Culture

Meet The 29-Year-Old Mexican Woman Who Has Just Been Named Best Chef In The World By World’s 50 Best Restaurants

Mexican-born New York chef Daniela Soto-Innes has just been named the world’s best female chef at the age of 29. Soto-Innes, who also runs the kitchens at New York City’s Mexican restaurants Cosme and Atla, was given the award by the group, World’s 50 Best Restaurants. The award, which was announced on April 24, recognizes the achievements of one woman every year. The honor is extra special this time around since Soto-Iness will become the youngest woman to ever win the award.

She is being celebrated for her authenticity to Mexican food and creating a welcoming culture in her kitchen.

Soto-Innes has been celebrated for her culinary skills before. She helped Cosme win Eater NY’s Restaurant of the Year in 2015 and the James Beard Rising Star Chef award in 2016, at the age of 25. The group praised Soto-Iness for excelling in a male-dominated industry while overseeing a predominant female kitchen.

“She thrives on empowering her staff and treating every personality differently, and says her relative youth is something to embrace rather than feel ashamed of,” the group said. “In an industry dominated by men, she also runs a kitchen that is two-thirds made up by women.”

The 28-year-old chef has also been a leader when it comes to giving opportunities to young chefs like herself. The group notes that Soto-Innes has been giving job opportunities to mostly immigrant cooks ranging in age from 20 to 65. It’s this thought and consideration that have made her kitchens a welcoming and diverse culture to thrive in.

Soto-Innes got much of her inspiration from her native home in Mexico City where she lived until the age of 12 before coming to the U.S.

@danielasotoinnes / Instagram

Though she is known for her success in the culinary world, it wasn’t always this easy for her. Soto-Innes moved from Mexico City to the U.S. when she was 12 and was a competitive swimmer during her young adulthood in Texas. Shortly after she began her culinary career. She got various internships, studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Austin and traveled to hone her skills.

“My whole life, every single paycheck I’ve ever received has come from cooking,” she said in an interview with The Cut. “I don’t know how to work for another reason.”.

Soto-Innes credits family as a big influence in her life and the many lessons she’s learned in life can be credited to them. Dishes like ceviche and mole, which are favorites at her restaurant, are significant to her because it reminds her of family and love for cooking.

“I grew up with a line of really strong women that love to cook,” Soto-Innes told The World’s Best 50 Restaurants. “When I was born, my mother was a lawyer with my father, but she wanted to be a chef because my grandma had a bakery and my great grandma went to school for cooking. Everything was about who made the best cake, who made the best ceviche, who made the best mole. I just knew that it was the thing that made me the happiest.”

She is leading the way for not only women chefs but for many in the culinary world that want to be noticed.

Soto-Innes has plans to open two new restaurants in Los Angeles, Damian, a Japanese-influenced Mexican restaurant, and Ditroit, a taquería, are expected to open later this year. But despite all the accolades and new ventures in her life, one thing has never changed: staying true to her roots.

“What ignites my passion as a chef is people,” Soto-Iness said in a video. “I believe that what drew me to cooking was personalities and people, and the story behind why they were cooking what they were cooking… Real Mexican food, for me, is that it has to have happiness and spice, and it has to be fun. It can’t be too serious when you make Mexican food.”

READ:A Mexican Chef In NYC Is Giving Diners A Chance To Try Gourmet Mexican Food With Traditional Insect Ingredients

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A University Is Releasing A Historic Mexican Cookbook Filled With Recipes You’d Want To Try

Culture

A University Is Releasing A Historic Mexican Cookbook Filled With Recipes You’d Want To Try

UTSA

The University of Texas San Antonio is bringing the history of Mexico into our kitchens. The university is releasing cookbooks that are collections of historic Mexican recipes. Right now, the desserts book is out and online for free. Main dishes and appetizers/drinks are coming soon.

You can now taste historic Mexico thanks to the University of Texas San Antonio.

UTSA has had an ongoing project of preserving, collecting, and digitizing cookbooks from throughout Mexico’s history. Some books date back to the 1700s and offer a look into Mexico’s culinary arts and its evolution.

UTSA has been digitizing Mexican cookbooks for years and the work is now being collected for people in the time of Covid.

Millions of us are still at home and projects like these can be very exciting and exactly what you need. The recipes are a way to distract yourself from the current reality.

“The e-pubs allow home cooks to use the recipes as inspiration in their own kitchens,” Dean Hendrix, the dean of UTSA Libraries, said in UTSA Today. “Our hope is that many more people will not only have access to these wonderful recipes but also interact with them and experience the rich culture and history contained in the collection.”

The free downloads are a way for people to get a very in-depth look into Mexican food history.

The first of three volumes of the cookbooks focuses on desserts so you can learn how to make churros, chestnut flan, buñelos, and rice pudding. What better way to spend your quarantine than learning how to make some of these yummy desserts. We all love sweets, right?

If you want to get better with making your favorite desserts, check out this cookbook and make it happen.

There is nothing better than diving into your history and using food as your guide. Food is so intrinsically engrained in our DNAs and identities. We love the foods and sweets from our childhood because they hold a clue as to who we are and where we come from. This historical collection of recipes throughout history is the perfect way to make that happen.

READ: The Laziest Food Hacks In All Of The Land Would Send Your Abuela To The Chancla

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People Have A Lot Of Opinions About The Argentina Episode Of Netflix’s ‘Street Food: Latin America’

Culture

People Have A Lot Of Opinions About The Argentina Episode Of Netflix’s ‘Street Food: Latin America’

Manuel Velasquez / Getty Images

Netflix has a new food show out and it has everyone buzzing. “Street Food: Latin America” is bringing everyone the sabor of Latin America to their living room. However, reviews are mixed because of Argentina and the lack of Central American representation.

Netflix has a new show and it is all about Latin American street food.

Some of the best food in the world comes from Latin America. That is just a fact and it isn’t because our families and community come for Latin America. Okay, maybe just a little. The food of Latin America comes with history and stories that have shaped our childhood. For many of us, it is the only thing we have that connects us to the lands our families have left.

The show is highlighting the contributions of women to street food.

“Street Food: Latin America” focuses mainly on the women that are leading the street food cultures in different countries in Latin America. For some of them, it was a chance to bring themselves out of poverty and care for their children. For others, it was a rebellion against the male-dominated culture of cooking in Latin America.

However, some people have some strong opinions about the show and they aren’t good.

There is a lot of attention to native communities in the Latino community culturally right now. The Argentina episode where someone claims that Argentina is more European is rubbing people the wrong way right now. While the native population of Argentina is small, it is still important to highlight and honor native communities who are indigenous to the lands.

The disregard for the indigenous community is upsetting because indigenous Argentinians are fighting for their lives and land.

An A Jazeera report focused on an indigenous community in northern Argentina who were fighting to protect their land. After decades of discrimination and humiliation, members of the Wichi community fought to protect their land from the Argentinian government grabbing it in 2017. Early this year, before Covid, children of the tribe started to die at alarming rates of malnutrition.

Another pain point in the Latino community is the complete disregard of Central America.

Central America includes Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Belize, and Panama. Central America’s exclusion is not sitting right with Netflix users with Central American heritage. Like, how can five whole countries be looked over during a Netflix show about street food in Latin America?

Seems like there is a chance for Netflix to revisit Latin America for more food content.

There are so many countries in Latin America that offer delicious foods to the world. There is more to Latin America than Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Colombia, and Bolivia.

READ: This Iconic Mexican Food Won The Twitter Battle To Be Named Latin America’s Best Street Food

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