Elena Reygadas: A Culinary Odyssey

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Elena Reygadas, a visionary chef and restaurateur, has embarked on a remarkable journey that has left an indelible mark on the culinary world. Born in Mexico City, her path to becoming a celebrated chef was anything but conventional. Reygadas’s story is one of passion, resilience, and a relentless pursuit of excellence.

From an early age, Reygadas exhibited a fascination with the diverse flavors and ingredients of Mexican cuisine. However, her journey into the culinary world took an unconventional turn. After completing her studies in philosophy, she chose a different path and enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America in New York. This bold decision marked the beginning of a culinary odyssey that would see Reygadas blending traditional Mexican influences with innovative techniques.

Upon completing her culinary education, Reygadas gained invaluable experience working in renowned kitchens across the globe. Her journey took her to Spain, where she honed her skills under the guidance of Michelin-starred chefs, absorbing the intricacies of modern gastronomy. This exposure not only refined her culinary techniques but also broadened her perspective on food, encouraging her to think beyond borders and embrace the global culinary landscape.

Inside the Kitchen of Elena Reygadas. It’s a cloudy morning in Mexico City’s Roma North neighbourhood. I’ve just walked the 20- some blocks from my home in Condesa to arrive at Rosetta, the converted manse- eatery by acclaimed Mexican cook Elena Reygadas. As opposed to the gloamings, when the regale rush is in full swing with eager guests ready to savour sweet potato tamales and pistachio pipian tacos, the café — Reygadas’s first — is quiet, save for a portion of her platoon who are busy at work trimming lilac and ivory foxglove stems for the day’s table settings. I ’m gestured in and attended up the helical staircase to Salon Rosetta, where, on the busiest of nights, guests await their tables by enjoying amalgamations in the dimly litdin. It’s in this moment of tranquility that I meet the 46- time-old cook to bandy her most recent achievement being named the World’s Stylish womanish Cook 2023 by the World’s 50 Stylish caffs.“ Of course, it feels great to be awarded, but a kitchen is a macrocosm, ” Reygadas says.“ What means the most to me is that the sweats of so numerous people, who work numerous hours and long days, have now been honored. After further than a decade of fidelity,it gives our platoon a nice drive to keep going.” Since opening Rosetta in 2010, Reygadas’s notoriety as one of the most important cookers in Mexican cooking has only expanded — along with her portfolio, which now includes Lardo in Condesa, Café Nin in Colonia Juárez, and Bella Aurora in Roma North, among others. She also has a education program that supports Mexico’s coming generation of womanish cookers. While she recognizes the growth and is thankful for the accolades, she has a more stranded view of her growing status. “My number one thing has always been to make our guests happy by offering them simple food grounded in Mexican constituents,” says Reygadas. “ We try to be pure and admire the constituents as much as possible, while always offering loads of pleasure. ” She views the unfurling of constituents as commodity akin to art, allowing them to reveal new and instigative angles of themselves to beaneries through unusual combinations of flavors. With a degree in English Literature, there’s also an undertone of deep liar that goes into her food. Reygadas is constantly considering each component’s path.There’s much further tothe fiery hoja santa condiment, for illustration, than meets the eye. “ I contemplate where it grows, why it grows there, and why, in the case of hoja santa, it’s traditionally cooked with sap, ” she says. “ There are so numerous layers! ” Above all, Reygadas’s approach to cooking opens the door to the profound wisdom bedded in the history and culture of Mexico, where communities with ancient roots are alive and flourishing in the present. For her, cookery is one of the stylish ways to understand a culture, and Mexican culture, in particular. This can be seen through the colorful constituents she sources from near granges, from beets and lettuce grown in the chinampas of Xochimilco, floating islets first cultivated by the Mexicas, to the nopal and amaranth fields of the Milpa Alta community, who have been tending their cactus granges since the 1940s.“ The beauty of Mexico is that we can still perceive numerous different layers of time in the present,” she says. “ We can feel the history, and indeed the veritably ancient past now. It’s a unique, fascinating, and harmonious blend. ”
When looking to the future of the culinary world, her solicitude lies in the growing sense of universal unity she observes. “ It doesn’t matter if you live in Japan, Mexico, or Scandinavia, we ’re all starting to eat the same constituents, ” she says. “ constituents like figs and strawberries are extensively used because everyone loves them, but we’re using lower of the further unknown constituents, which leads us to a dangerous cliff — we are losing flavors, history, and culture. ” As a chef, Reygadas feels a responsibility to use as numerous constituents as possible in order to save them. “ The further we use different constituents, people will be more familiar with them, ” she adds. “ And in our approach, the constituents always shine, with the end flavor always the most important thing.” I ask Reygadas her studies about Mexico City’s rapid-fire development. I mention how lines now wrap outside of Panadería Rosetta, and how further and further transnational transplants are moving to the megacity permanently. “ Mexico City has changed extensively in the last many times, but so has the world. ” This, we both agree, led numerous nonnatives to visit the country who may haven’t visited else. And what they endured, they liked. This created a domino effect.“ For numerous reasons, we as Mexicans are now realizing how lucky we’re to have Mexico City,” she says.“ It’s the rainfall, the lukewarmness of the people, the gregarious atmosphere. ” To equate the rising fashion ability of her caffs , Reygadas keeps a portion of the tables at Rosetta open for walk- sways to maintain a balance, which I ’ve taken advantage of on several occasions. “ This is a way for us to keep locals and non natives dining together, ” she says. “ For me, that’s the most beautiful thing. ” Indeed though I ’ve eaten at Rosetta dozens of times( and I’m no foreigner to the cult-favorite guava- and ricotta- stuffed confection), I’m just as giddy to leave the eatery with a box of sweets from Panadería Rosetta in hand. After handing off a many to my gatekeeper and some musketeers — because, really, I could eat the entire box — I suck intoa new delight I’ve yet to try a shell- shaped peach courtesan sprinkled with dried rosemary.It’s not too sweet, not too savory. I eat half of it and enjoy every bite. I ’m not left feeling uncomfortable after I eat it, as I do with utmost sweets that are too decadent, too heavy, for my taste. It reminds me of commodity Reygadas participated with me “ My stopgap is that all my dishes are balanced. I want people, and their tummies, to feel good when they eat my food. ” I clearly do.

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