DMA Member Exclusive: Curator Cookbook Picks

We asked Mark Castro, the Jorge Baldor Curator of Latin American Art at the DMA, to dish his best Mexican cookbook recommendations that will bring some culture into your kitchen as we all cozy up at home. Here’s what he had to say to whet your appetites!

The Foodie
My Mexico City Kitchen: Recipes and Convictions
by Gabriela Cámara
Mark says: More than just a cookbook, Cámara explains her unique take on Mexican food and its contemporary significance. Whenever I’m in Mexico City I always make a point of stopping at Cámara’s restaurant Contramar, going strong for more than twenty years. My go-to meal—the famous tuna tostadas, red and green grilled snapper, and lemon and ricotta tart—are all in this lavishly illustrated book.

The Classic
The Art of Mexican Cooking
by Diana Kennedy
Mark says: This was my first Mexican cookbook and I’ve heard the same from a lot of friends. First published in 1989, Kennedy’s book is still one of the most complete guides to traditional Mexican cooking. Beyond giving you great recipes for key dishes like pozole verde or mole negro, Kennedy shares important insights into their origins and their place within Mexican culture.

The Doorstop
Mexico: The Cookbook
by Margarita Carrillo Arronte
Mark says: This book has got everything, from the typical to the obscure, and is something of an encyclopedia of recipes of Mexican cuisine. I turn to it whenever I’m trying to figure out how to make that awesome thing I ate one time at a restaurant—pato en pepita roja (duck in red pumpkin sauce)—or that treat I bought at the shop around the corner from my hotel—limones rellenos (stuffed candied limes).

The Streetwise
Eat Mexico: Recipes from Mexico City’s Streets, Markets & Fondas
by Lesley Téllez
Mark says: Perfect if you want to relive that delicious pambazo you ate on a street one day in Mexico City, or if you are cooking a meal for family and friends. My family loves the ‘Pasta with Ancho Chiles, Mushrooms and Garlic,” especially if you pair with it with a refreshing agua de Jamaica (hibiscus flower water).


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