TODOS SANTOS CHURCH AND RESTAURANT IN CUENCA - A Don't Miss!
Some of Todos Santos Restaurant's Remarkable Chefs
Of course we could go out to eat every day here because many of the restaurants charge $2 to $5 for a full course delicious breakfast, lunch, or dinner. However, we like to go out occasionally and find that special restaurant we want to frequent because it's a treat, a celebration, an experience, and a great meal for a great price. Yes, we do sometimes meet friends at a restaurant for a meal, or we sit down for a simple mid-day meal because we've been out and about doing errands and we're too tired to fix anything at home. Yet, on a regular daily basis, we are home enjoying the fresh meats, fruits and vegetables from our neighborhood "mercado" which are then transformed into fabulous healthy meals, mostly prepared by my Chef Bo.
One of our favorite places to dine is at Todos Santos Restaurant on Calle Larga. It is located in a 16th Century Convent, and the food is absolutely fabulous! Recently we went there with friends for lunch. I asked the head chef, Mauricio, if I could come and do a photo shoot for my blog. He immediately said, "Yes," with the offer to take Bo and me on a private tour of the restaurant, organic gardens, and church grounds. We met Mauricio the following day before the restaurant opened, and what a fun time it was photographing this kind and friendly chef and one of the most amazing historical buildings in Cuenca. Mauricio explained a lot of the history as he took Bo and me on our own personal guided tour. It was another fabulous "behind-the-curtain" experience I will cherish, which I love about living in Cuenca.
So join us through my lens and then plan on stopping by to meet Chef Mauricio and enjoy experiencing his artistic organic cooking. It will be a memorable meal in a quaint and historic atmosphere which you are sure to enjoy and will never forget!
PICTURES TELL THE STORY.....
|A huge double wooden door leading to a cafe-bakery is open to the public daily. Their fresh on-sight oven-baked breads and delicious pastries are absolutely worth the trip.|
|The daily breads and sweets are.......|
|...... freshly baked in this over 100 year old historic wood-fired oven. The master baker uses long wooden paddles to turn the breads for an even browning.|
|The public can purchase these delectables Tuesdays thru Saturdays from one of the only five charitable nuns living on the premises. Apparently, there used to be 100 nuns living here.|
|Chef Mauricio took us through one of the many quaint dining rooms, and we climbed over the plants that barricade this staircase.......|
|.......walked down a little rustic hallway.......|
|We walked along beautiful tiers of stone pathways adorned with cascading plants......|
|.....enjoying a fabulous view of this historic city!|
|The leafy lettuce were abundant and thriving.|
|Delicious plump berries.....|
|.....and more! We witnessed a wonderful array of fruits!|
|We sampled one of many black walnuts ripe for the harvest.|
|The day was sunny and warm - perfect weather for a colorful fragrant organic garden tour!|
|Every few steps there would be another variety of juicy fruit or colorful ripe vegetable.|
|Some areas were ready for planting another rotation crop.|
|The lush grounds are planted, weeded and harvested by one of several gardeners.|
|As we circled around.....|
|.....the rustic garden grounds......|
|.....Mauricio explained to us that the nuns use some of the restaurant and bakery proceeds to help support this school adjacent to the Convent-restaurant. They also support the poor.|
|We watched the children come out of the building for their daily recess time. Children in Ecuador wear uniforms to school, and each school has it's specific uniform colors.|
|It was time to head back to the restaurant, but difficult to pull myself away from the beautiful church grounds and this amazing sky and view overlooking the city.|
|Back at the restaurant, special cakes were being created by......|
|.....one of Todos Santos' master bakers.|
|A paper is formed into a cone and filled with a sweet fruit syrup.....|
|.....then squeezed onto the center of each cookie.|
|Five different fruit flavors were pressed while we enjoyed watching this antiquated process.|
|While the master baker decorated his pastries and cookies, this student chef prepped vegetables and greens for the soon-to-arrive lunch crowd.|
|All from that abundant organic garden!|
|Finally, the tour is over and Mauricio heads downstairs to the elegant dining area.....|
|.....to check on the table settings and ambiance and give it his final approval!|
|You can order a tasty and reasonably priced elegant lunch (above) in the day time. I had "Seco de Chivo" - goat that is slow-cooked for 12 hours overnight! It was melt-in-my-mouth delicious and tasted like the most tender steak ever! Buen Provecho!|