"The food is so fucking beautiful!" ALESSANDRO PORCELLI
Let’s be honest. The Yucatan has never been on the world’s culinary map and I can confirm that one tires quickly of panuchos, salbutes, sopa de lima and crank-it-out cochinita pibil. As far as I know, the Yucatan has not produced a local gastronomic genius like Peru’s Ricardo Zarate but perhaps it’s time. Or maybe its time to get down to the milpas and experience this ancient cultures’ Mayan cuisine just a little more intimately. Several of the world’s top chefs think so, and will be joining Alessandro Porcelli this week for an authentic immersion in Part 3 of ‘Cook It Raw’ in the Yucatan.
I finally got to see the great videos by Munchies at Vice and was left with one big question. Why does one have to be a world class chef to experience this back to the land, meet the people, get your hands dirty, get Raw kind of culinary immersion? I have been wanting to take cooking classes here ever since I moved to Merida, but I don’t want to sit in some restored colonial home kitchen with everything chopped and laid out for me. I want the real deal. I want to fish and dig holes with the men. I want to grind, chop, steam, bake, wrap and smoke with the women. And I want to share the experience and the food with the families, the village, the people who make this wonderfully authentic food for themselves day in and day out.
Maybe, just maybe, Cook It Raw will open itself up to plebeian cooks like me, who long to know more about the ingredients grown and raised here, what they mean to the Mayan culture, and how I can integrate that knowledge within the not so raw confines of my own kitchen.