This issue of ProChef Latin Cuisine Edition includes a profile of Mexican chef Elena Reygadas, a story on the versatility of tacos guisados and a look at the many global flavors that can be found in Peruvian sandwiches. Read on for these stories, recipes and a roundup of 2018's most-clicked stories on Latin American cuisine.
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A champion of modern Mexican cuisine, chef Elena Reygadas serves ricotta-filled guava rolls alongside traditional white-and-black conchas at La Panaderia in Mexico City. "That's the new wave of modern Mexican restaurants, a mix of traditional and contemporary techniques without forgetting the most important thing: our roots," said Reygadas, who mixes Mexican ingredients with Italian and French cooking techniques at her restaurant, Rosetta.
The taco de guisado can be made with a variety of stewed fillings and the best ones are messy enough to drip down your arm while you're eating, writes Tacolicious co-founder Sara Deseran. She shares her story of exploring the possibilities for tacos de guisados during a 2009 trip to Mexico City.
Peruvian sandwiches can include a diverse range of flavors thanks to the multiple cultures that influenced the country's cuisine, said Llama Inn and Llamita owner and chef Erik Ramirez. African, Asian, Spanish and indigenous cultures flavor the food of Peru, and the diversity gives chefs a wide base for innovation.
Patricia Quintana, a Mexican chef and author of more than 28 books, died in November at the age of 72. "She was deeply in love with our cuisine, but also deeply in love with new things," said Mexican chef Enrique Olvera, one of many who remember Quintana as a champion for the diverse cuisine of Mexico.
Jose, a modern Mexican restaurant in Dallas, has named CIA graduate Anastacia Quinones as its executive chef. Quinones, nicknamed "AQ," has focused during her career on creating authentic, regionally inspired Mexican dishes using seasonal, local ingredients.
Food trends are moving faster and younger consumers are growing more adventurous, fueling the rise of new flavors in familiar cuisines, writes Datassential's Mike Kostyo. Exotic seasonings like papalo and tajin are flavoring Mexican dishes, and the watermelon and fruit sauce dish known as sandia loca is popular on Instagram.
The traditional Peruvian drink called chicha morada, made with purple corn and spices, is showing up on cocktail menus. New York's Sen Sakana offers a New York sour that uses chicha morada instead of red wine and Chicago's Boleo serves the Abuela, made with chicha morada, pisco, mezcal, Amaro Lucano, key lime and nutmeg.
Chef Rebecca Peizer from the Culinary Institute of America shows us a creative take on a watermelon salad that uses the whole watermelon -- from rind to flesh. This Latin-inspired watermelon salad includes tart and spicy pickled watermelon rind, creamy and salty cotija, toasted pepitas and cumin seeds, smoky fire-roasted poblano chiles, cilantro and a lime vinaigrette. Watch this and many more watermelon recipe demos here!
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