Salsa making has never been so much fun!


LELA the Donating Pig lends a helping hand to school in Sendai

It’s amazing that whenever you try to lend a helping hand, people come on your path who are in need. April’s cause was of course, Japan, because so many people lost their homes, their loved ones and are now struggling to rebuild.

We got in touch with a Canadian guest who went to Salsa & Salsa in Cozumel. She gave English classes at a school in Sendai for a while. The owner of the school is Michiko Eckard. She married an American, and moved to Seattle so her 3 kids could get an American education, but she arrived to Japan shortly before the earth quake struck. Since then she has helped many people in the Sendai community, including an elderly home and many internally displaced people. There is a lot of damage to the building, but the government inspectors did NOT give it a ‘red-tag’ (which means no one can occupy that building)!

Little LELA managed to collect the astonishing amount of $1,150USD, combining donations from Mazatlan, Cozumel and Los Cabos.  A hundred percent of our donations will be going to this school in Sendai where it will buy school books, and help rebuild parts of the school that were demolished by the quake. 

May’s cause for LELA will be the town of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. It was almost completely destroyed by the tornado that struck at the end of April. The money will go to the DCH Medical Centre in Tuscaloosa. As soon as we have more details, they will be posted on our website (

Sending you all our love,

Dancing Chef Maaike


Carnival in Mazatlan – The Return of the Muses

After shaking off all that confetti and getting an ash cross on our forehead, it’s time to share the on-the-ground experience of Dancing Chef Maaike. One of the world-famous Carnivals, after Rio de Janeiro and Venice, Mazatlan hosted a 5-day party all around town. This year’s theme was called ‘the return of the muses’, showing four mermaids: Artida from the Actic, Meridia from the African oceans, Ocasia from the Western seas and Levantia from Persia who inspires people to celebrate!

It started on Thursday March 3rd with the coronation of the King of Carnival, also known as the Ugly King (‘El rey feo’). Friday featured the coronation of the Floral Queen (‘reina de los juegos florales’). The Floral Queen is the first runner-up at the election of a dozen candidates. This year the concert for the Floral Queen was a tribute to the Beattles and Queen, combining a live rock band, the Sinaloa symphonic orchestra, Delfos contemporary dance and the local Angela Peralta opera choir of over 80 members. It was a vibrant concert of colour, sounds and movement with many sing-a-longs, like ‘We will rock you’ where everybody stood up and stomped and clapped to the beat.


On Saturday was the Coronation of the Queen of Carnival with a concert of David Bisbal, a famous Spanish singer. After the concert the newly crowned Queen was brought to down-town Olas Altas beach, to start the Naval Combat (‘Combate Naval’) which is a 30-minutes fireworks show on the 2 sides of the Olas Altas beach.

Sunday afternoon was the start of the first Parade: take a look at the pictures to see the highlights! Between each float there was a troop of colourfully dressed dancers. It was a wonderful family experience which gathered over 35.000 spectators.

The Infant Queen (‘la reina infantil’) was crowned on Monday with the nationally-known band OV7. All the under-18 population was at the concert, followed with a special small parade at Malécon. Tuesday March 8th was the last day of Carnival, with another Parade towards the historic centre.


After all that partying it was time to get back to work and school, since everything gets suspended during Carnival. It was a great time of celebration and joy with the whole family at the Gem of the Mexican Pacific: Mazatlan!!!


Greetings from Dancing Chef Maaike! Olé!!!

How to make Mexican Coffee or ‘Café de Olla’

Who doesn’t like a nice hot cup of coffee? Especially in these cold winter months it’s a good way to wake up in the morning:  ANY TIME is a good time for coffee!!! I was thinking of that during the Christmas Holidays how it would be nice to share another recipe with you: Mexican Coffee.  My mother-in-law prepared this for me when I came to Mexico for the first time in 2001 and I immediately loved it! This coffee is prepared in a special clay pot, hence the name ‘Café de Olla’ or Coffee from the Pot. The recipe calls for ‘piloncillo‘, which is a block of raw cane sugar, but you could use mascabado sugar instead. Enjoy!!!

Ingredients for 4 cups:

  • 4 cups of water
  • 4 heaped tablespoons of coffee
  • 125 gram or 4 ounces piloncillo or mascabado sugar
  • cinnamon stick of 10 cm or  4 inches
  • 5 cloves
  • (optional: peel of  1/4 of an orange)


Heat the water in a saucepan and add the cinnamon and cloves. If you want, you can add the orange peel. Once it boils, add the piloncillo or mascabado sugar and leave it to dissolve. Lower the heat and add the coffee. Leave everything to boil for 5 minutes. Switch off the heat and let it stand for another 5 minutes. Sieve before serving.



Buen Provecho!!!     Dancing Chef Maaike



LELA the donating pig helps the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

October has brought us Snowbird season and more cruise ships  coming into port.  Our Local Show on Monday has started of with ever increasing numbers. We enjoy showing all our guests the interesting smells and flavors that Mexico has to offer. So if you’re in town, come and join us! Reservations are a must!  Just go to our website for more information.

The cause for LELA in October was the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  We had almost the double amount of shows comparing to September, so we were very happy to collect a total sum of $477 dollars!

In November we will be collecting for the Lupus Research Institute. This cause is very dear to our heart, because Dancing Chef Stephanie’s sister suffers from Lupus. Lupus is a chronic and often disabling autoimmune disease. Estimates indicate that more than 1.5 million Americans have lupus.

 The Lupus Research Institute (LRI) is the only nonprofit organisation in the US that’s dedicated to research in lupus. It was founded in 2000 by people with this devastating illness and their families in collaboration with the country’s leading scientists. LRI sends nearly 94 cents of every dollar contributed straight to the scientists in their laboratories searching for answers to lupus.

During each month we always come in contact with people who have a special interest in the cause for LELA.  It’s very rewarding to see impact LELA has.  The more money we raise, the closer we get to finding a cure for Lupus.


Dancing Chef Maaike