Renowned for his restaurants in the city of Oaxaca and in Mexico City, Alejandro Ruiz is a champion of local foods and ingredients, which he celebrates in this book, along with cooks, farmers, fishers, and others who are integral to the cuisine.
The chef notes early on: “For the most part, these are not simple recipes. They come from the collective imagination of my community, which time has proven, which don’t belong to any one person, but rather to everyone, thus demanding great respect. In translating them into precise quantities and cooking times, we run the risk of losing something.”
Throughout the book. Ruiz is deliberate in his effort to place the foods in context, to let you know if a dish is made daily or for community gatherings, if different regions in Oaxaca have different expectations for how it should taste and look, and anything else that might help you understand how food is prepared in a place where ingredients such as corn, chocolate, chiles, and tomatoes have been in use for millennia.
If you’ve any interest in Mexican food, this book is worthwhile, even if you never cook from it.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.