During my recent stay at Mahekal Beach Resort in Playa del Carmen, I had the pleasure of making guacamole with Chef Julieta, the chef de partie at Mahekal’s main restaurant Fuego.
Before my class, I knew the basics of making guacamole but was excited to learn some tricks from a Mexican native. Julieta is from Guadalajara City and has been living in the Riviera Maya area for the last six years, so she was the perfect person to take the class with.
The class was held in Fuego Restaurante y Cantina, Mahekal’s main outdoor restaurant that utilizes only a wood-burning oven to cook all dishes. When I arrived, Julieta had all of these delicious, fresh ingredients ready to go… (and two glasses of Sauvignon Blanc)!
Julieta told us that she has been making guacamole with her mother ever since she can remember. She’s spent years perfecting her recipe and, although it’s a relatively simple process, she said, there are a couple of important things to remember about making the famous Mexican dip.
Here are the top five:
Don’t skimp on lemon juice when making guacamole.
Julieta had us try the guacamole with a small amount of lemon juice and then again with much more. We loved the second version. While it is all to taste and there is no exact measurement, don’t be afraid to really get in there with the lemon! It adds an entirely new dimension of fresh flavor that you won’t find in most guacamoles.
Serve your guacamole with cheese.
Once your guacamole is all made and served in a molcajete, top with lots of queso fresco! It’s Mexican tradition and it makes every bite that much better. If you don’t have queso fresco, try Cotija cheese or Queso Oaxaca.
People around the world make guacamole differently.
While Mexicans smash their guacamole into a thick, chunky consistency, Julieta told us that Italians make their guacamole in a blender! Let it be known this is the first time I have ever disagreed with the Italians on something…
Skip on buying store-bought tortilla chips.
Before coming to Mahekal, Julieta worked at larger restaurants that served store-bought tortilla chips to their customers for the sake of saving time. At Mahekal, she makes the chips fresh every day using Fuego’s wood-burning oven. They are so much more delicious like this.
To make chips at home, cut a tortilla into triangular wedges. Bake the pieces in the oven for 6 minutes per side on 350 degrees. Or fry them on the stove in hot oil for about two minutes. Don’t forget to salt!
Use the avocado pit to make your guacamole last longer.
It’s ancient Mayan tradition to put an avocado pit into your guacamole to make it last longer. While Julieta isn’t certain on the validity of this trick, she told us that she always puts one in! Try it for yourself…
Look at this amazing guacamole we enjoyed! Topped with queso fresco and freshly baked chips.
Making guacamole with a Mexican chef in the Riviera Maya was such a surreal and fun experience. Thank you to the lovely people at Mahekal Beach Resort for planning this wonderful class for me!
Do you agree with Julieta’s tips? What’s your go-to trick when it comes to making guacamole?
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omg this is making me so hungry.
Fun fact – I strongly dislike cilantro – and so everyone hates me when I don’t add it to my guac but I do add cheese and that goes over well.
Your photos look amazing btw!
Nicki!! I HATE cilantro as well! The chef almost had a heart attack when I told her I didn’t want any in the guac… It makes me so happy when I find someone else who feels the same!
And thanks for the comment about my photos! 🙂
I like it chunky and agree with you… smooth guac isn’t as good. I love putting chunks of tomato in it. Love the pics!
Tomato is definitely a good addition to guacamole too! Thanks for reading 🙂
These tips are amazing! We are cheese-a-holics and love that it should be served with cheese! Also, we like a lumpier consistency as well. We noticed in Costa Rica they blend it too! Thanks for such a fun and informative article!
Thanks for reading, Lena! Glad we agree on texture and cheese situation 🙂
Who knew guacamole was so complicated?! It all looks sooo delicious!!
Just lots of little ways to make it better! 🙂 Thanks for reading, Ayesha!
I know this is like blasphemy, but I don’t even like guac…but I bet I’d love it if I had a chance to learn to make it like this! Your photos make it seem scrumptious! This place seems like the most perfect getaway…adding it to my list!
Definitely do! Mahekal was such a unique and relaxing place to stay in Playa del Carmen 🙂
OMG THIS LOOKS DELICIOUS! Honestly, guacamole / chips with a cold margarita (on the rocks, with salt) is my happy place!
Couldn’t agree more!! Thanks for reading, Nina 🙂
Yesss! I lived in Mexico for 6 months and my cook thought me the same thing! I thought I made the best guac ever until I lived there and learned the best way!! Totally making this today, I am now craving it! Haha
Right?? I thought guac was kind of the same everywhere until I had this! With the lemon, queso blanco and homemade chips… So good.
How fun! I’ve always wanted to take a cooking class when traveling. I’ve never tried guacamole with lemon juice or cheese – time to try this recipe!
It was a lot of fun taking it at Mahekal! You definitely need to try… It really changes the game 🙂
I must admit, I’m not a fan of avocado but your photos are making it look good!!
So good 🙂 Maybe if you try some guacamole in Mexico, it will change your mind!
OMG YUM! This post got me craving for some guac! Will probably get some ingredients for tonight. Thanks for the tips!
Thanks for reading!! Enjoy your guac 🙂
I absolutely love it… and I’m definitely gonna try it!
I love experiences like this.. not just taking photos, but experiencing every country culture, music, gastronomy… I took a course in Italy and was just too much (the bad side? I put too many kg in a week 🙂
I agree completely!! Immersing yourself in the culture is the most important part 🙂 Even when (ESPECIALLY when) it’s Italian food!! Always worth those couple extra lbs. Thanks for reading, Marina!
It looks so delicious! I do mine almost like this … minus the cheese. Next time, my guacamole is gonna have a lot of cheese in it! Thank you for sharing this.
Definitely add cheese! The queso blanco makes allllll the difference 🙂
Cheese?! How did I not think of that after all these years of eating guac!
It is a total game-changer, Carmy!! Start with a little sprinkle and add more as you keep eating… Need it in every bite hehe 🙂
Woww delicious! I love guacamole, never serve it with cheese though. I’ll try it next time 😀
Definitely do! It’s a real game changer 🙂 Thanks for reading, Ivana!
Good god I love guacamole! Great post and photographs 🙂
Thank you so so much, Melissa!
Since I grew up in West Texas, guacamole is probably one of my favorite foods. I’ve been making it for years and everyone always asks for guacamole and ceviche when I have to bring a dish to a party. I use lime juice instead of lemon juice. I also make my own chips. Much better than store bought and super easy! I’ve heard about putting the pit in to make it last longer and keep it from turning brown, but guacamole never lasts long enough in my household to need this trick. 🙂
Oh wow, go you!! That is awesome that you always make your own chips and love making guac & ceviche. Ceviche is one of my favorites 🙂 Thanks for reading, Melissa!