The Power of Food
story BY: MARIANA G. BRIONES
Enrique Olvera is unconventional to say the least. Incredibly talented, yet disarmingly humble. Hugely serious about his work, yet there is always a streak of humor in his gaze. The discipline with which he has established himself as one of the top figures in the culinary world, a career that was launched when he opened the doors to his first restaurant in México City at only 24, is evident in each of his decisions— yet his life and work are built around a very simple concept: To have fun, no matter what you do.
His philosophy seems to work— Pujol is now ranked 16th in the San Pellegrino First 50 Restaurants in the World list. He has a third cooking book in the works, is the founder of Mesamerica, an annual international food conference attended by the world’s leading chefs, and has a total of five restaurants under his helm, an empire that is scheduled to grow even more this year. His latest one, Cosme, located in Manhattans Flatiron was so awaited reservations were not available for months. And this hype was validated with an ecstatic three-star review in The New York Times from revered food critic Pete Wells.
For Olvera cooking is a means of communication, first and foremost. It is the medium through which he expresses his ideals, his way of life. That is why he is focusing on endangered breeds of corn in an effort to preserve them, along with the history and values of Mexican Gastronomy. Positioning Mexican cuisine at the center of the gastronomic world stage and transforming its stereotypes into one of the most sought after fine dining experiences in the world is no small feat, but as he explains, it is about changing perceptions, one dish at a time.
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