Here now is a look inside chef Enrique Olvera's — Pujol, Mexico City; Cosme, New York City — first English language cookbook, Mexico from the Inside Out. The book contains 65 recipes, taken both from signature dishes served at Pujol as well as dishes he cooks at home for his family. In the introduction, Olvera explains that when he opened Pujol 15 years ago, he was a young chef with energy, enthusiasm, and ambition, but with perhaps too little vision.
In 2010, he was inspired by a quoted remark from Inaki Aizpitarte, the chef at Paris' Chateaubriand, who wrote that it was not enough for young chefs to reinterpret classic dishes. Though it might seem forward-thinking, this approach to high end cuisine had become altogether banal. Olvera writes: "It had hit me: our search had fallen short. It was clear: revamping our grandmothers' recipes wasn't enough." In the five years since this epiphany, Olvera has successfully filtered the soul of Mexican cooking through a fine dining lens, refining without redefining. Pujol remains at the top of lists like Michelin and World's 50 Best, but more important than this, the chef continues pushing himself forward even as he looks deeper into the history of Mexican cooking.
Mexico from the Inside Out, published by Phaidon Press, is out now. Find a preview of the book, below.