Mexico City’s Savory Sisterhood
The only happy offshoot of Mexican machismo, which continues to find the matriarch shooing men away from the larders, may be that Mexico City’s culinary scene is dominated by women.
Chef Gabriela Cámara’s inaugural outpost, Contramar, in the central Roma Norte area, is a seafood shack fashioned with all the sand-in-your-toes freshness of a beachside palapa. (Order Cámara’s signature tuna sashimi tostados.)
Martha Ortíz Chapa, helming restaurant Dulce Patria in posh Polanco, presents a new-wave take on Mexican classics: Oaxacan cheese-and-epazote quesadillas, salads spiked with hibiscus flowers and desert-flower hearts, mescal-and-guava margaritas.
Nearby, Patricia Quintana, known as the first lady of Mexican gastronomy, heads ten-year-old Izote, with its modern twist on pre-Columbian dishes.
Also in Polanco, try the 36-ingredient mole de Xico or the chocolate tartaleta at Carmen (Titita) Ramírez Degollado’s El Bajío.
“Mexican food is about secrets and power passed down the maternal line,” says Dulce Patria’s Ortíz. “It’s like a beautiful whisper.”
This story, written by Olivia Stren, appeared in the May 2012 issue of National Geographic Traveler.
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