david-sterlingIt is with tremendous sadness that we report that the founder of Los Dos Cooking School, David Sterling, passed away in November. His Yucatecan cuisine cooking classes were adored by everyone who participated in them over the years, not only for the wealth of culinary knowledge he shared, but for the hands-on cooking experience accompanied by David’s dry wit and original personality. He was also the founder of the Slow Food chapter of Yucatán in 2009, and the author of a highly acclaimed cookbook of Yucatecan gastronomy, “Yucatán: Recipes From A Culinary Expedition,” published in 2014. This authoritative and comprehensive cookbook has been awarded with the prestigious “The Art of Eating” prize, and was named “Best International Cookbook” and “Cookbook of the Year” by the James Beard Foundation. He has been praised in The New York Times, National Geographic Traveler, Travel & Leisure, ELLE, and more, and has hosted Diana Kennedy, Martha Stewart, and PBS’ Rick Bayless in his beautiful Mérida kitchen. His cooking school was the first cooking school in Mexico which is completely devoted to the cuisine of Yucatán.

David Sterling was born in Oklahoma City, and he first visited México in 1972, when he fell in love with this country’s cuisine. He studied design at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, and at the same time he worked as a pantry chef at Le Bijou, a French restaurant in Detroit. After running his own catering and design businesses in New York City, he moved to Mérida in 2003 and opened Los Dos Cooking School.

But Los Dos Cooking School will live on! In the words of his partner Keith Heitke:

“No one can replace David, he was truly one-of-a-kind! However, Los Dos continues forward under the direction of David’s faithful right-hand-man, Mario Canul. Mario has worked side by side with David and the crew for the past 12 years, and was an integral part not only of the team, but also of the award-winning cookbook ‘Yucatán: Recipes From A Culinary Expedition.’ Many of the excursions were planned and orchestrated by Mario, and even some of the women who work in the Los Dos kitchen are his relatives from here in Yucatán. Mario arranged every research trip taken, and he met with every contact for not only this book but the upcoming, as yet unnamed, book. There is no one who knows Los Dos as intimately as Mario, and he’s already winning excellent reviews from students who are delighted by his vast knowledge of his homeland and cuisine, dedication, and great personality.

“If you are looking for a wonderful culinary experience unlike any other, in the beautiful Los Dos facility, led by a passionate and knowledgeable Yucatecan chef, you will not be disappointed. I think continuing the classes with Mario is a perfect way to pay tribute to David’s hard work and long career.”

Click here to read Kay Walten’s report on Chef Mario´s new classes. A wonderful review!

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