Canela Pumpkin Torito

I whipped up a version of a traditional drink from Veracruz for everyone, called a torito. A name I love because torito translates to “little bull,” which refers to the little kick it gives. It can be deceiving because it’s so sweet and creamy. Since pumpkin is such an essential ingredient in Mexico, I did a pumpkin torito this time.

Melon Basil Margarita

The last time I went to Los Angeles, one of our producers reached out to Liz and Ramon, who have watched my show for a long time. They were asked if they’d like to make some of my recipes on camera, but weren’t told that I was going to be there. So it was a great surprise when I walked in. In return for them welcoming us into their home and feeding me and my team, well, drinks were on me! I decided come up with a new drink to share with them, a Melon Basil Margarita.

Salsa Macha with Pistachios, Walnuts and Pine Nuts

I think one of the most common versions of salsa macha is a take from the state of Veracruz that uses dried chipotle chiles, garlic and peanuts. But there are of course countless versions. In this one, I use some of my favorite nuts —walnuts, pistachios, and pine nuts. And I play with the crowd-pleasing taste of guajillos and the feisty bite of chiles de árbol. I also add something new that I’ve never put in a salsa macha before — amaranth seeds.

Story Goes… Governor Shrimp Tacos

The story goes, governor shrimp tacos, or tacos gobernador de camarón, were created in the state of Sinaloa in the early 1990s to surprise governor Francisco Labastida Ochoa, after he told a few friends how much he loved his wife’s shrimp tacos. That bit of information was passed on to the owners of Los Arcos in Mazatlán restaurant, before he headed there to visit.


The very first class I taught at the Mexican Cultural Institute, after I switched from being a policy analyst at the Inter American Dialogue, was October 18, 2007. I remember the date exactly, because it was a day after Sami’s 6th birthday. For months, I had been teaching him and his two brothers, Alan who was then 8 and Juju who was just 1, how to make sopes every night for at least 3 months.

Sardine Empanadas

What to do with a couple cans of sardines? Do what the people from landlocked Aguascalientes do: make the tastiest empanadas. Over the past dozen years, I have been amazed by so many things, as I’ve ventured into a deep exploration of Mexico’s cuisine to share it with the world – or whoever will listen. Its richness, its diversity, its depth, its accessibility, its generosity… One thing that has also stood out, everywhere, is the resourcefulness of its people.