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Cookbook Presents Mexico's Most Exciting Regional Cuisine

Chef Cetina's Sabores Yucatecos: A Culinary Tour of the Yucat?ín shares the tastes of his homeland

By LatinoLA Contributor
Published on LatinoLA: December 19, 2011

Cookbook Presents Mexico's Most Exciting Regional Cuisine

Sabores Yucatecos: A Culinary Tour of the Yucat?ín (WPR Books: Comida, 2012) is a brand new and first-of-its-kind cookbook focusing on the foods and culture of Mexico's Yucat?ín Peninsula out just in time for the 2011 holiday season.

Sabores Yucatecos: A Culinary Tour of the Yucat?ín is the first English-language cookbook on this regional cuisine ever written by a chef from the Yucat?ín. It captures the essence of a unique cuisine with an allure that matches the mystique of the ancient Maya with Spanish, Middle Eastern and Dutch influences mixed in, making it one of Mexico's most exciting regional cuisines.

The chef/co-author is Gilberto Cetina, the award-winning owner of Chich?®n Itz?í Restaurant in Los Angeles, whose cooking has been hailed by food critics in such publications as GQ, Travel and Leisure and Hispanic magazines, on radio and television, as well as by foodies and other restaurateurs.

Pulitzer Prize-winning food writer Jonathan Gold, of the L.A. Weekly, has often raved about the food at Chich?®n Itz?í Restaurant, writing: " . . . the restaurant that keeps bringing me back . . . is Chich?®n Itz?í, which is probably the most serious Yucatecan restaurant in town . . . "

"I am very proud to present this cookbook that delivers the tastes of my homeland--the Yucat?ín," says Chef Cetina. "Readers will learn, for example, that in the Yucat?ín, a roasted turkey with an annatto seed rub is the centerpiece of the Christmas Eve table along with penne pasta con queso de bola, ensalada de verduras and queso napolitano, a deliciously sweet flan. They will also find recipes for our typical, banana-leaf-wrapped tamales--in case folks want to start new holiday traditions."

"This cookbook boasts more than 140 recipes with easy-to-follow instructions and more than 120 mouth watering, color photographs," says Katharine A. D?¡az, who co-wrote the book with Chef Cetina. "But just as importantly, the cookbook is also jam-packed with information about the region, its culture and the stories behind its foods. It is important to understand the cuisine in its cultural and historic context."

Chef Cetina, who was born in the Yucat?ín, shares his stories. He began cooking as a young boy at his mother's knee as she prepared breakfasts, lunches and dinners for loggers in the timber town of Colonia Yucat?ín. After a brief detour working as an engineer, Cetina opened Chich?®n Itz?í Restaurant in 2001. It regularly tops the lists of the best Mexican restaurants in Los Angeles.

Katharine A. D?¡az is the former managing editor and food editor/critic for Hispanic magazine and has written widely about Latino cuisine and culture for a number of publications. She has faithfully interpreted Cetina's delicacies step-by-step in this cookbook.

Gilberto Cetina, Jr., also contributed to recipe development and food styling.

The cookbook is available on and at Chich?®n Itz?í Restaurant located at 3655 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90007.

This book is a compilation of Cetina's Yucat?ín family recipes, passed down from one generation to the next. And now it is available for everyone to enjoy.

Author's website

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