Cooking in Cozumel


Gut luggage. That’s what Rick calls Mexican food. He hates it. Maybe “hate” is too strong of a word. It’s probably not so much that he dislikes the taste as much as he sees it as great globs of mysterious unappetizing looking substances all running together on a plate. I could probably count on one hand the number of times we’ve walked into a Mexican restaurant, so I was surprised when he agreed to sign up for a cooking class in Cozumel. But it sounds sexier when Disney describes it: we explored the “delectable art of authentic Mexican cooking,” and we dined while “enjoying a glass of fine Mexican wine.” Or maybe he just had to see it to believe it. Anyway, off we went. While Haley and Michael and the boys took off to annoy swim with dolphins, Meredith, Rick, and I headed to cooking class to whip up lunch. Cozumel is the first port of call on our seven day Western Caribbean Lawson family summer vacay for 2024 aboard Disney’s Fantasy. I chose this summer’s adventure thinking that there would be something for everyone and the boys’ ages are perfect for a Disney cruise. Harvey just celebrated his ninth trip around the sun last week; Winston and Sullivan celebrated six solar revolutions in May.

We left the ship yesterday morning and boarded a bus for a ride to a resort about a half hour from the port. We were met there by a great team of chef instructors and made three dishes. I knew I was going to like this experience when we started our cooking lesson with dessert. We prepared a sugary cinnamon-y plantain dish that ended up swimming in a chocolate sauce. Our instructor showed us how to decorate the dessert plate for a memorable presentation.

Trouble was, his plate was so pretty you wouldn’t want to put the plantains on it.


Rick gave it a good try.


Meredith stayed with the Mickey Mouse theme.


Then we switched gears and sautéed a nice filet of fish along with a medley of vegetables. It was finished off with a killer tamarind sauce. Tamarind is not something we use frequently in our kitchen although it is what makes our pad Thai the GOAT. After the fish was wrapped in foil, it was whisked off to the oven to finish cooking. Meanwhile, we put together a tostada layered with a spicy tomato-chile sauce loaded with chicken, corn, and black beans. I will admit that I overdid it with the squirt cheese sauce. Don’t know why I felt the need to autograph it. Maybe it’s a bit “gut-luggage-y looking?”


Before long, we were sitting around a table enjoying the results of our morning’s labor served up with the beverages of our choice. A couple of Margaritas later, I remembered that day drinking isn’t such a wise decision and told myself to remember that fact the next time the opportunity presents itself. Anyway, the food was quite good and way above anything Rick might call “gut luggage.”  Well, except for my tostada anyway.


  1. Melinda Young on June 19, 2024 at 3:36 pm

    That sounds like a lot of fun. Didn’t know Rick was into modern art.

  2. Dorothy Young on June 19, 2024 at 4:33 pm

    Oh, man, since I grew up n Southern California I like all sorts of Mexican food. But I get Rick’s point — lots of Mexican food we see in US restaurants just isn’t very good — like most restaurant food.

    This looks like a fun class. Thanks for sharing it!

  3. Sarah Guida on June 19, 2024 at 8:34 pm

    We love Mexican food and what you made looks delicious! Keep having fun!

  4. Kathleen Linn on June 20, 2024 at 5:40 am

    Looks right up my power alley. Mexican food, margaritas, and food art all combined in a cooking class.! So glad the boys are having fun.

  5. Pam Morgan on June 20, 2024 at 3:44 pm

    Love the plate presentations!

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