A culinary calling

Chef Susana Trilling, a dedicated ambassador of Oaxacan cuisine, is a celebrated chef, teacher, author, television host, and founder and director of the Seasons of My Heart Cooking School in Oaxaca, Mexico, where she has lived and worked since the late 1980s.

Susana began cooking at the age of 10, gleaning early inspiration from her grandmother, a chef from Tampico, Mexico, who ran a little fonda (restaurant) in San Antonio, Texas, and from whom she learned to make wonderfully chewy flour tortillas; crispy corn chalupa shells stuffed with pinto beans; exceptional hot tamales; and vibrant homemade jams, made with fruit from her own backyard, among many other delights.

Rancho Aurora

In 1999, Susana formally established her Seasons of My Heart Cooking School, in a beautiful hand-built space housed under a huge dome, on her rural ranch, located between two small villages: San Lorenzo Cacaotepec, Etla, and San Felipe Tejalapam, Etla northwest of Oaxaca City in the State of Oaxaca, Mexico. In 2019, the school was named by Forbes as one of the top five culinary vacations in the world.

legacy of sharing Oaxaca

Susana has since taught countless group and private classes, in person and online, offered food tours within and beyond Oaxaca and been profiled in many magazines, including Travel & Leisure, Saveur, Bon Appétit, EatingWell, Food Arts and Fortune. At the Oaxacan International Food & Wine Festival in 2002, she was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

A Family tradition

Over the course of 33 years and counting of living, teaching and farming, in what she refers to as the culinary gemstone of Mexico, Susana has also raised a family. Susana’s two sons have followed in her culinary footsteps – Kaelin Ulrich Trilling is the chef de cuisine at Thomas Keller’s Mexican restaurant La Calenda; and Jesse Ulrich Trilling is General Manager for ¡Ya Oaxaca!

Meet the team


Head of Production (14 years)


Head of Operations (14 years)


Production Assistant (12 years)


Office Manager (4 years)