Casa de las Olas: Eat Retreat

Join us May 17th – 24th 2017 as we learn to cook authentic, farm to table Mexican cuisine in a 100% environmentally conscious environment. This eat retreat features cooking classes led by chef Eric Werner from Hartwood, chef Claudia Perez Rivas from Cetli and sustainable accommodations at Casa de las Olas with your hosts Jimmy and Sam.

"This low-key, week-long sustainable food workshop at this five-room eco-retreat in Tulum is basically a food fest in paradise. Led by a pair of chefs from leading local restaurants Hartwood and Cetli, the course combines hands-on cooking experience in the region's best kitchens with plenty of time for tasting - lots and lots of tasting, from beachside ceviche to the finest local mezcals."
- Tablet Hotels Magazine

Meet the Chefs:

Hartwood is a farm to table restaurant that is solar powered, buys locally and chooses to create all meals by hand without the use of any electrical appliances. Culinary mastermind chef Eric Werner brings food back to basics and showcases exquisite cuisine by slow roasting and open fire cooking.
Off the beaten path and tastefully decorated, Restaurant Cetli is run by the passionate and unbelievably talented chef Claudia Perez Rivas . Specializing in serving authentic moles from Mexico City, Puebla and Oaxaca, her food and cooking techniques are rich in culture, history and taste.

Hosted by us!

At Casa de las Olas we provide the 7 night accommodations on our secluded & pristine beach in Tulum, Mexico. Our property is as eco-friendly as it gets being Platinum LEED reviewed and completely off the grid. We generate all of our energy through a state-of-the-art solar panel system and capture all of our own water. We're passionate about the environment, taking great care of our guests and cultivating incredible experiences!

What's Included:

- 7 nights sustainable oceanfront accommodation at Casa de las Olas
- Homemade breakfast from the lovely Chef Lulu at Casa de las Olas each morning
- Welcome candlelit dinner at Casa de las Olas on the night of your arrival
- 1 cooking class at Hartwood Restaurant (lunch + Mezcal tasting included)
- Group dinner at Hartwood Restaurant
- 1 cooking class at Restaurant Cetli (lunch included)
- Group dinner at Cetli
- Adventure tour of a private National Geographic status cenote & cave system + lunch at Chamico's in Soliman Bay with the remainder of the day spent snorkeling in paradise
- Private boat tour of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve with Ornithologist, Fernando, to explore the beautiful flora and fauna of the area, float through ancient canals & catch sunset over the lagoon at Bird Island.
- Final candlelit dinner with wine pairing at Casa de las Olas prepared by chef Jamie of Hartwood Restaurant + Sommelier Ricardo from Off the Vine.

Spaces are limited…

This is an intimate affair that includes 7 night Tulum beachfront accommodations (daily homemade breakfast included), 3 cooking classes (lunches included), & a final dinner party cooked by the chefs from Hartwood and Cetli to celebrate the week long food fest on the shores of the Caribbean. To top it off are two tastings: a Local Mezcal guru shares his vast knowledge on Mexico’s finest liquor; and local sommelier, Ricardo Garcia Gaxiola, hosts a wine pairing at the final dinner, lecturing on the regions most celebrated Mexican wines. And lastly, two days of exploration through a National Geographic caliber cave system and cenote, and a sunset boat tour in the vast Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage site teeming with wildlife.

What our guests say:

"Paradise Found"

"Impeccable service in an unbelievable tropic settting, Olas is not to be missed by anyone looking to encounter an authentic off the grid experience. Solar powered, sustainably run, with every amenity and hospitality you could need on the Tulum beach front. This is not the "eco-chic" sold up the beach, but a true commitment to living in symbiosis with the land, air and sea. In-room water jug, fridge and stove;check. Coconuts, palm trees, ocean breeze;check. Cold cerveza and an ocean swim under a full moon;check. Call me simple, but these are the things that made my stay unforgettable. I've been to Tulum with friends and as a couple and when I found the Eat Retreat, I took the plunge solo. It turned out to be my single best trip to Tulum, period. The experience was culturally immersive, richly rewarding, very educational, and a hell of a good time to boot. The parade of sensory stimuli from the kitchens at Hartwood, Cetli and Olas was incredible, as was the reception by chefs Eric, Claudia, and of course dear Lulu. House of the Waves has moved from the beach into my heart, and will stay there the rest of my days. Thank you Sam, Herschel, Lulu, Matty, Antonio and James for making my stay truly amazing."
-Sean Haar (May 2014)

"Eat Retreat.... Feeding your soul in paradise"

"I had the extreme pleasure of attending Casa de las Olas' Eat Retreat this past November. Having spent the past decade on food focused travel that I had organized, I wasn't sure someone else could plan a week of eating that lives up to my standards. Within 15 minutes of arriving, Jimmy and the las Olas family had me convinced I was in good hands. Sitting down with one of Chef Lulu's margaritas and devouring a plate (or two) of her AMAZING guacamole, I awaited the arrival of the rest of the Eat Retreat guests. By the end the first night welcome BBQ, my 3 other "Retreat Mates" and I were on the way to becoming good friends. Each day at las Olas (whether you are attending the Eat Retreat or not) begins with an amazing breakfast of tropical fruits, house made granola, yogurt and a cooked breakfast entree….chilaquiles, sopes, scrambled eggs with chorizo….las Olas has hit the jackpot with Chef Lulu. And her fish tacos are worth the trip alone! The first 2 full days of the retreat were spent with the amazing, spiritual Chef Claudia from Restaurant Cetli. Claudia welcomed us into her kitchen and not only taught us how to make several traditional Mexican dishes but shared her culture and knowledge of the Mexican cuisine with us. From grinding mole ingredients on a traditional metate to learning the history of many of the ingredients that form the base of Mexican cooking, Claudia's passion for the food of her ancestors had us captivated. The final 2 days of the retreat were spent in the welcoming kitchen of Hartwood. Chefs Eric and Jamie and the knowledgeable Hartwood staff had even the novice home cook slicing paper thin pieces of Coronado for out of this world ceviche. Being able to sit with Eric and his staff and learn about their sustainable, farm to table cooking was priceless. The artisanal mescal generously served after class was a big hit as well. Secret fish shack on off-the-beaten path beach? Sure Jimmy knew where to take us. Jimmy also arranged for a private fish cooking class at the secret fish shack. In between learning, cooking, tasting were trips to town for Jimmy's "hidden" favorites like tacos al pastor, fresh fruit paletas, and the best cochinita pibil. Even Shedar's famous yucca fries were part of the Eat Retreat experience. The beauty of the Eat Retreat is that it is so much more than cooking classes…in fact, you don't even need any real cooking skills. The Eat Retreat is about a small group of people coming together and the friendships formed spending 6 days eating and breathing life in paradise. The bonus is you are staying in a 100% sustainable, off the grid "home" (I find it difficult to call it a hotel, as you feel like you are staying in a private ocean front room of a good friends secluded beach house). The bonus is learning, touching and tasting behind the scenes at two amazing restaurants, Hartwood and Cetli. But the biggest bonus is that you leave a member of the Olas family, knowing you will soon return. "
-Allison Konceliak (November 2014)

"Eat Retreat and so much more!"

"I recently attended the "Eat Retreat 2014" arranged by the owner Jimmy. We had an incredible 5 days working alongside of Claudia Perez, owner of Cetli, and Eric Hartwood of Hartwood Restaurant.James, owner of Chamicos, prepared a wonderful Red Snapper for us at his place at Solomon Bay, and we enjoyed eating this ultra freash food on the beach. We laughed, learned and ate some amazing foods. The property of Casa is very private, intimate and pristine. No bells or whistles here, just beautiful rooms, pristine beach and tremendous breakfasts prepared on site by LuLu. Jimmy is beyond cordial and goes out of his way to make sure everyone feels special and comfortable. There's so much to see in this area! Don't be afraid to rent a car in Cancun and drive into Tulum. I've now done it twice without any problems and I travel solo. Recently discovered ruins at Ik Balam are about 2 hours away, but a worthwhile trip for sure! Casa books up fast, so if you are thinking of having this wonderful experience, I would contact them as soon as possible."
-Nikki Hronis (November 2014)

"Food Workshop - Unique Experience"

"We enjoyed a stay with the family at the Casa de las Olas early last November. As newlyweds, we were looking for a place to resource after the wedding madness, a place that would offer us a unique experience for our Honeymoon. We are young adults that were looking for anything but an all-included resort experience, hoping for a place that would reflect our values and our way to see life. All of the above were completely fulfilled with our stay at Casa de las Olas and as we enroll to be part of Food Workshop that took place in Tulum for the Dia del muertos Festival. The workshop was tha’ bomb!! We had the chance to part of a small group of awesome people who all share great love for food and a desire to learn about Mexico local & sustainable approach. The workshop gave us the opportunity to work closely with the chef and the staff of 2 famous restaurants in Tulum: Hartwood & Cetli. During the classes we had with Eric from Hartwood we learned the art of grilling meat, skinning fishes, working with seasonal ingredients, doing an exquisite ceviche, and it goes on! Everybody is put to work during classes and you have the chance to interact with the chef and is staff as you would with your own family. At the end, we all enjoyed the meal we had prepared all together. Really, really greats moments. Then, we also had the chance to be introduce to the very intimate and warm environment of Cetli restaurant and it passionate chef Claudia. We were welcome to her kitchen and learned to make traditional tamales, pan del muerto and chocolate (hot coco) from the beans! Our absolute favorite! Claudia taught us patiently the how-to traditional Mexican cuisine and demonstrate to us how time, love and patience is the key to delicious and tradition Mexican meals. And it didn’t stop there, as the staff from the Casa kept introducing us to local flavors every chances they have! From Pork breakfast tacos, to the BEST chicken we ever had at Pollo El Broco, fried fresh fishes and ceviche from El Camillo Jr, without forgetting Mari’s famous guacamole! Everything we tasted was more delicious than the other! Ohh, ohh! and I forgot to talk about the Final dinner, where our small group along with our classes facilitators enjoyed a 7 courses meal!! All paired with an exquisite selection of Mexican wines (yes! Mexico offers great wines :) Amazing! Really, we couldn’t be more pleased with the Food Workshop we had the chance to experience and were delighted by our honeymoon in Tulum. Thank you Casa de La Olas for putting together this fantastic workshop."
-Emilie & Tuan (November 2013)

"A Real Adventure! "

"My husband and I were looking for a beach vacation but wanted something beyond the all-inclusive we had experienced in the past. What we found was Casa de las Olas and the Sustainable Food Workshop. We didn’t just go on a vacation, we went on an adventure. The accommodations are not the Four Seasons, but at Casa you leave a very small footprint. We have never slept so close to the ocean and “jungle”, and in such a beautiful and quiet location. The staff at the property is top notch. Owner/host Jimmy is gregarious, funny, and very welcoming. Sam is super friendly and lovely, and amazingly organized, efficient and accommodating. Antonio and Mari keep the grounds beautiful and the rooms fresh and spotless. There is plenty of space if you want to be alone and just chill, and friendly enough that if there is a run for pork tacos you are invited to grab a spot at the community table, where conversation is easy and laughs are plenty. It really is quite special. OMG -- THE FOOD! I read about Hartwood in Bon Appetit, June 2011 issue. The article stayed on my nightstand for two years. The food workshop included Hartwood! -- two very hands-on cooking classes followed by the most amazing lunches. And the final dinner with wine pairings was utterly mind-blowing. Chef Eric Werner and his very friendly and knowledgeable staff exceeded all expectations. Our experience with Chef Claudia, owner of Cetli, was almost spiritual. She glows with her lust for life and love of her culture – and she can cook. Chef Claudia had us in her kitchen making the most incredible and traditional Day of the Dead bread and hand rolling tamales -- all very hands-on and very authentic Mexican cooking. And, if that wasn’t enough, Jimmy shared some of the most ridiculously amazing food from his favorite local spots through the week. Pork tacos to-die-for, knock-your-socks-off Bloody Marys, whole roasted fish, ceviche (that you cannot stop eating!) and a roasted chicken that had me singing “I’m in heaven”. Seriously good stuff! So if you are looking for something beyond the cookie-cutter beach vacation try the majorly laid back atmosphere at the Casa. Make it an adventure!"
-Peggy and Fred (November 2013)

"People can hide many emotions, but genuine pleasure, like love, simply glows… and around the table at Hartwood that evening we were all glowing.”
– Lew Mitchell (Participant, May 2013)