Salsa making has never been so much fun!

Posts tagged “Two Dancing Chefs

A letter to Danny

Dear Danny,

We did it!  On Thursday we opened up our donating pig, Lela.  Our Monthly ritual of opening little Lela has become an exciting part of our routine.  Leonique and I play a guessing game, as to how much Lela has collected for the month.  As you know, Lela was collecting for your Danny Did Foundation.  Your uncle and Executive Director of the Foundation, Tom Stanton,  has been a great help, thanks to him, we were able to make this happen.  He sent us an article regarding SUDEP and Epilepsy, which I’m sure you would find interesting.

The NY Times published an article regarding the death of a young teenage boy (he was 19…) due to SUDEP.  Just like yourself, he was taken at a young age.   The article raises several alarming issues regarding the stigma of SUDEP, how it is considered controversial for a doctor to mention it to his patient unless the patient is a high-risk candidate, as it may ‘burden‘ the patient.  Maybe if it was mandatory for doctor’s to mention it and make families aware of the issue, we might find less occurrences.   The article is a good read and very informative and we have posted it below.  Also, the resources page on the Danny Did website is a great source of information for those who need answers to their questions regarding Epilepsy.

We are doing what we can in raising awareness through social media and through our donations page and we hope that past guests and future guests will continue spreading the word.   We hope the little we donate this month will help someone, somewhere and give them a little more hope than they had yesterday 🙂  Your smile gave us courage to speak up and tell people that something needs to be done.

Daniel George Stanton (2005-2009) and still making a difference.

Here is the link to the article on SUDEP :

We are so so happy to say we collected $305USD for the Danny Did Foundation.  These donations were made by cruise passengers from the Mariner of the Seas and Carnival Splendor.  We had a total of 8 ships this month, so considering the majority of the donations are $1’s or the occasional $5, that’s an amazing accomplishment.

We had so many passengers come up to us and shake our hands, telling us they had a brother, or sister, or friend with Epilepsy and that raising awareness was so so important.  So thank you Danny…thank you for giving us the opportunity to touch so many people’s lives, thank you for being there and thank you for having found your way into our hearts.

Danny, we hope that wherever you are, you are smiling, laughing, playing and seeing what an effect your life has made on so many lives.  You can see the happiness here, a collection of pictures of everyone who donated to Lela the donating Pig for the month of July.

Best wishes,


Pamela and Leonique


New Salsa Creation

Last Thursday, we had the loveliest group of people from Carnival, but one fellow made Leonique and I laugh so much.  He had obviously had a few Margaritas, and every time we walked by his table, he was making his whole table laugh, as well as yelling across to other tables and making them laugh.  We always have said that laughter is important, but from laughter comes joy and from joy comes creation…

So from the table of laughter, we bring you their Salsa Creation.  At first, when we were called over to try it, we were hesitant.  I personally thought the worst (hahaha) and I tried to get out of trying it by saying “Oh, I had a huge breakfast…” but that was to no avail.  I was given a Totopo (corn chip) and my hand was motioned to dip and eat.  So I dipped…and I ate!  MMMMMMMMMMM!   Truly.  It was delicious, so I looked at Leonique and said “You gotta try this”, which she did, and she had the same reaction “Mmmmmmmmm”.

So I won’t keep you waiting any longer.  We wanted to share it with you.  It was a combination of several of the salsas we made, but with a little tweak here and a little tweak there.  We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.  When prompted to write it down and “name” the salsa, we got a cheeky giggle and a napkin which read :

What happens in Vegas ends up in Seattle Salsa” (Don’t ask, we have no idea!!)

1 tbls pineapple
1 tbls cantelope ( melon)
1 tbls coconut
1/2 tbls red pepper
1/2 chopped avocado
pinch of cilantro
splash of lime juice

Unfortunately, at the time, we didn’t think to take a picture, but we promise to make and post this delicious creation within the next few days.  Enjoy salsa chefs!


Salsa and Salsa has officially launched their website!

It’s taken a lot of time and oh so much energy, but we are so excited to announce that our website is finally up and running!  We have everything from Recipe of the Month, Photo of the Month, videos, information about Mazatlan and of course, the Salsa Store.

Our Homepage will keep you coming back with Recipe of the Month, Photo of the Month and Testimonials, as well as our Aspirin Count on LELA the PIG (more on LELA later!).  Need stuff for your kitchen?!  We got it all, with Salsa Products that will have you Salsa Making in no time!

Want to show your friends how much fun you had on the tour?!  Send them a link to our Photo Gallery!  You’ve heard us say it before, but we simply LOVE LOVE LOVE getting your Salsa photos.  It reminds us everyday that we are bringing joy and laughter to thousands of people from across the globe!

Our Salsa Store has everything Salsa!  Ask us about ‘Salsa in a Box’, it has everything you could possibly need to host your very own Salsa Party at home.  From aprons to chef hats, we got you covered!  Need more recipes?  We have a variety of cookbooks that will have you Salsa making all year round.  Our best-seller ‘Salsa for all Seasons’ takes you through every season and utilizes all the fruits and vegetables that come into season every year.

Your Two Dancing Chefs even have a page!  We thought it would be fun to have a little info on us on the site…we get to know you all so well, it’s only fair you get to know us!

We look forward to hearing your feedback on the site.   Send us your comments, tell us what you thought, what stood out and don’t forget to share your testimonials (if you’ve been to the show).  We’d like to thank all our guests, past, present and future for all their support and encouragement…without you guys, this dream would never have become a reality 🙂

Keep your dreams alive,


Starbucks in Mazatlan

Although not new to Mazatlan, our local Starbucks has become a haven for your Two Dancing Chefs!  Meetings, wind downs, wind ups and chance encounters frequently occur at our favorite coffee house.  A lot of travelers don’t realize Mazatlan has a Starbucks…in fact, it’s been here a little over a year now, maybe a little more (late 2008?), however it is hidden from the main drag and therefore not easy to see.

There is nothing better than entering an establishment that greets you by your first name, with a smile (and sometimes a smart remark!) – it just makes you feel part of something…  actually, I remember being a total coffee snob!  Having grown up in Melbourne, Australia (and I say grown up lightly!), coffee is a part of the culture.  But, I found a huge difference in the coffee culture in Nth America than that of Australia.  When I spent one year in Canada, coffee was simply something you picked up on your way to somewhere.  It needed to be quick, hot and preferably cheap.

In Melbourne, I found drinking coffee was more an experience.  You had to sit and drink your coffee.  You could read a little, whether it be a magazine, a favorite book or the daily paper.  I remember sitting at a coffee house for hours, ordering two or three coffees.  A latte had a milky/creamy head, just like a well poured beer…Espressos were rich in flavor, thick too, and a good barista knew that the pour had to be slow and served immediately.  You would meet friends for coffee, catch up with old acquaintances with coffee and everyone had their favorite place to meet.

I found that traveling through the States, the same ‘had to be quick and on the go’ attitude applied around the country…it really made me miss Melbourne coffee.  But then I re-discovered it at our Mazatlan Starbucks.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ll take a Melbourne latte any day of the week, but as I said, that feeling of wanting to sit and enjoy a coffee has returned.

You can find Starbucks Mazatlan at Paseo Lomas de Mazatlán 102, corner of Cerro de Cubilete (behind HSBC).  Their hours of operations are Monday-Sunday 07:00 to 23:00.  From our Salsa and Salsa show, they are a 4 minute walk down the street!  Be sure to ask us how to get there.

I’ve added two fun pics of the fellas at our Mazatlan Starbucks…they have really become more than just the guys who give us coffee, so a big hello to them all!  If you happen to find your way there (oh, and btw, they all speak fluent English!) be sure to tell them we sent you 😉

Geraldo (left), Leonique and Mauro

Geraldo, Pamela, Edgardo, Mauro

Looking forward to a busy week…6 ships in this week, so will need those extra shots of coffee and a double dose of energy!  Till then,

The coffee fiend,

Pamela Hormazabal

(aka Dancing Chef)

Not everyone loves their jobs…

When we decided to write a blog for Salsa and Salsa, we sat down and story boarded ideas, concepts and themes.  We weren’t sure we wanted to keep a day to day log of every ship, people’s names and funny events/situations that occurred during shows.  We see a lot of people each week and keeping track of everyone seemed like a daunting task.  But what we have come to see, is that people, their stories and their personalities speak for themselves.

Salsa and Salsa Promo 1

Salsa and Salsa Video

For example, today we had Mariner of the Seas and the Sapphire Princess docked in port.  Both fun cruises, both with a good mix of ages and origins.  We had some Cowboy fans, as well as gals from Chicago (CHI-TOWN!), boys from Brisbane  and a couple from Alaska…to name a few.  Not to mention the family of 6, traveling together, enjoying each others company! (Tom the dad, Tyler and his partner, and Tony aka Cody and his respective other also).  We had another two couples from Brissy, who btw, did not know the boys from Brisbane! (lol).

It’s amazing to think so many nationalities, let alone ages, and walks of life, can come together and share such fun times in such a small amount of time!  Leonique and I get so fired up every morning, with the excitement of seeing those first passengers arrive through the doors…we always love the fact that they have no idea how much fun they are about to embark on, and we feel honored to be able to provide you guys with awesome memories, great photos, fantastic recipes and unforgettable moments!  Not everyone loves their jobs as much as we do…we love getting up in the morning, picking up our morning coffee from Starbucks and heading over to the Hotel Las Flores to help set up for the tour.  How many people can say their job is located in a 4 star hotel, with beach views, sunny weather, where you get to cook, dance, laugh and sometimes (if you’re lucky) sing!  We are truly blessed, and best of all, your TWO DANCING CHEFS are best friends, so we joke around A LOT and make fun of each other at any given opportunity!  A real recipe for greatness is working and surrounding yourself with people that make you feel special, and we were both lucky enough to find each other.  🙂

I’ve been playing around with the Salsa Camera the last few weeks, with the intention of putting together a fun You Tube video to share with you all.  It’ll be made up of snippets of clips from the show.  I plan to start on it as soon as I finish this entry, so fingers crossed I don’t get angry at my Windows Movie Maker (what is it with that thing?!  How has Microsoft NOT come up with a solution to fix the annoying bug that program has?!)  In the process of getting all the IT stuff for Salsa and Salsa up and running, we started our own Salsa Channel on You Tube <CLICK HERE to subscribe> !  or simply click on the photo above to see the Salsa video.

As I mentioned in our first post, we will be sharing video, recipes and more, but we would like to hear from you…Have you been to our tour?  What did you think of it?  Got any cool pics you would like to share?  What recipe would you just kill for?!

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Pamela Hormazabal

(Dancing Chef)

The Salsa and Salsa Blog has arrived…

Well, our Salsa Blog was finally born today.  It’s a girl!  LOL.

It’s always hard to start something like this, I find it difficult to know where to start, but in the words of Julie Andrews “let’s start at the very beginning!”…

For those who have never heard of us, we are the ‘Two Dancing Chefs’, Leonique Vandeveerdonk and Pamela Hormazabal.

Leonque Vandeveerdonk and Pamela Hormazabal
Two Dancing Chefs

We run a tour named ‘Salsa and Salsa’ in Mazatlan, Mexico.  Now, you might just be thinking why on earth would a tour need a blog, well, the simple truth is that we see and meet over 1,000 people a month.  Although we truly enjoy staying in email contact with everyone, we thought it was high time we moved with the times and got ourselves a Blog.

Here, you’ll not only get to know us, (and trust me, we’re a hoot!) you’ll also get to see and hear from our guests.  We want to share recipes with you, videos of the tour, videos we make purely for fun, instructional videos, as well as photos, links and lots of entertaining info that will transform you into a Mexican kitchen Virtuoso (that’s whiz, and yes I had to look it up!).  The tour is made up of interactive fun for everyone who attends.  We teach people to make REAL Margaritas and then take them through step by step how to make traditional Mexican salsas.  Once the salsa making class is over, we polish our dance shoes and teach everyone to dance the salsa, hence the name ‘Salsa and Salsa’ (I can see those light bulbs turning on! ).

Salsa Table
Ready for Action

We are primarily a Cruise Ship tour, so bookings are done through a Shore Ex Rep.  We service most major Cruise lines, including Carnival, Holland America, Princess and Royal Caribbean.  We are currently working on a local show for non-ship days, so stay tuned for more details on that!

Today, we had both Marnier of the Seas and Sapphire Princess docked, so we entertained a number of passengers. Let’s see if I can remember names…hmmm…well, we do have volunteers join us at the Head Table, so I can remember their names, Tim – who is better known as Ricky Tikki Timbo (don’t ask), Steve – who I’m sure is utterly and madly in love with his wife (he couldn’t wait to get back to the table where she was and when he did he laid a nice big kiss and told her he missed her…awww…) and we also had the newly engaged JC and his fiancee Jenny.  The two Sharon’s also graced us with their presence and they sure did have a good time!

The cooking is of course, only 1/2 the fun.  Once we are done making salsa, we dance the salsa.  I have to tell you, if I had a dollar every time a wife said “you won’t get my husband to dance Salsa”… I’m pretty persuasive, and 3 hours of drinking all-you-can-drink Margarita’s certainly helps the cause!  Well, I could go on and on about the tour, but best leave you wanting to know more…stay tuned for videos and pics!