The French capital goes Mexican when four noted chefs from Mexico present a gastronomy masterclass series in Paris that gourmands from around the world can access via the internet.
Yesterday, we looked at UNESCO World Heritage sites in Euro TV. We follow up today with Mexican cuisine, of which traditional Mexican cuisine was inscribed to the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2010.
Fast forward ten years, and Mexican gastronomy is taking its place amongst the best of the best. At the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony held on 1 June 2015, at the Guildhall in London, three restaurants in Mexico were recognized for their culinary prowess, based on reviews by the 1,000 members of the 50 Best Restaurants Academy. This put Mexico in the fourth spot on the global list of most awarded countries, following only the US, Spain, and France, and tying with Italy and Peru.
Given this prestigious acknowledgment, highlighting the gastronomy of los Estados Unidos Mexicanos in the country’s international promotion of its tourism and culture makes sense. Earlier this year, Mexican gastronomy was featured for three months at Selfridges in London, recognized as the World’s Best Department Store for three consecutive years.
And starting tomorrow is Mexican Gastronomy in Paris, a four-session masterclass that gives in-person attendees and viewers across the globe the chance to see four of Mexico’s top chefs in action.
“A Brief History of Mexican Cuisine”
Presented by Guillermo Gonzalez Beristain of Pangea Restaurant in Monterrey, Mexico — #19 on the list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants.
Originally from Ensenada, Baja California, Guillermo Gonzalez Beristain showed an interest in cooking at the early age of 14. Three years later, he decided he wanted to study cooking.
Guillermo has taken his years of experience and applied his skills while working in Michelin-starred restaurants around Europe and the US, as well as opening his highly-praised and respected Pangea Restaurant in Monterrey in 1998 — a venture that many thought was professional suicide, given that he was opening a gourmet restaurant in a city with a reputation for less-refined fare.
But Beristain took the risk, noting that foodies and non-foodies alike would appreciate Pangea if he gave them honest and well-flavored food. Today Pangea is the only restaurant in Monterrey honored as one of the 50 best in Latin America.
The masterclass for “A Brief History of Mexican Cuisine” takes place tomorrow, Thursday, 9 July 2015, at 4 PM Paris time/3 PM BST/10 AM ET.
“Puebla’s Gastronomy: A Hybrid of Pre-Colombian and Colonial Periods”
Presented by Angel Vazquez of Intro Restaurant in Puebla, Mexico.
A globetrotter chef in his own right, Angel Vazquez began his culinary career in Puebla, Mexico, and continued it with work in New York and at the Michelin-starred Ze Kitchen Gallerie restaurant in Paris and El Cingle in Barcelona.
Vazquez has represented Puebla’s cuisine internationally in the embassies of Berlin in 2011 and Lima in 2012, at the Chicago Gourmet Festival in 2013, the Inauguration Cocktail in FITUR, Madrid 2013, and twice at the Vatican for the Mexican Christmas Cocktail.
Today Angel owns Intro Restaurant in Puebla, which carries the flavors of Morocco, Thailand, Scandinavia, and Mexico, amongst others. His latest projects are the Antojeria Salome Antojeria del Mar and La Palafoxiana Mezcaleria y Champaneria, which he created with friends.
The “Puebla’s Gastronomy: A Hybrid of Pre-Colombian and Colonial Periods” session takes place tomorrow, Thursday, 9 July 2015, at 5:30 PM Paris time/4:30 PM BST/11:30 AM ET.
“Baja California Region: A Hot Spot of Innovation for a New Generation of Mexican Chefs”
Presented by Diego Hernandez Baquedano of Corazon de Tierra Restaurant in Ensenada, Mexico — #42 on the list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants.
Baquedano began his career in Mexico in the kitchens of some of the country’s most renowned chefs, including Benito Molina, Guillermo Gonzalez, and Enrique Olvera. He earned his formal degree from Tijuana Culinary Art School, and was the co-owner chef of UNO Restaurant in Tijuana.
In 2011, in partnership with The Villa Valley, he created Corazon de Tierra Restaurant in Valle de Guadalupe, an ode to Baja California cuisine that focuses primarily on the ways and customs of Ensenada. His approach to cooking is a personal interpretation of the regional style and conveys a sensitivity and respect for nature.
Baquedano was nominated as Best New Chef in 2011, Corazon de Tierra received the Best Hotel Restaurant accolade in 2012, and he was awarded the prize for Best Concept in 2013 — all by by Travel + Leisure. Also in 2013, Corazon de Tierra was ranked #30 on the list of 50 Best Restaurants in Latin America.
The “Baja California Region: A Hot Spot of Innovation for a New Generation of Mexican Chefs” session takes place on Friday, 10 July 2015, at 4 PM Paris time/3 PM BST/10 AM ET.
“Developing a New Style of Cuisine in the Yucatan Region”
Presented by Roberto Solis of Nectar Restaurant in Merida, Mexico.
Solis decided to open his restaurant, Nectar, at the age of 27 and without having any previous experience. The restaurant’s culinary style began with a minimalist concept that slowly evolved to create a New Yucatecan Cuisine from traditional roots.
Solis’ knowledge and professional learning come largely from his rich personal experiences. In 2004 he worked in the world-famous Fat Duck restaurant in England, followed by Thomas Keller’s restaurant Per Se in New York in 2008 and Les Creations of Narisawa in Tokyo, with chef Yosihiro Narisawa, in 2010. In 2009 he established the famous Festival Kooben with his partner Chef Luis Barocio. Today, Roberto is working on several projects, including a casual Mexican tapas restaurant and a taqueria.
The “Developing a New Style of Cuisine in the Yucatan Region” session takes place on Friday, 10 July 2015, at 5:30 PM Paris time/4:30 PM BST/11:30 AM ET.
All Mexican Gastronomy in Paris masterclass segments will be webcast live from Paris in English, Spanish, and French at visitmexico.com/venacomer, and social media users can join the online conversation with the hashtag #venacomer.