Where Local and Global Appetites Collide
Tucson Cooking Classes – Indigenous Ingredients

Tucson Cooking Classes – Indigenous Ingredients

Indigenous ingredients cooking class
Prickly Pear

What are indigenous ingredients? Think of ingredients native to the Sonoran Desert — saguaro and barrel cactus fruit, mesquite pods and prickly pear fruit.

The chefs at Loews Ventana Canyon will offer a three-part culinary series of harvesting and preparing native ingredients during the summer. The once-per-month cooking classes are available June through August.

June 20 – 2 PM
Saguaro and barrel cactus fruit
Special guest from TOCA (Tohono O’odham Community Action) will give a tutorial on the saguaro and its fruit, and then a Ventana chef will demonstrate how to create make-at-home dishes using saguaro syrup and saguaro seeds. Attendees will also harvest and learn to make specialty desserts using barrel cactus with Krista Owens, pastry chef.

July 11 – 2 PM
Mesquite pods
Harvest mesquite pods and learn how to whip up creative mesquite appetizers with Jose Salas, executive sous chef.

August 15 – 2 PM
Prickly pear fruit
Harvest prickly pear with the resort culinary team and get a lesson in prickly pear cocktails with on-site mixologists and BBQ specialties from Ken Harvey, executive chef

The cost to attend each class is $35/pp. Space is limited and may be reserved by calling the concierge at (520) 299 – 2020 ext. 5107.


  1. Hi Karen – great blog!! For anyone considering attending these classes, I can highly recommend Ken Harvey. He is a wonderful guy who gives back to the community and he really knows his stuff!!! I work with him nearly every Sunday feeding the homeless/needy people downtown. He is patient, kind (has to be to tolerate me), and teaches well. He has put together a top 100 Sunday Brunch (nationally) called Blues, Brews & BBQ at the Canyon Cafe.

  2. Dave, thanks so much for your comment and recommending Chef Ken Harvey. I didn’t know about his or your feeding the homeless altruism side. And the Blues, Brews & BBQ at the Canyon Cafe is a fabulous brunch indeed worthy of top 100 Sunday Brunches.

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