Chef Pilar Cabrera at her La Olla restaurant and cooking school in Oaxaca © Douglas Favero, 2011

A Oaxaca culinary ambassador: an interview with Chef Pilar Cabrera

On a recent trip to Oaxaca, I had the pleasure of speaking with Pilar Cabrera, chef, cooking instructor and, most recently, participant in Iron Chef Canada. Chef Cabrera kindly took time out from her busy schedule to sit down and discuss the influences that led to this career, as well as her cooking school, ever-changing menus […]

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Campeche: Cocktails and Seafood in a Pirates’ Paradise

Picture a small tropical city nestled up against sparkling coastal waters, surrounded by fortress walls, complete with drawbridges and moats to keep out invading buccaneers. Where, in the twenty-first century, could this possibly be? No, it isn’t Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland. Nothing constructed by a theme park could come close to the real […]

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The Mexican kitchen: a taste for all seasons

One of the most fascinating aspects of exploring the cuisine of another country is the process of becoming acquianted with the history, customs and traditions that are an intrinsic part of the cultural landscape of cooking and eating. In Mexico, festivals, rituals and personal commemorations are all important events in terms of celebrating with food […]

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Beans, a staple in the Mexican kitchen: Frijoles

Since pre-Hispanic tmes, beans have been a staple in the Mexican kitchen. They appear in a world of traditional recipes, from frijoles refritos or refried beans to frijoles charros (cowbooy beans) and many many more. Ingredients 1 kilo (2.2 lbs) black or pinto beans 1 harge onion 1 head of garlic, whole, unpeeled 5 tablespoons of salt or to […]

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Cooking in the Yucatan: bright flavors and unique ingredients

One of the regions of Mexico most indelibly fixed in my mind is the Yucatan, probably because the sights, sounds, flavors and aromas are so sensual that they create truly visceral memories. When my husband and I reminisce about our journeys throughout Mexico, especially the long road trips taken in our trusty old Ford pickup, […]

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A Meal in a Sandwich: Tortas, Cemitas, Pambazos

For months after we moved to Mexico several years ago, my favorite place to eat here in Cholula was a hole-in-the-wall tortería called Tortas Alex. Although a Mexican torta goes far beyond what is normally described as a sandwich – it was something delicious, satisfying and comforting when we needed it most. This was long before tortas […]

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Mexican wings al pastor © Karen Hursh Graber, 2014

Mexican ways with wings: The food craze that took flight

Wings have landed everywhere. There are endless varieties of these once humble chicken parts, and numerous restaurants are dedicated to serving them. Mexico is no exception to the wing craze, but the many establishments offering these tasty nibbles seem to focus on American style preparations. There are versions of American barbeque wings, hot wings, honey […]

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