New York-based Magda Bogin is a writer, translator, and workshop leader who has taught at Columbia, Princeton and City College. Fluent in Spanish, English, Russian, Italian and French, she created Cocinar Mexicano to share her insider's knowledge of Mexico's unique cuisine and to showcase the talents of the country's leading chefs. Building on the successful model of Cocinar Mexicano, she created Cucinare Veneziano, an exclusive culinary program in Venice, where she has also lived and worked. She is also the founder and director of Under the Volcano International, the cultural organization that serves as host for Cocinar Mexicano and Cucinare Veneziano.
Teresa Bello was born in Tepoztlán, where she and her husband Pedro, a retired schoolteacher, have a stationery store and a small crafts stall. She knows the village inside out and is something of a local celebrity, working with many neighborhood committees and civic associations and always ready to help where help is needed. She and her family provide invaluable logistical support to Cocinar Mexicano.
A recent special issue of Time Magazine described Ricardo Muñoz Zurita as "a prophet and preserver of a culinary tradition." Former executive chef of Mexico City's Hotel Nikko, author of four cookbooks in Spanish, including an important encyclopedia of Mexican cuisine, Muñoz has been a tireless campaigner for recognition of Mexico as one of the world's leading cuisines in international forums. He is also the culinary genius and chef behind Azul y Oro, the innnovative cafeteria of Mexico's national university, in Mexico City.
Enrique Olvera graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1999, winning the MFK Fisher Award for the best thesis of his class. Since returning to Mexico the following year to open Pujol, his signature restaurant, Olvera has established himself as a brilliant technician and playful innovator, upending his country's traditional dishes and ingredients in devoted but mischievous ways. An artist of the table as well as the kitchen, Olvera's presentations are always elegant, always provocative, always surprising.
Owner of Mexico City's hottest new restaurant, Aguila y Sol, Martha Ortiz is a culinary historian with a background in art history and the fine culinary arts. Her dining room is known for its uniquely aesthetic presentation of a menu culled from regional dishes across Mexico, which Martha and her staff have meticulously perfected and refined.
Exquisite presentation and astonishing textures have earned this restaurant pure raves since its opening in 2003.
Celebrity chef Mónica Patiño is a household name in Mexico thanks to her popular daily television program, El Rincón de los Sabores. As teacher, chef, cookbook author and restaurateur, she is known for bringing the perfectionism and classic styling of her early training in France to the traditional dishes served at her first restaurant, La Taberna del León, as well as to the exquisitely fused menus of her signature "bistro," M/P, and the recently opened Naos, all in Mexico City.
Often referred to as the “Ambassador of Mexican Cuisine,” Patricia Quintana is a master chef, culinary artist, teacher, and cookbook author. Her Taste of Mexico sold more than 150,000 copies in its English version and remains a bible for those interested in regional Mexican cuisine. When she opened Izote a little over a year ago in Mexico City's exclusive Polanco quarter, she instantly added an exciting new theater for serious diners in that city. She has just opened a new restaurant in Cancún.
Carmen Titita Ramírez
Famed for her delicious recipes from Veracruz, Titita Ramírez, as she's known, claims to be a cook, not a chef, but everyone else calls her one of the top chefs of Mexico. Her unassuming out-of-the-way restaurant, El Bajío, has been a place of pilgrimage for decades for those in the know. She has just opened El Bajío #2, one of the hottest places in downtown Mexico City.
Art Historian in Residence
British art critic and curator Janet Dawson, an authority on the role of food in Mexican art, has been a docent at the Tate and is currently Director at Art Square, a gallery in Toronto. A frequent visitor to Tepoztlán, she has developed several special presentations for Cocinar Mexicano, among them 'Feasting on Art,' an hour-long slide show that documents the iconography of food from pre-Hispanic art to the present, and one on the work of Mexican women artists. The multi-talented Dawson is also a passionate, accomplished chef.
Mexico City Culinary Consultant
Ruth Alegria is the founder of the Princeton Cooking School and former owner of the New York Times recognized Mexican Village Restaurants. Now a full-time resident of Mexico City, she knows the city's culinary and cultural landscape inside and out. Ruth Alegria is an active member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, the James Beard Foundation and Slow Food.
Word of Mouth
Shakespeare scholar, memoirist, nationally known expert on food systems, food policy and the history of corn, Betty Fussell is the author of ten books, including the award-winning Story of Corn. Her essays on food, travel and the dramatic arts have appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Vogue, Saveur, Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Connoisseur, More, Lears, Food Arts, Metropolitan Home and Gastronomica. She has taught writing at Columbia University and food writing at the Greenbrier in West Virginia. Her current project is a cultural history of American beef.
Sue Torres is the chef/owner of Sueños, the dazzling Chelsea hideaway where connoisseurs can find what New York Times food critic Eric Asimov has rightly called "the most exciting Mexican food in the city." Since graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, New York native Torres has also piled up rave reviews from the New Yorker, Vogue, Working Woman, Bon Appetit, Time Out and the New York Daily News, among others, and has recently been featured on the Discovery Channel's "Make My Dinner" program. Her cuisine is energetic, original, and spectacularly presented. Cocinar Mexicano is delighted to welcome her to Mexico as our first showcase chef.
© Cocinar Mexicano 2012
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