Dancing Chefs’ New Year resolutions

The year 2016 is the year of the revolution….. mmm we mean: resolution! After a lengthy discussion involving many margaritas and several shots of tequila the Dancing Chefs decided on the perfect resolutions to make Salsa and Salsa spicier, saucier and fun-filled. And who said New Year resolutions had to be solemn and serious?!?

The Dancing Chefs solemnly swear in 2016 to:

Greet every guest with a margarita and a big smile 

dancing chef haley with guest



Lead the Conga line

conga line leonique


Teach every chef how to salt their glass perfectly!

perfectly salted rim


Try the Hot Chef salsas, even though they make us cry!

We hit another SPICY record a 22-chili salsa Danci


Teach the perfect mushing technique: Press-and-roll….press-and-roll!


making salsa verde


Enjoy the ‘office’ view every day

cozumel sea view 1

Be goofy with our sister Dancing Chefs

DSC05066Dancing chef stephanie and Daphne1


Style up our salsa moves with an Olé!



Enjoy Salsa and Salsa like a little chef!

young chef with green salsa


Invite every chef onto the dance floor!

disabled chef dancing


Spread the salsa spirit around you and make sure to visit Salsa and Salsa again soon for a refresher class! Don’t forget to keep the Dancing Chefs to their promises! Olé!!!


“Tequila is the answer!”

Fiesta-fans, tequila lovers and sals-a-holics: it’s that time of the year again! September is the Patriotic Month of the year in Mexico, because of Independence Day on September 15th. Of course this the perfect excuse to host a Salsa party at home.  We’ve told you all about how to set up a Taco-party or Taquiza in a previous post. But now it’s time to expand your mixology skills beyond making a Margarita-on-the-rocks. As you can guess, the main ingredient of these cocktails is Mexico’s favorite drink……. Tequila!!!


This is probably the most famous way to drink tequila. Be careful though, because having more two might get you in some kind of trouble.


  • 1 shot Tequila
  • Lime, cut in 4 pieces
  • salt


Take 1/4 of the lime and hold it with your thumb and index finger. In the space of the hand where both previously mentioned join, put the salt. With the other hand hold the shot of tequila. To drink: lick the salt, shoot the tequila and bite the lime. Finally have somebody shake your head! Olé!!!

Salty Chihuahua

SaltyChihuahuaThis is the perfect cocktail for those looking for a low-calorie option. It’s a variation to the well-known Paloma cocktail that contains grape-fruit soda.


  • 1 shot tequila
  • 1/2 shot orange liqueur
  • 3 shots grapefruit juice
  • salt
  • grapefruit slice



Prepare your old-fashion glass by dipping into a plate with lime juice and then onto a plate with salt. Fill glass half full with ice cubes. Then add the tequila, orange liqueur and grapefruit juice and stir. Serve with a slice of grapefruit.


Tequila Sunset

tequila_sunriseThis is the sister of another famous tequila cocktail. It’s a refreshing drink for tropical summer nights or a celebration. However be aware that its sweet flavor might trick you and make sure to pace yourself.


  • 2 oz white tequila
  • 3 oz dark rum
  • 6 oz orange juice
  • splash of grenadine
  • orange slice


Fill a tall glass with ice and add the tequila and orange juice. Slowly pour in a splash of grenadine. To finish add the rum with a spoon, so it floats on top of the drink. Decorate your glass with a slice of orange or your favorite fruit.



This is a drink to be careful with for two reasons. It has tequila and coffee liqueur, which gives it heat. The preparation makes it perfect for those who like extreme experiences.

Cucaracha cocktailIngredients:

  • 1 1/2 oz tequila
  • 1 1/2 oz coffee liqueur


In a 4 oz glass add the coffee liqueur. Then pour SLOWLY the tequila to create layers and avoid mixing. Get matches, a brave volunteer and let the fun begin. Put a straw all the way to the bottom and finish it before it burns.






submarinoThis is another traditional drink with tequila. It’s lots of fun to prepare, but it’s not for the faint-hearted. The combination of tequila and beer might be too much for those who are not used to it.


  • 1 shot tequila
  • 1 Mexican beer

Take the shot glass with tequila. Hold the beer mug upside down and put the shot glass inside. Slowly turn around to not spill any tequila. Now gently serve a cold beer on top, so the tequila mixes poco-a-poco with the beer. Salud, dinero y mucho mucho amor!


The Dancing Chefs show off their tools!

dancing chef amandaMexico’s most patriotic month of the year has started.  So it’s time to dust off your big ‘Sombrero’, take out the tequila and get ready Mexico’s Independence Day on September 15th.  But before you start gulping down those shots of tequila, you should have at least a solid base of home-made Mexican food in your stomach. You know…. Just in case!

When you walk into a kitchen in Mexico, you will find several cooking tools that might look unfamiliar to you. However to make the best Mexican food, you need the best tools. To help you figure out what to use, here’s an easy guide from the Dancing Chefs:




We’re going to start off easy. If you have been at Salsa and Salsa, you have hands-on experience with the Mexican mortar. It’s made from lava stone or clay and it is used to grind spices and ingredients to make Salsa!




You might have seen this utensil in hole-in-the-wall restaurants. It’s a round baking sheet or griddle, made of stoneware or iron. The Comal is heated on the stove top or directly on a fire to bake or reheat tortillas. It’s quite an art to bake tortillas and not burn your fingers when you have to turn them over! If you can’t find a Comal, you can use a dry skillet instead.




This traditional earthenware casserole only has been glazed on the inside. The Cazuela is perfect to make Moles and stews, because it heats evenly and stay warm for a long time. When you buy a new Cazuela you have to make it ready for use. To do this, rub the inside with a fresh clove of garlic, fill the cazuela with cold water and leave to boil dry. Repeat this process several times and then rinse with some water and soap.




The name of this tool literally means ‘hand mill’. It is a wooden, carved whisk to make hot chocolate. Mexican chocolate is a mixture of ground cocoa, sugar and cinnamon, pressed together into chocolate bars. The loose wooden rings at the top make sure that the hot chocolate become nice and foamy. To use the Molinillo you have to hold it between two hands and twist back and forth to make the whisk movement.

metate y mano




Metate y Mano:

This ancient tool is made of lava stone and has a wide rolling pin, with which you grind corn, chilies, cocoa beans and other ingredients. Indigenous chefs kneel on the ground,

true to tradition and roll the round Mano over the Metate. The ground ingredients are collected on the lower end of the Metate.

Mexican Margaritas from the Dancing Chefs

dancing chef stephanie Margaritas are a very typical drink from Mexico and that of course is because its base is TEQUILA!!!!  As you probably know,  you can make margaritas of any flavor, but the key to a delicious margarita is to use fresh ingredients and high quality alcohol.

As a true Dancing Chef, I love to experiment with new flavors that the bartenders, or “cantineros” as we like to call them, come up with. There are some very strange margarita flavors, like: Avocado, Cucumber-Jalapeño and Banana-Peanut Butter. These flavors are really popular among people that LOVE those vegetables or the particular sweetness of peanut butter.

The most popular margaritas are: Lime, Strawberry, Pineapple, Mango and Tamarind. You are probably wondering what tamarind is. Well, not only is it my favorite flavor of margarita, but it is also a very common pod-like fruit which is used extensively around the world.


In Mexico, it is used in sauces or sold in various snack forms: candied, in sweet soft clusters, or dried and salted. It is also prepared as a fresh beverage called Agua de Tamarindo, or as a cocktail Margarita de Tamarindo. Often in Mexico tamarind is plucked off the tree and eaten raw.

Tamarind has a sour flavor that goes perfect with either chili or sugar. Make sure that on your next trip to Mexico you try tamarind in the different ways it is prepared.


15 fresh tamarinds

1/3 cup of sugar

3 cups of water

Peel the tamarind pods and put them in a small pot with 3 cups of water. Let them boil for about 15 minutes and add the sugar. Mix it up and let it cool down. When it’s room temperature, get ready to squeeze! Wash your hands thoroughly and get them in the pot, squeezing the tamarind so the seeds pop out and remove them. Pour the seedless mix into a blender and blend until is smooth.  You just finished your home-made tamarind syrup!!! This can often be used for Tamarind water or a Tamarind Margarita.

Tamarind syrup


1 cup of home-made tamarind syrup

4 oz of tequila

4 oz of orange liqueur

2 limes

2 cups of ice

Chili powder or Salt to rim the glasses

Here we are going to make Tamarind Margaritas. Pour 1 cup of your home-made tamarind syrup,  4 oz of tequila, and 4 oz of orange liqueur in the blender , and squeeze in the juice of two limes. Add 2 cups of ice and blend! Your margarita is ready to pour into your glass, but make sure you rim your glass with lime and then with chili powder  (you can subtitute salt for chili powder). Once the glass is ready, pour in the margarita. You can garnish with a slice of lime or jicama if you’d like.

Now you only need to raise your glass and toast in Salsa and Salsa style: Salud, Dinero y mucho mucho Amor!!!

Margarita tamarindo

Snowboards for surfboards

My name is Dancing Chef Cherine from Cabo San Lucas. My story – or so I’ve been told – is one of boldness, courage and bravery. I personally tend to look at it differently. Let me tell you the story of me and my family and then you, dear fellow Chef, can come to your own conclusion.

Dancing Chef Cherine

Montréal, Quebec, Canada, is where we call home. To be more precise, we lived in a small community about 55 minutes north of our big beautiful city where our landscaping was one of mountains, scattered lakes and ponds, swaying corn fields, picturesque shops, cafes with terraces and fresh fresh air. My family and I live a happy life in French Canada. Our 4 well-rounded and grounded children enjoyed their lives as much as we adults did. It was nothing spectacular, we had a typical home in suburbia, worked hard, enjoyed the outdoors, friends, family, you know, the classic.

Living in Quebec means very long, cold winters and very short, hot and humid summers. Anyone living on the East Coast of North America will live a much happier and longer life if and when they chose to ‘blend’  with the season, instead of resisting them, meaning: in spring, you clip your early tulips and create thin but beautiful bouquets rather than grieving when the inevitable late April snow storm covers and wilts the premature ones.

In summer, you dive into every cold lake, pond or fountain at every opportunity you get rather than waiting for the rain to pass and the sun to shine. In fall, my personal favorite season, you drive and snap a photo, have a picnic and take in every ounce of the magnificent festival of natural colors, without crying over your diminishing and very costly gas tank. And in winter, button up and go outside to ski, skate and snowboard, snowshoe, play hockey, build forts, crazy slides and igloos, compete in a snowball fight and throw yourself to the frozen ground to create life size angels instead of locking yourself up hermetically with stale viruses from previous colds and flues waiting to complain about the premature wilted tulips in what seems a lifetime away. So we as a unit (or tribe as some of our friend used to call our family of 6) did our best to enjoy every season that was thrown our way.

dancing chef cherine with daughterOne cold December evening after chilling (or should I say thawing) by the fireplace, I received the phone call that was to change our lives. A friend of a friend was ‘Moving to Mexico’ to work in real estate. Being in the midst of a very succesfull Real Estate career myself (with no intention of sounding smug), I listened carefully, hung up the telephone, gently turned and asked my husband if he wanted to move to Mexico. His answer was simple…..”Sure!”

Less than 12 months later and after many budget drafts, shopping, selling, convincing, re-assuring, renting, moving, more budget drafts, virtual interview, crying, celebrating…. you can see the picture I’m trying to paint, we uprooted 4 kids (no teenagers then, Thank God) and moved away to unknown territory.

That was 4 years ago.

Living in Baja California Sur, or more precisely at the very tip of this breathtaking peninsula means very sunny and warm winters and very short, humid and humid summers. Anyone choosing to call Baja their home will live a much happier and longer life, if and when they chose to ‘blend’ with this one extended season, meaning: wear sunscreen to go for a walk, learn to befriend the sea, help the baby turtles to find their way, surf, sup and boogie all in one day, speak Spanish the best you can, sip chilled jamaica tea water with friends on the beach, decorate a Christmas Cactus, expand your flip flop collection, learn to feel good in bathing suit, take up Salsa dancing and Salsa making! Decorate your homes, offices and lives with bold colors and discover the many uses for Tequila.

Although the tribe is permanently tanned, the adults are still working hard and the children are growing up differently, I think we are more sensitive, humble and appreciative of what our new home has taught us.

Do you know what stands out more from this radical life change? That is was relatively easy to do, all you need is to want to do it, the rest all kind of falls into place…

Yes, there is paperwork to be done, yes there will be times when you feel frustrated at the differences in culture and language limitations, but nothing compares to the experience of raising my children in a friendly atmosphere full of culture, traditions and different flavors…. One thing is for sure: our life is definitely richer thanks to the cultural background we live in.

I’m glad that I can combine my Real Estate career with being a Dancing Chef and I look forward to welcome you in Cabo San Lucas!

The Cabo Dancing Chefs

T- time: All about Mexican culinary vocabulary

Whenever you’re in Mexico or eating Mexican food, doesn’t it strike you how many ingredients and dishes start with the letter T? It seems that this is the most important letter in the food-ABC. But do you know what all these dishes are that start with a T? The Dancing Chefs have been digging deep to find the delicious T’s out there! Olé!

T – Tequila

tequila los osunaIn Mexico we love tequila. We drink it on large and small national holidays, at funerals and anniversaries, at casual lunches and at dinner with friends. Legally tequila is our champagne. All tequila has to come from the state of Jalisco and is protected with a DO (Designation of Origin) by the Consejos Regulador del Tequila (Tequila Regulatory Council). This organization ensures that all tequila sold throughout the world comes from this state in central south Mexico. This arid area with highland soil creates the perfect conditions for the blue agave, the plant from which tequila is distilled, to grow. No tequila made in China (or elsewhere), por favor!

Taste is a key word when it comes to tequila. If you’re interested in discovering its real taste, you should stay away from the image of big testosterone-driven machos gulping shot after shot of tequila and throw away its reputation as a quick intoxicator. Tequila has become more and more sophisticated and today’s is considered a refined drink that rivals an imported single-malt whiskey or a quality cognac, and not only in price but also in its smooth warm taste. Today’s finest tequilas are meant to be enjoyed in a small glass with pleasure, in tiny sips.

T – Tortillas

tortillasTortillas are made from corn dough (masa) and serve in Mexico as bread, plate and spoon at the same time. Every city has many tortillerías (tortilla bakeries) where tortillas are made by hand or with a tortilla machine on a daily basis. Fresh masa is made from specially treated corn that’s ground into dough, but corn flour is also commonly used.  Flour tortillas (tortillas de harina) are staple in the northern regions of Mexico and are less easily broken due to its high gluten content, and can be made larger and thinner without breaking too easily.

T – Tacos

tacos de guisadoThis typical street food can be made of any cooked meat, fish or vegetable wrapped in a tortilla, with a dash of salsa and garnished with onion and cilantro. Soft corn tortillas are used to wrap grilled meats in Tacos al carbon, an array of stews in tacos de guisado or griddle-cooked meats and vegetable in tacos a la plancha. When tacos are filled with chicken, barbacoa, potatoes or cheese and lightly fried they are called tacos dorados. If you are in northern Mexico, chances are you will find tacos with flour tortilla (tortilla de harina) and the fillings will be more meat than vegetarian.

T – Tamales

tamalesMade with masa (corn dough) mixed with lard, stuffed with stewed meat, fish or vegetables, wrapped or steamed. The word comes from the Náhuatl word tamalli and refers to anything wrapped up. Every region in the country has its own special tamal, the most famous being the Oaxacan-style tamales with mole and wrapped in banana leaves, the Mexico City tamales with chicken and green tomatillo sauce wrapped in corn husks and the Yucatecan style made with chicken marinated in achiote (annatto paste) wrapped in banana leaves.

T – Tortas


tortasIn every street corner in Mexico you find stands where they sell an abundant amount of sandwiches or Tortas: with beans, chile, cheese, onions, tomatoes, cabbage, and avocado and, if that weren’t already enough, also fried egg, meat, turkey or chicken. All these ingredients go into a bread roll, called telera.

There’s one kind of torta from Guadalajara,  that is believed to be the best hang-over cure, a Torta Ahogada (‘drowned sandwich’).  There are three major components to this dish. A birote baguette is filled with tender chunks of roasts pork leg and then smothered with a searing chili sauce (made primarily from a dried chili pepper called ‘de arbol’, vinegar, garlic and oregano). The soggy sandwich is crunchy on the outside and soft in the center, because of the crusty, sour birote bread.

 T – Tostadas

tostadasTostadas are tortillas that have been baked or fried until they get crisp and are then cooled. The idea is that in this state they can hold a variety of toppings. Tostadas de pollo are a beautiful layering of beans, chicken, cream, shredded lettuce, onion, avocado and queso fresco (a fresh cheese). In Mazatlan tostadas are served with a dollop of mayonnaise and crab meat (tostadas de jaiba) or with shrimp or fish ceviche.

Enjoy these tasty dishes at home!


Dancing Chef Maaike

Tequila: what’s in a name

The first thing that comes to mind when hearing the word ‘Tequila’ is Mexico’s national spirit. But not everybody knows that Tequila is actually a town. It’s about 50km northwest of Guadalajara in the highlands of Mexico. Tequila is surrounded by an ocean of blue agave, the gorgeous succulent from which tequila is distilled. The Cuervo family settled here in 1758 to grow agave and distill mezcal. In 1795 José Cuervo introduced the first bottle of what we now know as tequila. Tourists come to tour distilleries (yes, samples are given) and troll the cobbled backstreets looking for good deals on, what else, tequila.


The tequila industry is quite young. Spanish conquistadores first cultivated the blue -agave plant (Agave tequilana weber) as early as the mid-1550’s in the state of Jalisco. But tequila, which is only produced in Jalisco, didn’t become popular until after the Mexican Revolution in 1910 when José Cuervo introduced the first bottle to the public.


It all starts in the agave fields. Plants are cultivated for 8 to 12 years then the jimadores come calling. These tough field hands expertly strip away the spiny foliage until they’ve found its heart, called a piña. The largest weigh up to 150kg, are hauled from the fields by donkeys, shipped to the distillery by truck and fed into the brick or clay ovens where they cook for up to 3 days. Afterwards the softened pulp is shredded and juiced and the liquid is pumped into fermentation vats where it is usually mixed with yeast. In order to bear the 100% agave label, premium tequilas can legally add nothing else. Lesser tequilas, however, add sugar and sometimes flavouring and/or coloring agents. By law the mixture can contain no less than 51% agave if it is to be called tequila.


There are four varieties of tequila. White or silver (blanco or plata) tequila is not aged, no colors or flavours are added (though sugar may be) – it has a distinct agave flavour and is best sipped as an aperitif or mixed in a margarita. The similar gold variety (oro) also is not aged, but color and flavours, usually caramel, are added. Do yourself a favour and avoid the gold.


Aged tequila, a fairly recent phenomenon, can be used in a mixer, but it’s best sipped neat. Tequila reposado, (rested) has been aged from 2 to 11 months in oak barrels and tends to taste sharp and peppery. Tequila añejo (aged) is aged at least one year in oak barrels. It’s sweet and smooth and works best as an after-dinner drink paired with chocolate.


In Mexico you can buy a decent bottle of tequila for 150 Mexican pesos, though for something special you’ll need to spent over 300 Mexican pesos. Treat the good stuff like a bottle of single malt and before you sip it, sniff it a few times to prepare your palate for the heat and it won’t taste so harsh.


And don’t be looking for a ‘special’ worm (gusano) in each bottle. These are placed in bottles of mezcal (an agave spirit similar to tequila but distilled outside of Jalisco state) as a marketing ploy – and even if you slurp the critter, you won’t get any higher. Blue agave’s psychoactive properties will leave you feeling lifted regardless.

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