NRAEF : Blog

Happy National Hispanic Heritage Month!

by | Sep 29, 2020 | Blog Post |

National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15th through October 15th, as the 15th signifies the anniversary of independence for many Latin countries.

Each year, the spotlight shines on the cultural enrichment and undeniable influence that Hispanic and Latinx culture has given to the United States. In honor of this celebration, we are highlighting a few influential Latinx chefs and their countless contributions to our nation’s restaurant industry. We compiled a list of a few amazing chefs and their game-changing books that you can draw inspiration from.

MEET THE CHEFS

José Andrés

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Chef José Andrés is a legend– and for good reason! He was named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” in both 2012 and 2018, and is a force to be reckoned with. He is celebrated as an internationally-recognized culinary innovator, New York Times bestselling author, educator, television personality, humanitarian, and chef/owner of ThinkFoodGroup. If you are a fan of Spanish tapas in the United States, you have Andrés to thank for being one of its pioneers. He is a naturalized citizen originally from Spain, he now has an extensive library of cookbooks that focus on Spanish cuisine and more.

Take a look at his most recent cookbook, Vegetables Unleashed.

Aarón Sánchez

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Who doesn’t love TV personality Aarón Sánchez? You may recognize him from popular cooking competition shows such as MASTERCHEF, Chopped, and Chopped Junior, but his greatest accomplishments reach far beyond that.

Sánchez is also an award-winning chef, cookbook author, and active philanthropist. He is passionate about empowering aspiring chefs from the Latinx community to follow their dreams and attend culinary school. Sánchez works to preserve his family’s legacy through food in his cookbooks ‘Simple Food, Big Flavor: Unforgettable Mexican-Inspired Recipes from My Kitchen to Yours’ and ‘La Comida del Barrio: Latin-American Cooking in the U.S.A.’

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Get a taste of his cookbooks (and his latest memoir) here.

Pilar Hernandez

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If you haven’t checked out Pilar Hernandez’s blog, you should do so right this second!

Pilar Hernandez has welcomed her community to her Chilean Kitchen through her food blogging and coordinating of 3 community gardens. She was born and raised in Chile and then moved to Houston, Texas in 2003 without knowing how to cook or speak English. In her first days in the US, Hernandez went to an American grocery store and vividly remembers the frustration of not knowing how to identify the ingredients she needed. She has now made it her mission to show others how to cook Chilean food with American ingredients. In 2014, Hernandez partnered with 3 other Chilean bloggers to create the cookbook, “Comer Rico: Del blog a la mesa” (only available in Spanish).

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You can now also pre-order her brand new cookbook, The Chilean Kitchen: 75 Seasonal Recipes for Stews, Breads, Salads, Cocktails, Desserts, and More.

Maricel Presilla

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We learn something new every time we check out Maricel Presilla, Ph.D’s Instagram page!

Dr. Presilla is known for combining her expertise in culinary history and Latin American cuisines as an award-winning author, chef, and restaurateur. She is currently the Chef and Owner of Cucharamama in Weehawken, NJ.

With a Spanish history doctorate, her academic background and anthropology fieldwork are the backbone of her three books, ‘Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America’, ‘Peppers of the Americas: The Remarkable Capsicums that Forever Changed Flavor’, ‘The New Taste of Chocolate: A Cultural and Natural History of Cacao with Recipes’. If chocolate piqued your interest, you must know that Presilla’s books have inspired countless chocolate lovers, makers, and farmers to look deeper into fine cacao from Latin America.

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Check out her book on the history of cacao and chocolate.

Roberto Santibañez

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Roberto Santibañez has worn many hats throughout his career with experience as a restaurateur, culinary consultant, author, and teacher in Mexico, Europe, and the United States. Currently, he is the chef/owner of Fonda restaurants in New York City, Mi Vida in Washington D.C., and the culinary director of The Grill in Washington D.C.

Santibañez’s love for food began at a young age growing up in Mexico City watching his grandmother cook. After years of mastering the complexities of Mexican cuisine, Santibañez has now shared that expertise through three highly acclaimed cookbooks ‘Rosa’s New Mexican Table’, ‘Truly Mexican’, and ‘Tacos, Tortas, and Tamales’. In his upbringing, Santibañez was told by his grandmother that food preparation does not always have to be exactly by the book, so we sure he would give cooks of all ages the same advice when using his cookbooks.

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Take a look at his three cookbooks here.

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