After spending a semester in Valparaíso, my friend and I had the most genuine experience and ate the best food we had eaten in 6 months during this cooking class. Chef Gonzalo Vial picked us up outside of Cafe Vinilo at around 11:30 and drove us to the market in Valparaíso. First of all, just getting the opportunity to see the distinct, beautiful markets that this city has to offer was an experience in itself - we saw huge rooms full of buckets of herbs and spices, and streets lined with fruit, vegetable, and fish vendors. Then he drove us through the hills of Valparaíso, pointing out some of the important yet less well-known buildings of the area, introducing us to his favorite Chilean music, and stopping to buy empanadas from his favorite empanada place. Then we went right to his home, where we briefly met his wonderful family. We worked in his kitchen for 5 1/2 hours. He insists that we prepare everything - he was a good teacher, patient, and we learned both the history of the food we were making and general cooking tips. He is friendly and easy-going and incredibly easy to talk to. The environment was very comfortable and fun, and the food was delicious! I highly recommend this class - I will always remember this day fondly!
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