Happy National Hispanic/LatinX Heritage Month!
National LatinX/Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15th through October 15th, as the dates coincide with national independence days in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Chile.
Each year, the spotlight shines on the cultural enrichment and undeniable influence that Hispanic and LatinX culture has given to the United States. During this month, we can promote the history, culture, and contributions of Hispanic-Americans in 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 that you can draw inspiration.
MEET THE CHEFS
If you’ve ever watched “Chopped” on the Food Network, it’s likely you’ve seen Aarón Sánchez judging chefs and restaurateurs. Chef Sanchéz’s culinary career began when he began working in his mother’s New York City restaurant, and since then has gone on to open numerous restaurants in NYC and other U.S. cities where he focuses on Mexican and Pan-Latin Cuisine. He currently is the chef-owner at Johnny Sánchez in New Orleans, and frequently talks about his philanthropic pursuits and commitment to blending classic Mexican techniques and flavors with American influences.
Chef José Andrés is a legend in the culinary world, having earned four Michelin Stars and being named in People Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” in 2012 and 2018. He is celebrated as an internationally recognized culinary innovator, New York Times bestselling author, educator, television personality, humanitarian, and chef/owner of ThinkFoodGroup. Chef Andrés has an extensive collection of Spanish cookbooks and a passion for Spanish cuisine.
Chef Rodriguez grew up in Miami and soaked up all the influence of Cuban cuisine in the culinary scene, as well as the flavors passed down in his Cuban heritage. He’s opened restaurants in NYC, Philadelphia, and Miami and is considered “the Godfather of Nuevo Latino cuisine.” Chef Rodriguez is considered one of the foremost authorities in Cuban cooking in the U.S.
Chef Gabriela Cámara’s wildly popular restaurant, Contramar, in Mexico city is celebrating over 20 years in business and a consistent spot on the list of best places to dine in Mexico City. Chef Cámara cooks with indigenous Mexican flavors that date back to Mayan and Aztec traditions, as well as European influences that align with Mexican cooking. You can visit her restaurant, Cala, in San Francisco where approachable meets upscale.
Chef Velez is a executive pastry chef in New York, raised in the Bronx and the Dominican Republic. She supports the pastry and baking community and to pursue conversations about racial injustice and workplace equality by using her industry profile, she was nominated for the James Beard Best Rising Star Baking Award in 2020. Velez and her colleagues lead bake sale programs like Bakers Against Racism and Doña Dona. Both of these organizations operate with the goal of raising funds for activist groups and socially focused nonprofits.
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