Puerto Vallarta.
- Kathy February 25, 2022
Touring the market, purchasing fresh ingredients and then having Manu make our meal was fantastic! He shared so much information about the foods, cooking techniques and preparation. A wonderful experience, highly recommend this tour!!
- Kathryn February 25, 2022
Manu was fantastic and his food was even better! We started the afternoon with a walk to market where we purchased smoked marlin, fresh produce, and corn tortillas we watched them make. Then back to Manu's kitchen where he whipped up a tuna ceviche and taught us how to make chili relleno and enchiladas. I have always loved these foods. Manu set the bar high for the next restaurant that serves me any of these. I'm afraid nothing will ever be that delicious again. A great memory. Thank you, Manu!
- Manuel February 19, 2022
Manuel is a fantastic and talented Chef, who invites you into an authentic Mexican experience in his own home. A short walk from our resort, we met Manu at his home kitchen and spent a few hours learning, while he demonstrated recipes for two amazing ceviche’s, and a recipe for traditional enchiladas. Of course it was eye-opening coming from the land of Tex-Mex to see the way these dishes are supposed to be prepared. The all fresh ingredients made for a meal we had to make ourselves stop eating. The conversation was as great as the food as we got to know Manu and shared our culinary, travel, and life experiences as he cooked and instructed. I took pictures and notes to help improve my own recipes when I get the chance to get back home and cook. This was easily the best meal will have in our week’s stay in Puerto Vallarta!
- 145anotnio February 15, 2022
Manu was the most gracious host and amazing cook. We learned a great deal and ate splendidly. Being welcomed into someone’s home and having them cook for you is not an everyday occurrence. We were made to feel at home and after a discussion about what we liked to eat and what we might like to try Manu took us a short walk to buy the ingredients. Fresh shrimp, fish and veg were purchased and we were to see them prepared into the most tasty fish ceviche and shrimp enchiladas. Mouth watering freshness. En route we learned how to prep a chilli to retain the taste but lose the heat and we gained an insight into what it was like in PV during lockdown, when the tourist stopped coming, for those that remained. All in all we had the most enjoyable morning in Manu’s company. Ate extremely tasty and fresh Mexican food and learned to be a little less cautious when choosing what to eat. I couldn’t recommend this tour highly enough. We will definitely be back for a second helping when we return to Puerto Vallarta in the future.
- ps030660 February 14, 2022
Manu is passionate about cooking with fresh ingredients. His dishes have lots of texture, colors, and tasty flavors! We enjoyed the market experience and will recommend this to our friends and family.
- Kent_W February 06, 2022
Manu was personable and professional. He offered not only a tour but also some cultural information behind the market as well as the dishes that was prepared.
- Trek45 January 24, 2022
We loved this cooking class! Manuel is so much fun, a generous host and a great teacher who loves to share his craft. After a discussion of what we would like to make, we went to the local market where he showed us how to pick out the freshest of ingredients. We then went back to his home where he showed us tricks of the trade and spent time with us so that we feel confident in our own ability to recreate these dishes at home. We were so impressed with his knowledge of blending flavors and textures to make such delicious food. We are already planning to do another class with him the next time I’ll we come to PV.
- LibBanick January 22, 2022
The visit to the market was great! Chef Manuel was knowledgeable and had a relaxed manner that put us at ease. Chef shared several good tips both for recipes and cooking techniques. The food was fantastic. We will most likely be back and with more friends! We absolutely recommend this experience.
- Ana December 10, 2021
What a great way to learn how to cook authentic Mexican cuisine! Manu shared his extensive knowledge of cooking creativity, ingredients, knife handling and humor while making us feel completely at home. We would love to experience another class in the future.
- Laurale December 08, 2021
Warm, inviting, delicious Absolutely by far one of the most memorable experience’s in Puerto Vallarta!! Thank you Manuel so very much!
- Lucas November 30, 2021
What a great experience! It was interesting to see the market and all the fresh seafood. There was a shop that made fresh, 100% white corn tortillas. He bought them right off of the machine. Manuel took the time to ask us our likes and dislikes and tailored the experience to accommodate us. He made mahi mahi ceviche, shrimp aguachile, and enchiladas. Everything was delicious. We will book with him again when we return to Puerto Vallarta!
- Leslie_S November 16, 2021
Manuel is a wonderful host and teacher. He’s personable and very knowledgeable. We loved the market visit where we picked up fresh ingredients, including shrimp and Mahi Mahi. Manuel showed us how to make simple yet incredibly delicious dishes. We learned a few new knife skill tricks too. I can’t wait to try the recipes at home. I highly recommend taking this cooking class for authentic dishes and a charming, skillful chef.
- Mayson November 12, 2021
Quick and easy enchilada secrets, and the best Chile relleno we've ever had. After a interesting trip to the market Manu demonstrated how to make a simple yet delicious meal that we will make over and over.
- Scott_A October 24, 2021
Cooking tips were great. Manuel is very knowledgeable and made the class so worth it. His knowledge of the market. Food and fish was unbelievable. We will definitely take another class from him.
- Evelyn O October 23, 2021
We both enjoyed walking through the local market and learning how to make ceviche and authentic enchiladas. We can’t wait to try making that sauce when we get home! Thanks to Manu for teaching us these recipes and knife skills. We had a blast!
- Samuel September 22, 2021
Chef Manuel provided a wonderful opportunity to learn about Mexican foods, cooking, and culture. He was an energetic, personable, and charming instructor. He was sensitive to our food allergies and food likes in finalizing his menu. At the market, he took time to explain the various fish, fruits, and vegetables, as well as how and when they are used. The Chef made the recipes feel accessible and cooking fun. He took the time to demonstrate cooking techniques and allowed us to try our skills. The four of us who shared this experience felt it was one of the highlights of our visit to Puerto Vallarta
- 664nor August 06, 2021
Market tour was wonderful. Then learning about cooking methods and knife skills. The things I didn't know I needed to know.
- Cedes_H March 24, 2021
Choosing the freshest fish at a local market and making a simple, but delicious ceviche, was a highlight of our experience. Manu was knowledgeable, friendly, and considerate. The entire experience during Covid felt safe.
- Anne December 31, 2020
He was very professional it was one on one , and I learned news recipes and it was very fun ok ok ok ok ok ok ok Response published
- Mike October 20, 2020
My wife and I spent a morning with Manu (Manuel) on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Our only regret was not taking our two teenage boys because they would have loved it. This is our experience: 1) We research fun things to do in PV and cooking lessons pop up a few notches down from zip-lining, which we have already booked. These cooking lessons do not look like anything we have done in the US. These lessons involve a trip the market with the chef to acquire the foods available fresh that day. And after shopping, we are going to prepare the foods at the chef's house. That sounds different and fun, so we book online. 2) When we arrive in PV, I write the address and the phone number for the chef's house for the taxi driver to reference. That proves helpful because the driver does call Manu for directions. The house isn't difficult to find. It's just that taxi drivers find restaurants and hotels faster than they find residential addresses. 3) I knock on a nondescript door and Manu greets us with perfect English. He invites us into his immaculate, small house and our adventure begins with a conversation about our food preferences. After 20-30 minutes discussing potential dishes to make and our tolerance for food adventure, we walk to the market with Manu over cobblestone streets. He greets people and they greet him as we walk. Manu knows the neighbors and they know him. 4) Our first stop is the fish market, a lively place where Manu seems to be a celebrity. He knows everyone's name and they know him. They also know Manu seeks the highest-quality fish, so they show him their best. As Manu talks with the market staff, he identifies all the fish and shellfish for my wife and me and he shows us how to recognize the freshest fish. The market staff wraps our fish neatly and we repeat the process for vegetables and dairy products with a stop by a small tortilla factory. We acquire tortillas that are warm because the little assembly line has just produced them. Manu tells us all the produce is from the area, so this market resembles a US farmers' market, not a grocery store. 5) We return to Manu's house, and the preparation begins with a lesson in food safety. He washes the vegetables carefully and then disinfects them with an iodine wash which makes you question your own food-handling measures. He moves quickly, explaining the steps and the reasons as he goes. He is preparing two courses for us and wonderful smells fill the kitchen as he multi-tasks effortlessly. 6) While this is a lesson, this is not a group project because he is fast and needs no assistance. He slows to demonstrate good knife skills and he shows us the proper way to slice serrano peppers without abusing them in a way that releases too much heat. After a few attempts, we acknowledge we have been slicing peppers incorrectly for years and Manu takes charge again. He moves efficiently, always placing the knife here and the spoon there. We cannot believe how little space he requires to be so productive. 7) He assembles our first course, ceviche. It looks beautiful and tastes better. We conclude it is the best we will ever eat. When would we ever eat ceviche made in front of us from ingredients so fresh? 8) As we enjoy that course, he begins work on the next, enchiladas. The ceviche is so good we forget more food is coming. These enchiladas are unlike anything we have tried. They are small, filled with panela, a cheese that does not melt and they are delicious. 9) After spending the morning eating and conversing with Manu, he tells us how to walk to the tourist areas of PV. When we meet the rest of our group, we tell them about our morning and they envy our adventure. My wife and I recommend that you take a break from the resort, beach and ocean for 4 hours and treat yourself to this experience.
- Tommy D March 31, 2020
We had an amazing time. Manu is a super guy. He took us to the market and explained how to buy fresh fish and produce. We learned two recipes. Food was amazing. This a once in a lifetime experience.
- Chris S March 24, 2020
Terrific recipe for ceviche and enchiladas. Highly recommend taking the class!! Manu is a terrific teacher and very interesting and worldly young man. Kim
- Briantraveler January 17, 2020
Whether this is your first visit to Puerto Vallarta or your tenth, spending a few hours with Chef Manu will delight and inspire you. A professional chef with impeccable technique, creativity and a deep knowledge of Mexican traditions, Manu responded to our request for contemporary seafood dishes with a menu of two different ceviches, a simple octopus preparation and fantastic shrimp enchiladas. Going to the market with him was an education. His English is native-speaker level. A personal experience well worth the time and expense.
- Heidi Y November 19, 2019
Met Manuel at his home, discussed food options then headed to local produce, fish & tortilla markets...all were just a few minutes from his house. My wife & I really enjoy going to local markets & selecting fresh ingredients. We returned to Manuel's house and prepared 3 delicious courses; red snapper ceviche, octopus and enchiladas. We're looking forward to trying some of the new methods for cooking each that Manuel shared with us. Can't recommend this experience enough...we'll definitely sign up for another cooking lesson with Manuel again.
- M3567AJmgg November 14, 2019
Relaxed, informative, and easy. The first thing that set Manuel's class apart from similar classes is the menu is not fixed. When my wife and I arrived at Manuel's home we discussed our likes, dislikes, and what we were hoping to get from the class. Once we selected our dishes it was off to the market, which is a place you would not likely see by venturing off on your own. At the market, an item we had not planned on, caught my wife's eye- No problem, Manuel is flexible.Back at the house, we got busy cooking and hands-on time is entirely up to you. The dishes were amazing, of course, but what impressed me most was the simplicity of both ingredients and preparation. I left fully confident that I could duplicate what I learned at Manuel's. He's and excellent teacher and I learned far more than I expected.I highly recommend Manuel's class. Entirely worth the price.
- AlaskaKevinR November 05, 2019
This gastro experience with Manu was one of the highlights of our trip to Puerto Vallarta. We enjoyed our visit to the local market and the cooking lesson, but most of all we loved the delicious dishes Manu prepared; shrimp enchiladas, octopus, and his award-winning ceviche. Everything was delicious and couldn’t have been any fresher. Manu is an excellent chef and host. We had a wonderful time with him and look forward to cooking with him again on our next trip to PV.
- Stay796905 November 03, 2019
This is a unique experience. Going into a local's home. Seeing inside a real home. The chef took the time to ask us what we wanted. It is catered for the individuals. The only disappointing thing is you watch the cooking. No hands-on. But the local fish market, local fruit and tortilla. Food was amazing. I picked up a few tips. Would also be helpful to have a copy of the recipes to recreate the recipes.
- padies August 18, 2019
Fun and informative! My husband and I wanted to learn about local Mexican ingredients and cuisine; this was the perfect way to do it. Manu took us to the markets and showed us different ingredients (that we would otherwise have no clue to what they were or what dishes they were used in) along with advice on how to pick the best and/or freshest items. From there Manu cooked up the most amazing dishes that we were able to re-create at home. We had some dietary requests that were no problem and overall this was a 10/10 experience we would highly recommend!
- paigeguernsey July 11, 2019
I'm a frequent traveler who always tries to do a cooking class in every country I visit and I've had my fair share of good, very good and not so good classes over the years and I can confidently say that this class probably tops every other one I've experienced so far. Manu (Manny for his good friends) was an exceptional host and instructor.We started by talking about any particular preferences and aversions that he needs to take into account for the menu, he also wanted to know if there was a specific dish that I was keen to try before heading out to the market. You could tell that he knew the area INSIDE OUT as he greets, fist bumps and/or hugs one in every 3 people that we've met on our way to the market and back. We picked fresh Mahi-Mahi and shrimps from the pescetaria as well as a beautiful octopus, then some fruits and veggies and finally some freshly baked tortillas straight from the oven.Once back at Manu's place, we started preparing our 3 course meal with him explaining key techniques to really help nail reproducing these dishes as well as alternative ingredients that are more likely to be procured in the US (which is one of the reasons that set this class apart from all others, this attention to detail and thought given to how I could reproduce these dishes with produce that was local to my region (I live in the SF bay area). The Mahi-Mahi ceviche was MIND BLOWING!! I could do the course again just for that!The shrimp enchilada was exceptional (and I am NOT an enchiladas fan at all!) We finished with maybe one of the most tender octopus dishes that I have ever experienced in my life... There was no chewiness WHATSOEVER and the octopus had absorbed all the aromatics from that delicious broth, if you do not like octopus because of the texture and/or lack of flavor, his recipe would completely change your perspective I would HIGHLY recommend this class if you're in PV even just for a couple days, it is an genuine, authentic and epic experience that would please any food aficionado that is curious about what PROPER Mexican food should taste like.
- Taha_ben June 09, 2019
We had the best time on this tour. After meeting Manu at his home, we walked to a local market area, where Manu selected fish, shrimp, and vegetables for our meal. Back at his place he explained how to prepare, gave some knife skill lessons, and made the most INCREDIBLE meal. Menu changes depending on what’s fresh at the market, but we had Ceviche, Enchiladas (DEFINITELY not what you get in states), and Chile rellenos. Manu was a gracious host - the atmosphere was like having a meal with an old friend. Would highly suggest when in PV.
- capnlarsfl May 04, 2019
We were so happy that we selected Chef Manu for our cooking experience. We had the best time. We were two couples, one in our group is very picky. We devoured everything. Started out with a short walk through Chef’s neighborhood to the markets. Chef Manu gave us tips on how to select the freshest seafood available. Due to Chef Manu’s engaging personality it is clear the merchants like and respect his knowledge. Upon returning to Chef’s delightful home, we began our lesson. Chef is so precise and easy to understand. He explains everything and gives tips on what to do once you return home. We made the freshest ceviche, shrimp enchiladas and delicious tender octopus. Being from the Napa Valley, we have experienced wonderful food and excellent cooking classes, Chef Manu ranks among the best.
- 688cindyi May 02, 2019
The day was perfect, Manu did an amazing job making us feel welcome in his home. My wife and I were greeted immediately offered a drink. After taking time to discover what we liked we built a menu with Manu and were off to the market where we made our purchases. It was an amazing place where everyone new our guide and treated us as guests. After the market we took a short walk back to his house and he began to prepare and explain everything. He walked us step by step through the process and the culture of the dish. I can not say enough good things about this outing. And the food... wow just wow he is a magnificent chef!!
- Josh B May 01, 2019
One of the best ideas to do in PV! What a unique experience! Best Host! Beautiful Market! Tortilla factory! We learned so much! We are way too much! 3 adults a teen ( who was not excited) and a 5 year old went on this excursion. We enjoyed it all! I was worried about my picky eaters however I knew they would try everything.... my 5 year old loved the enchiladas and my 16 year old loved it all....My 16 year old made me buy all of the ingredients when we got home so she could make Red Snapper Ceviche and Garlic Shrimp Enchiladas.... inspiration at its finest! Thank you Manu so much for sharing your talents, your insight! And your kitchen!
- Brazilianmomma1 April 15, 2019
Four of us did this market tour and cooking. We had a great time and learned a lot from Chef Manu! I appreciate the education he provided and the tasty results. The market tour was fun- I personally love checking out markets wherever I travel and it's great to have a guide to show you the way. We all learned about some new-to-us fruits and vegetables. Everyone working the market seemed to love Manu as well- nice to be with someone who has a good rapport with people! Back at his home, which was neat and cozy, Manu demonstrated and prepared a few lovely items. We plan to attempt to recreate them, though not expecting them to be quiet as good as his- haha! We all recommend this activity if you enjoy food, markets and intimate cultural experiences.
- Wendy P March 22, 2019
Manu was fantastic and it was a real treat to experience this. I'll definitely visit again simply because I feel he has a lot more to share and for me to learn. (Maybe next time I'll even ask him for a little of that fusion flare he was talking about!)First off, if you're expecting a group to have cooking stations and everyone makes pico de gallo--this is not that experience. Instead, he focuses on local, traditional cuisine but with his unique perspective. We shopped with him for the food and visited his favorite local market, and he explained some of the regional vegetables and proteins along the way. He did the cooking and described his technique in detail; we took notes and asked questions. I've been making Mexican styled foods for many years but was surprised to learn several tips regarding ceviche, slicing serranos (you may roll your eyes here but I hadn't seen his technique before), properly cooking pulpo, etc. His explanations were clear and I feel extremely confident I can replicate the experience. In fact, I'm about to run off and make his table chili oil right now...We will definitely recommend him to everyone visiting PV!
- MPHarjo March 09, 2019
Manu was very accomodating to our likes and preferences. Very knowledgeable and soooo charming. It was fun to visit a different neighborhood.
- StacyJan February 13, 2019
Me and my husband did the cooking class with Manu and it was definitely the highlight of our trip, we learned so much about the Mexican culture (off the tourist area) and had the most amazing dishes (We still dream of those flavors and the smell in that kitchen) everything was so fresh and clean, We highly recommend this!
- Amber J February 05, 2019
Yes, everyone talks about the food at Manu's place (and it is absolutely wonderful to be sure!) but somehow everyone overlooked (at least in their review) the fact that this guy is not only a talented chef - but a pleasure to look at. Easy to find location, short distance walk to the market for a quick visit, and the off for cooking - or you can watch while Manu does all the work. Either way, a great time and a wonderful meal. We had mahi-mahi ceviche, octopus, and shrimp enchaladas - each bite better than the next. Thanks!
- serenity1631 January 02, 2019
It was an amazing cooking experience, he is so creative, genuine & easygoing Experience Chef. He make you feel at home & take his time to explain and share his knowledge. I love seafood & one of my favorites is Octopus. He surprise me with the tasting sauces. I was afraid to cook seafood, because i was thinking is so difficult, however he prepared a delicious & easy Ceviche, an amazing Pasta with veggies & shrimps and the main dish " Octupus in guajillo" Gorgeus!! i highly recommend him. He will make you the Best Meals of your life.
- Lissett O August 15, 2018
"Manu" was our guide and chef. My pal and I met up with Manu at his PV Old Town area house. We then walked a couple short blocks to the Fish and Produce market. The fresh fish was amazing, at least 5 different sizes/kinds of Shrimp, Red Snapper and others and even smoked Mahi. Then on to the produce, salad ingredients, veggies, fruit. On to fresh queso, eggs, and butter. We had a double suite with a full kitchen, so great to get extra fresh seafood and veggies. Manu showed us how to take dried chillis, roast and re-hydrate and make delicious sauce for our shrimp enchiladas and pork toastadas. Delicious!! The aromas in his quaint kitchen were amazing. Sea Bass Ceviche was so easy and tasty! He was so personable, a wonderful chef and teacher. We had such a lovely afternoon, heading back to the Marina with happily full tummies. Thank you, Manu!! Marcie and Judy
- pacunurse57 June 12, 2018
If you are a foodie, this is a must do trip! Manu is not only a great communicator, he is extremely creative and informative. Manu is a big supporter of fresh local food and supports long time family business in the market! His apartment is easy to find and in a true neighborhood just a quick walk to the market. We had a great time learning about what just came in the fish market that morning and let Manu take the lead, we are up to about anything!! So our request for octopus did not disappoint! We learned so many tips and techniques that we are able to use at home!! We actually plan on doing this again when we are back in Puerto Vallarta
- juliwoo96 May 05, 2018
We hired Manuel as a private chef for my birthday dinner and he was fantastic. We had fresh ingredients and seafood. A lot of local flavor and great planning went into this menu. It was great sharing the meal with him and getting to know the local culture. Thank you Manu!
- Shirley O March 02, 2018
Having dinner at Manu's apartment, is like hiring your own private gourmet chef for the night. He dazzled our group of four with his EXCELLENT culinary abilities.. Seriously, our mouthes were watering, with his ability to cook fresh sea food. We ate everything from tuna poke (with the perfect hint of spice), to ceviche, and the best ocutopus dish I've ever had ! Manu is also very personable, and explains each dish in detail, to tell you exactly what you're eating and why he made it a certain way. I don't think you could get a more intimate or unique experience at a local restaurant in Puerto Vallarta. This is the off-beaten path meal you've been looking for in paradise !
- Jon B January 12, 2018
We met Manuel at his house then walked a few blocks to a bustling local market where he pointed out the local fish caught that day. Just seeing where the local restaurants come to buy their seafood was lots of fun. We grabbed some fruits and veggies and went back to his kitchen. We helped him cut and prepare the fish for ceviche (he did ask our food preferences) and he helped us improve knife skills. We moved on to the most amazing fresh ingredient shrimp enchiladas and then to pork tostadas with a fresh fruit cocktail. We learned about local cuisine while helping as much or as little as we wanted. We learned about the events in the area as well. Manuel was easy to talk to and his cooking skills are outstanding.
- shannoncX6822KO December 30, 2017
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Pricing (per person)*
1 person 2-4 ppl 5+ ppl
In-Home Meal
Not offered $65 $65
Cooking Experience + Meal
Not offered $84 $84
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
$120 $100 $100
Alcohol
$10 per person
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
1 person 2-4 people 5+ people
In-Home Meal
Not offered $65 $65
Cooking Experience + Meal
Not offered $84 $84
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
$120 $100 $100
Alcohol
$10 per person
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
Experience Timings
Lunch Dinner
In-Home Meal
1:00pm-3:00pm 7:00pm-9:00pm
Cooking Experience+ Meal
10:00am-1:00pm 6:00pm-9:00pm
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
9:00am-1:00pm 2:00pm-6:00pm
ABOUT TRAVELING SPOON

Traveling Spoon connects you with meaningful culinary experiences, from private cooking lessons to homecooked meals in people's homes. Enjoy an immersive cultural experience that gives you a glimpse into the local way of life.

FAQ

    You can cancel your reservation for free up until 48 hours before your experience. Experiences within 48 hours are not refundable.

    If you have a question for your host, you can include a note in the field "Write a note to your host" during the booking process. Once your booking is confirmed, you will be emailed your host's direct contact information and you will also be able to message the host through your profile. You can always cancel your booking and receive a full refund 48 hours or more before your experience. If you have other questions you can also email us at reservations@travelingspoon.com.

    Most of our hosts are able to accommodate dietary restrictions and allergies, including vegetarian and gluten free options. For vegetarian travelers, we have an icon on each host profile to indicate whether that host can also offer a fully vegetarian menu. There is a section in the booking form to note any allergies or dietary restrictions which will be sent directly to your host.

    Some hosts offer alcohol as an optional add-on for travelers who are of legal drinking age. Pricing for alcohol is visible on the host profile page and includes one to two glasses of wine, beer or local alcohol.

    Have a flight or other tour planned and can’t make the timing provided? If the timing listed on the host’s profile doesn’t work for you, our hosts can often accommodate timing changes. Because all of our experiences are private our hosts are happy to tailor experiences to meet your travel needs. Simply note your request in the booking process.

    Your card will not be charged until your host accepts your booking. Typically hosts respond to bookings within 72 hours. In the event your host is unavailable on your selected date and your host rejects your booking your credit card will not be charged.

    Your host's detailed contact information, including their phone number, address, and direction notes, will all be provided immediately upon successful confirmation of your experience (after your hosts accepts your booking and your credit card is successfully processed). This information will be emailed to you to the email address you used to sign up, and will also be visible on your Traveling Spoon profile.

    All prices are noted per person prices unless otherwise specified. Transportation is typically charged on a per car basis. Children aged 5-11 are 50% off, and infants aged 0-4 are free. Hosts set their own prices and Traveling Spoon marks up the experiences; on average hosts receive over 70% of the price paid by the traveler.

    100% of Traveling Spoon experiences are private! Just you and your host and host’s family.

    Hosts typically respond to booking inquiries within 72 hours. If for some reason you have not heard from your host or if you have any questions you can always contact us at reservations@travelingspoon.com.

    Your safety and security are our top priority. To ensure this, Traveling Spoon personally vets 100% of all hosts, including an in-person host visit, to ensure each host and experience meets our strict quality requirements.

    Some hosts offer transportation as an optional add-on for travelers. Typically this is round trip transportation with pick up and drop off at your hotel. Pricing is quoted per car. Specific instructions for transportation will be provided in your confirmation details when your booking is confirmed.

    Many of our hosts accommodate solo travelers. You can see if a host accepts solo travelers by looking at the traveler range found next to the experience descriptions on the host profile (indicated by the numbers in parentheses next to "In-home meal", "Cooking experience" and "Market visit").

    Most of our Traveling Spoon experiences are incredibly family friendly and can accommodate infants and children. If a host is unable to accommodate children that will be noted in the “Notes” section of their profile. Our child pricing policy is children aged 5-11 are 50% off, and infants aged 0-4 are free.