Best known for Contramar in Mexico City, and for Cala in San Francisco, Gabriela Cámara has an international presence built on her inspired takes on traditional Mexican dishes. For Americans whose view of Mexican cooking has been shaped in part by restaurants that disconnect it from seasonal variations (tomatoes aren't always in season, dude), Cámara's insistence on freshness and the simplicity it sometimes enforces can be bracing and eye-opening. What that means for a cook is options such as a cactus and watercress salad with ricotta salata; grilled little gem lettuce with red bean salad; or pibipollo, essentially an entire chicken cooked inside a giant tamale, steamed in banana leaves. Her restrained, almost minimal presentation gives a sophisticated gloss to the plated food, but it's clear that, at its roots, Cámara's cooking is keenly proud of its origins in Mexican home kitchens. Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.
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