Cinco de Mayo Comes Early

by on May 2, 2012

I’ve talked about the cooking demos at my local Whole Foods many times so if you’re a regular reader you’re bound to know that I love them. Chef Jesse, the mastermind behind these classes, is moving to San Francisco this month so his last class was on Monday night.

Chef Jesse.JPG

I’ve been attending his classes for over a year and through this we have become friends outside of Whole Foods. He’ll definitely be missed, but I’m also super excited for him because he’s ¬†transferring to the Oakland Whole Foods to be a chef at their Wellness Club. <– Sounds like an amazing opportunity to me!

In honor of his leaving the last class was Cinco de Mayo themed and involved less cooking/demonstrating and more eating and drinking. It was sort of like a mini going away party.

We started off with a few new-to-me spanish beers: The Cervesera De Montestraney Lupulus IPA, Malta Pale and Negra Stout.

Cervesera De Montestraney.JPG

I tend to shy away from IPAs but I actually liked this one because it didn’t have that bitter aftertaste I usually find in most IPAs. The Malta Pale Ale was easy to drink, but I skipped the stout and had a sample of a red Spanish wine instead.

beer in WF wine glass.JPG

On the menu for the evening – tacos with corn tortillas and a ton of different fillings:

  • masa harina battered fish
  • chicken, steak, lange (beef tongue)
  • portobello mushrooms
  • guacamole
  • jicama salsa
  • mango salsa
  • red cabbage and jicama slaw
  • queso fresca
  • salsa verde
  • salsa roja

jicama salsa.JPG

Everything was made from scratch by Jesse and tasted wonderful, per the usual!


Fresh guacamole is simply amazing. I couldn’t keep my hands away from it.


I had one fish and mushroom taco with mango salsa, slaw and guac and then went back for a second plate of toppings.


More of the same stuff, just no tortilla.

taco filling.JPG

I was a huge fan of the fish, which was fried but in a really light batter, sauteed portobello mushrooms, guacamole and salsas. Jesse explained that both salsas had the same base of pico de gallo and then he just added jicama to one and fresh mango to the other. I have a feeling I’ll be making both of these as soon as it’s tomato season!

This meal definitely satisfied my craving for Mexican food and the best part is that there were no free chips involved, which is always my downfall when eating out at Mexican places.

Liz of I Heart Vegetables also attended the class and as things were wrapping up, we decided we needed a photo with Jesse. Good times!

Liz, Jesse and I.JPG

Thanks for all the wonderful classes Jesse! Hopefully I’ll get to come to California sometime soon and visit you. That Whole Foods Wellness Club is calling my name. Seriously, I’m pretty sure I need an official tour of the place. :)

Will you be celebrating Cinco de Mayo this week? We never really celebrate so I doubt we’ll be doing anything, although I like the sound of making some healthy guacamole so maybe I’ll get in the spirit.

I’ll be back soon with a recap of my April Challenge but for now, here are a few links of interest:

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Claire @ Live and Love to Eat May 2, 2012 at 9:04 am

Those tacos look like perfection – all of my favorite components! I agree that fresh guac is like a drug.


Eating Bird Food May 3, 2012 at 3:32 pm

So creamy and addictive. :)


Nina @ Sweating It May 2, 2012 at 10:18 am

I’m finally moving to within walking distance of a Whole Foods, so I may have to check out their cooking demonstrations… that mango salsa looks divine!

This weekend I’m headed to a Bachelorette Party in Miami, so I reckon we’ll be getting our Cinco de Mayo on there, BUT I’m also supremely lucky to have a fiance bringing home food from our favorite Mexican place tonight. Good deal. :)


Danielle Capps May 2, 2012 at 10:55 am

I am havnig Whole Foods withdrawels! Virginia Beach is in the process of building, I am going to Richmond soon and plan on stopping in at their whole foods to get my fix lol


Healthy Living Val May 2, 2012 at 11:38 am

I’ve never heard of Whole Foods’ Wellness Clubs before — they actually seem really cool. Apparently they had one in NYC the whole time I’ve been there and now I’m moving to LA and there isn’t one there. Boo!


Eating Bird Food May 3, 2012 at 9:44 pm

I hadn’t heard of the Wellness Clubs either. There isn’t one near me either. :/


Healthy Living Val May 3, 2012 at 9:48 pm

At least there are a million Trader Joe’s in LA (that don’t have mile-long lines)! ;)


Jill @ Jill is Active May 2, 2012 at 12:57 pm

I’ll be moving into my new apartment in Boston on Cinco de Mayo. I’m sure my parents and I will celebrate with a (skinny) margarita that night though!

My new apartment is so close to a Whole Foods and I CAN’T wait to have that back in my life.


Eating Bird Food May 3, 2012 at 9:43 pm

Oh wow! That’s super exciting Jill. I hope the move goes well.


Whitney @ Whit Likes Fit May 2, 2012 at 2:29 pm

That food looks delicious! My husband’s in vegas this weekend for a bachelor party so with him gone I probably won’t be celebrating cinco de mayo. But we did go out for my belated bday at a Mexican restaurant last night so I guess that counts.


Eating Bird Food May 3, 2012 at 9:42 pm

That definitely counts in my book!


Sam @ Fit for My Fork May 2, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Whole Foods looks like an amazing place! I would probably live in there – especially if they offer cooking demos and classes! How awesome! – if we had one nearby!


Stephanie @cookinfanatic May 3, 2012 at 7:58 am

Love that pic of you three, so cute! Everything looks super fresh and delicious too, per usual :) We def need to meet up with Jesse for a few going-away cocktails before he departs!


Eating Bird Food May 3, 2012 at 9:42 pm

I definitely agree. There was mention of a going away party. :)


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