By ALEJANDRA SALAZAR
The food of Mexico is diverse, complex, and beloved across the world.
Don’t just take it from us: In 2010, traditional Mexican cuisine was added to UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. The honor designates this food as a cultural treasure that should be preserved for generations to come.
Mexican chef and cookbook author Margarita Carrillo Arronte spent years advocating for this designation. Throughout her career, which spans more than 35 years, Margarita has been committed to exploring Mexican cuisine and showcasing it on the world stage. She has run several successful restaurants, spearheaded menus for major global events including the 2012 G20 summit in Cancún, hosted popular food and cooking shows in Latin America, and penned several seminal cookbooks, including 2014’s Mexico: The Cookbook.
At 75 years old, Margarita is still discovering layers of her home country’s food. Her latest release, The Mexican Vegetarian Cookbook, dives into Mexico’s legacy of plant-based cooking. She says working on the book took her into new corners of Mexican culinary history, especially because she’s not vegetarian herself.
“When I started to research, I found a lot,” Margarita says. “And the further back you go into the history of Mexico, the more vegetarian the food is.”
On this episode of Latino USA, Margarita talks with host Maria Hinojosa about the rich history of her home country’s cuisine, debunking misconceptions about it, and spending a lifetime cooking, eating, and loving Mexican food.