notes from the mexican kitchen

Slideshow: Rick in Mexico City

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Quintonil highlight: perfectly ripe mamey, mamey pudding, mamey pit ice cream
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Quintonil: chilacayota squash with homemade mole & calabacitas.
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Quintonil: A tamal of Swiss chard with vegetable ribbons, herbs and crunch.
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Breakfast at QueBo! with José Ramón Castillo. Some of the best chocolate in the world:
Mexican beans, cool flavors.
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Nico's: Classic bean soup with nixtamalized runner beans & Chiapas cheese

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Yuban: Chocolate cake w Oaxacan chocolate ganache, butter cake with caramelized pineapple,
fresh corn cake with chocolate-prickly pear
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Contramar: Pacific-style fish a la talla
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Went with Pedro Abascal & chefs from Kaah Siis to their organic chinampa, an eco-part of Xochimilco, to harvest & be inspired
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Breakfast at El Hidalguense for succulent lamb barbacoa.
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Cárdenas market Del Valle: Passmar (yes, in the vegetable market!) is one of best coffee bars I've ever been to.

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The black bean tamal at Amaranta in Toluca.
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Los Insurgentes, one of Mexico City's popular pulquerías.

I’ve loved Mexico City since I was 14 years old.  Never been there that my heart didn¹t beat a little faster (and not just because it’s at nearly 8,000 feet!).  I love the pace, the stew-pot of culture from high to low, from traditional to modern.  I love the serendipity that floats in and out of every visitor’s experience, as though they’ve been thrust for an unexpected moment into a different dimension of reality.  That’s all Mexico in a nutshell, though.  It’s just packed more tightly in Mexico City, under what seems like the lid of a pressure cooker.

Though I’ve spent most of my adult life delving deeply and relentlessly into the traditional kitchens of Mexico City and beyond, right now I’m intrigued by what Mexico (and its cuisine) looks like through the eyes of the talented and young band of movers and shakers in the food world: chefs, restaurateurs, cheese mongers, wine and beer makers, mixologists, bakers.

These photos were taken on what seemed like a month-long 8 days in Mexico City recently, scouting for season 10 of Mexico: One Plate at a Time. I returned from that trip with such enthusiasm for the future.  This emerging generation of energetic food folks are shaping a bright and exciting future for a brilliant cuisine, a cuisine with such fortitude that it has survived intimate mingling with Spanish and French colonialism, Asian goods that traversed its terrain for centuries, maniacal dictators, multinational corporate invasions, and on and on.  Yet I’d contend that each time Mexico’s cuisine has emerged stronger, more complex and more delicious.  I can’t wait to show you more.



  1. I would love to be part of this journey you are on. Your passion for good Mexican food inspires me.

  2. Hi Rick, I’m glad you love México and the food but, when I wish to eat something mexican, I think about the flavors of the “la abuela” I mean, the popular, the tipical mexican food nothing “exotic” or diffrent than the traditional mole poblano, chiles rellenos de queso, chilaquiles verdes con pollo, etc. Personally I believe that’s the flavors and the recipes I looking for, wishing to taste again and again the ” real flavor” of mexican food. I don’t like the ultimate recipe with weird ingredients in a “traditional” mexican dish. Maybe you can change the “presentation” or the “sides” but please NOT the flavor !!!

  3. You should do group tour’s to Mexico. I have watched the show for years and have been using your recipes and love them!

    1. Years ago he had a trip to Mexico for a group of 20 including 16 in the trade and 4 meer mortals. We were 6th of 4. Several cities. about 10 days. Since then I have dreamed of that missed opportunity. Every meal of every day would have been the best food that could be prepared for such a group. Now I do not even make it to Chicago every year for my Topo fix.

  4. Thank you for embracing and honoring Mexico and all it’s glory from cuisine to culture for the US and all to see. You do a FABULOUS JOB!! I am half Mexican & half Slovenian – its beautiful to see people(you & your family ) do so nicely !! Be well always! And YES I agree w Dean!!

  5. I’ve watched you tour oaxaca’s marketplaces and eat all the street food there. I’m going there next week and have heard all kinds of advice on the dangers of raw and foods rinsed in Mexican water. Do you have an immunity or are you more careful than what we see on the shows?

    Dave Gardner

    1. I am careful not to eat the skin on fruit that I haven’t washed with an antibacterial. That may or may not be obvious on the show, but that is how I stay healthy!

  6. I will be traveling Mexico City in February and I would very much like to trace your footsteps by visiting some of the places viewed on the your show. How or where could I get a short list of recently visited sites. I am more interested in the food truck and street side eateries.

    Your reply will be greatly appreciated.


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