2015 Ghana collage

Travel to the African continent with Seli Boni, the owner of Eziban Foods, maker of the delicious and healthy tropical snack ‘Plantain Drizzle’ at Mesa Komal (and available at concessions at Belcourt Theatre).  Seli also loves to cook at home and loves to create interesting foods from her home country, Ghana.  Ghanaian cuisine is based around slow simmered stews and soups with meat or beans and fresh vegetables in savory sauces sure to please dinner guests (and your own family!). She uses fresh and locally grown ingredients in her cooking, using substitutes only where necessary to get the authentic taste desired.

Appetizer | Suya beef kebab on a bed of lettuce with tomato sauce

Entree | Chicken Jollof Rice with vegetables

Dessert | Tropical Delight Pudding

Wine will also be served

Friday, March 20, 2015 | 6pm-8pm | Mesa Komal at Casa Azafrán | 2195 Nolensville Pike, Nashville | TICKETS HERE

It’s interesting just how the act of observation can impact your knowledge of cooking.  As a child, I remember observing my mother and grandparents cooking and being asked to assist with simple tasks; like grinding pepper or bringing the salt.  I was unaware I had absorbed cooking skills until I began hosting dinners at home.  I love to tweak traditional cuisines to suit different palates.  For instance, in Ghana, we use a lot of chilli in our sauces, so our foods are hot and spicy.  Depending on who is eating the food, I may eliminate the chilli altogether from my recipe or replace with black or white peppercorns.

A stay-at-home mother transitioning back to the workforce, Seli loves to introduce people to the rich and diverse foods from the West Africa sub-region.   The different countries eat similar foods, but prepare them differently.  In Ghana, a popular dish is “Red Red,” beans cooked in tomato sauce with meat or fish and fried plantain.

Read more from our February 2015 Newsletter

Come to be inspired at our Cafecito April 24 at Music City Center (or RSVP to Cara Ince here)

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: Immigration Update

State Legislative Priority: Tuition Equality

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Date posted: February 23, 2015

Categories: Mezcla Cooking Class Uncategorized

Mardi Gras Louisiana Creole Cooking Class
collage mardi gras sm

Laissez les bons temps rouler! Join us for a Mardi Gras culinary experience. Originally from Louisiana and part of a rich heritage of Italian immigrants to the Mississippi Delta, Lisa Mays will be hosting our Mardi Gras cooking class to share delicious dishes from the region. Lisa is also an expert wine connoisseur and has chosen to start the evening with a sparkling wine and offer both a red and white Bordeaux to accompany our culinary creations.

Appetizer | Louisiana-style BBQ Shrimp with bread to soak up the spicy, buttery sauce

Salad | Mardi Gras Salad

Entree | Crawfish, Chicken and Tasso Jambalaya 

Dessert | Warm French Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce

Lisa is on a mission to help others embark on an adventure with food and wine to experience that same joy she gets from great pairings.

She frequently entertains friends and teaches cooking classes at Whole Foods and University School of Nashville. Some of her specialties include rustic Italian, Cajun and Creole, Tapas and Paella. Lisa’s passion for paella led her to create “My Paella Travels,” her paella business that brings the signature dish of Spain to your casual backyard gathering. Lisa is passionate about wine and holds the WSET III Advanced Certificate (Wine and Spirit Education Trust of London). Once she discovered her “inner wine spirit” she decided that wine will be her “second act” career.

Tuesday, January 27, 2014 | 6pm-8pm | Mesa Komal at Casa Azafrán | 2195 Nolensville Pike, Nashville

This class is sold out. Join us for Valentine’s Day dinner or our next Mezcla cooking class in late February!

Date posted: January 2, 2015

Categories: Mezcla Cooking Class Uncategorized

2014-11 Holiday baking w slowhand

2014 Holiday Baking

As you prepare for the fall and winter holidays, wouldn’t it be nice to have your baking done? Just in time for Thanksgiving, join Slow Hand Coffee & Bakery to make pecan, pumpkin and apple pies to wow everyone at your gathering. Instead of eating a full meal at this class, you will make and sample the pies, enjoy cocktails and apple cider, and take home a fresh made apple pie for your holiday meal!

November 25, 6pm-8pm Thanksgiving Pie To-go with Slow Hand Coffee & Bakery

Menu // Pumpkin Pie, Pecan Pie and Apple Pie with cocktails and apple cider

$30 includes sampling of pies, cocktails and one full apple pie to take home

This event has ended

Date posted: October 27, 2014

Categories: Mezcla Cooking Class Uncategorized


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