FE_DA_090407bpr_argentina    culture

Argentina is blessed with being a major food producer and exporting significant amounts of beef and grains, especially wheat.

When combined with its strong European influences — particularly Italian and Spanish. Argentine food is truly like no other in South America.  Meats and pasta dominate the main courses in almost all regions of the country. The major urban centers are cosmopolitan and combine global menus and fusion dishes under the general label of Nuevo (new) Argentina cuisine with traditional asados, or grilled meats.

Cecilia Gomez native of Resistencia Chaco, Argentina is our own Conexion Americas Outreach Coordinator, will guide us through a two-course menu while enjoying refreshing beverages.

When:  Tuesday, August 12/2014

Time: 6 pm to 8 pm

Cost: $40  || Buy Ticket (SOLD OUT). Thank you for your support!

Hungry for more? Next stop: BOLIVIA


Date posted: July 10, 2014

Categories: Mezcla Cooking Class

Costa Rica Class

Still wish you could give someone the world for Christmas? While you may not be able to wrap up a plane ticket to a dream destination, you can send friends and family on trips from the Caribbean to Cambodia via Mesa Komal(community table) at Casa Azafrán Community Center. Gift certificates are available for monthly Mezcla Mix and Master Cooking Classes where chefs share their skills and cultures…

Read more from writer Cindy McCain’s experience at the Mezcla Mix & Master Cooking Class! 

Gift Certificates are $40 each and are available for purchase online.
Each one valid for any Mezcla International Class in 2014!


Date posted: December 17, 2013

Categories: Mezcla Cooking Class Press

Egyptian Class

After visiting Peru in our October class, we are now traveling to Egypt, courtesy of chef Ragab Rashwan.  Ragab is the chef-owner of a new Nashville food truck called The Falafel Factory.  He will guide us through a three-course menu while enjoying traditional beverages.

Buy your ticket now before it sells out!  More details are available here.

$40 || Buy Tickets


Traditional Hummus & Taboule
Falafel with Tahini Sauce
Basbousa Dessert
Hibiscus Tea

Continue reading Mezcla: Egyptian Cooking Class

Date posted: October 24, 2013

Categories: Events Mezcla Cooking Class

For the next class in our monthly series, we are traveling to the west coast of South America, to the country of Peru.  Home to the now popular, but ancient grain called quinoa, it also boasts over 3800 varieties of potatoes!  Patricia Arrunategui Young, our instructor was born in Lima, the capital.  She will guide us through a three-course menu while enjoying traditional Pisco Sours.

Peruvian Ceviche

I love to eat and I have always watched my grandmother cook. I never forgot any of the cooking tips she gave me. When I was living in Peru, I rarely cooked anything because I was studying and working. Also, everyone else in my family cooked for me! But, when I moved to United States in 2006, I had to start cooking for myself because I was missing and craving Peruvian food. Then, I talked to my grandma and I told her how much I enjoyed it and how much I love to cook for my husband.

Let me tell you more about my country, Peruvian cuisine reflects  influences from the indigenous Incas and cuisines brought in with immigrants such as Spanish cuisine, Chinese cuisine, Italian cuisine, German cuisine, Japanese cuisine and African influences. Without the familiar ingredients from their home countries, immigrants modified their traditional cuisines by using ingredients available in Peru. Peru has won the top honor as World’s Leading Culinary Destination at the 2012 World Travel Awards held in India. Also, Peruvian top chef Gastón Acurio received the White Guide Global Gastronomy Award 2013!

Continue reading Mezcla: Peruvian Cooking Class

Date posted: September 25, 2013

Categories: Events Food and Culture Mezcla Cooking Class

Join us for our next Mezcla: Mix and Master Cooking Class!  Karla Ruiz will be teaching a three-course meal including Cochinita Pibil – Mexican style BBQ pork.  We will gather in the beautiful commercial kitchen at Casa Azafrán for some fun conversation, delicious food and new adventures.

Maize on the water in Xochimilco

Karla Ruiz owns local favorite Karla’s Catering, and you may have tried one of her delicious empanadas at one of the area Farmer’s Markets! Karla Ruiz born in Mexico City and raised in the small town of Zamora, Michoacan.

At an early age, she discovered her love of cooking.  In their house, everything was hand made, using ingredients from grandma’s – “Mama Toya” – back yard, and so began her appreciation for fresh ingredients.

Over 10 years ago Karla found her way to Nashville and the Belle Meade plantation, working with her mentor Martha Stamps. Karla taught cooking class where she shared some of her favorites recipes as well and participating in events like James Beard Foundation, Cooking Class for Nashville Herbs Society and many more. All this together inspire Karla to create Karla’s Catering, to bring experience, flavor and good taste in the culinary art.

6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 10.

$40 per person, includes food and beverages


Hibiscus Margaritas
Wild Salmon Ceviche
Cochinita Pibil (Mexican Style BBQ Pork) with Pickled Purple Onions
Guava Empanaditas with Piloncillo (Mexican Brown Sugar)

Continue reading Mezcla: Mexican Cooking Class

Date posted: August 21, 2013

Categories: Food and Culture Mezcla Cooking Class

Please join us for Mezcla: Mix and Master Cooking Class!  We will gather in the beautiful commercial kitchen at Casa Azafrán for some fun conversation, delicious food and new adventures.  Learn how to prepare a traditional “Sancocho” Soup from Chef Alfonso Nieto, owner of Guantanamera, while enjoying homemade Sangria.  Aprons will be provided during the class.

m g a / Foter / CC BY-SA

Alfonso Nieto was born and raised in Colombia and his passion for food started at an early age.  Trying to avoid the chores of summers on the farm, he would try to “hide” in the kitchen!

Of course the women decided to put him to work there instead, so he quickly learned the art of traditional Colombian cooking.  Fast forward through years of traveling and dining around the world, he ultimately relocated to Nashville.

Alfonso married a woman passionate about Cuban food seven years ago and has recently opened a new restaurant on Nolensville Pike.

With a focus on Cuban and Colombian dishes, Guantanamera seeks to encourage diners in Middle Tennessee to explore the depth of flavor and creativity in dishes found throughout Central and South America.  Alfonso’s food tends to be very different from the spicy reputation of Mexican fare.

6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 13.

$40 per person, includes food and beverages



Homemade Sangria

Cassava prepared two different ways

A typical Sancocho (Chicken Soup)

Cuajada con Melao (Cheese with Caramel Sauce) for dessert

Casa Azafrán

2195 Nolensville Pike
Nashville, TN 37211
(between the Fairgrounds and I-440.  Look for the big tile mosaic over the main entrance.)

All proceeds support the work of Conexión Américas.

If you have any questions, please email Jenny or call (615) 835-2509.

Date posted: July 26, 2013

Categories: Events Food and Culture Mezcla Cooking Class

Chef Lamar

Please join us for Mezcla: Mix and Master Cooking Class!  We will gather in the beautiful commercial kitchen at Casa Azafrán for some fun conversation, delicious food and new adventures.  Learn how to prepare a multi-course Haitian meal while enjoying drinks and plenty of samples.  Aprons will be provided for use during the class.

Spondias dulcis, Spondias cythrea, Otaheite apple 's mature fruit ...Trái Cóc chín
Vietnam Plants & The USA. plants / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

My name is Lamartine Alvarez most call me Lamar. I was born and raised in Haiti.  I am married to Patricia and we have 4 kids, age 9, 7, 3, and 2.  My passion for cooking started at a very young age.  My mother taught culinary art in Haiti and I learned a lot growing up in that environment. I always enjoy entertaining friends and family with my cooking.  They usually leave very happy and wanting more.

In august 2010 I start a catering company call Chez Lama Haitian Catering Company. One of my goals is to Promote Haitian Cuisine with the world.  I hope that one day Haitian Cuisine will be known like Italian, Mexican, and so many orders.  I am excited for this opportunity to teach this class. You are in for a treat.

Come and learn about the culture and why we prepare food the way we do. I hope you will leave that evening saying this is one of the best foods I have tasted in years.

Continue reading Mezcla: Haiti Cooking Class

Date posted: June 26, 2013

Categories: Events Mezcla Cooking Class

Raul and Maria Garcia

Please join us in Mesa Komal, the commercial kitchen at Casa Azafran, for the International Cooking Club! Come ready for some fun conversation, delicious food and new adventures!  Aprons will be provided for use during the class.

To start, your chef will guide you through a  Heart of Palm Ceviche for an appetizer.  Then you will learn how to make Caldo Verde – black bean soup.  The entree will be a typical meal - Casado - a combination of rice, beans, fried yuca and barbudos.  To finish the meal, you will enjoy some tropical fruit in the form of a Maracuyá Flan.  ¡Qué delicioso!

Escorting us through this Costa Rican meal will be Raul Garcia and his mother, Maria Mendez…

Tatters:) / Food Photos / CC BY

My name is Raul Garcia. I’ve been in the food industry for about seven years. I currently run the kitchen at Finezza Italian Bistro in West Meade.  I was blessed not to only grow up around great cooks such as my mom (Maria Mendez) and grandmother; but to grow up in such a beautiful place.

 Costa Rica is a tiny country located between Nicaragua and Panama. It’s a country with a lot of ethnic groups which definitely show in its cuisine.  Costa Rican cuisine can be best described as simple, humble, and of course delicious.  During this time together I’d like to introduce a few of the typical dishes. Food that brings memories of home and family. Things I grew up eating.

Continue reading Mezcla: Costa Rica Cooking Class

Date posted: June 5, 2013

Categories: Food and Culture Mezcla Cooking Class

Mix and Master International Cooking Class

Join us once a month in our Mesa Komal kitchen for a culinary adventure.  Highlighting the cuisine from a particular country, it will be an intimate opportunity to learn about the chef’s culture while enjoying some typical music and wine.  You will experience new ingredients and unique recipes through the process of creating a fabulous dinner.  Proceeds support the work of Conexión Américas.

Thai Jasmine (Smile..smile…Smile..) / Foter.com / CC BY-NC


Click the date below for more details and to purchase tickets!

June 18th:  Raul Garcia, Costa Rica
July 9th:  Lamar Alvarez, Haiti
August 13th:  Alfonso Niento, Cuba & Colombia
September 10th:  Karla Ruiz, Mexico
October 15th: Patricia Arrunategui, Peru

Add your name to our mailing list to receive an invitation.  Email Jenny if you would like to teach one of these classes!


Date posted: May 30, 2013

Categories: Events Mezcla Cooking Class