Traditional Cook-off

Traditional Cook-off

Fill up on culture


A whirlwind tour of the distinct culinary regions of Michoacán, each with its own aromas and ingredients. Local and international chefs exchange family recipes and regional products and flavors, at an event that highlights the role of food in local identities. Morelia is at the heart of it all.

The experts view

  1. This cook off was crucial in the 2011 declaration of Mexican cuisine as an intangible piece of world heritage by UNESCO.
  2. In terms of traditional dishes, Michoacán has the most varied cuisine of any Mexican state.
  3. The cook off brings together international culinary experts and universities which give workshops and lectures to make the experience that little bit tastier.
  4. The best quick dish, the best dish and the best stand are some of the prizes on offer for the participants.
  5. Cook off contestants have cooked for the great and the good, with eight-time winner Benedicta Alejo Vargas cooking for the pope in 2013.


  1. What to wear?
    Casual comfortable clothes are best, and dark colors might be a good idea just in case some of the delicious salsas leave a stain.
  2. What to eat?
    Food is what this event is all about, and you’ll find a wide range of dishes from Michoacán that your palate won’t forget anytime soon. All the chefs have delicious family recipes, but we recommend that you look for Benedicta Alejo, the most famous participant.
  3. What to buy and where?
    Across from Venura Puente Avenue is a mall called Plaza Fiesta Camelinas, with a store called ‘De la Calle Real’ which sells a collection of local traditional candies.
  4. Other tips
    For a real taste of Michoacán, head to ‘Los Mirasoles’ downtown, where you’ll find a wide range of traditional dishes in a charming 17th century atmosphere.


  1. The Orchid Garden in Morelia. It’s the only one in Mexico, and has more than 27 years delighting visitors. It has two spaces dedicated to growing orchids, and another space for the public to enjoy them with over 105 different varieties of the flower, and it’s open 365 days a year.
  2. “Lazaro Cardenas” Forest. Located on Camelinas Avenue, and covering more than 34 hectares, it’s a place where kids and adults alike can enjoy outdoor activities. There is also gym equipment and lovely picnic spaces.
  3. Cualtemoc Forest. This place is perfect for a stroll, all the while munching on some tasty Mexican and regional snacks, in a beautiful, tranquil atmosphere.
  4. The Mask Museum. A unique experience, with 167 masks on show from 20 different states in Mexico.
  5. The House of Crafts. If you’re a fan of Michoacan cuisine, it might be an idea to pay a visit here, where you’ll find traditional cooking utensils to help you recreate those wonderful flavors.

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