My Mexico City Kitchen, by Gabriela Cámara is a stand-out. Filled with brightly colored mouthwatering ingredients, it’s a love letter to her native Mexico, and especially to Mexico City.
Cámara’s world-renowned restaurant, Contramar, a bustling sea of tables and happy diners, is by now a well-established iconic institution in the nation’s capital. She launched it about 20 years ago, when she was only 23 years old. It still feels a fresh and vibrant as the first day.
Every day the restaurant is full from the moment the doors open at noon. It is a favorite of locals and visitors alike, known as the best place to eat seafood in La Ciudad de Mexico. The food is simple but gutsy, traditional yet contemporary. The ambiance is frenetic, casual and professional, with skilled waiters deftly navigating the room at rapid speed. The food is absolutely marvelous, with fish and shellfish of the highest quality, perfectly executed.
Two signature dishes are always on the menu. One is the Tostada de Atún, sushi-like slices of raw tuna on a crisp-fried tortilla round dabbed with a bit of chipotle mayonnaise, an example of Cámara’s brilliance. The other is the eye-catching two-tone whole butterflied red snapper, Pescado a la Talla, painted with green and red salsas and quickly grilled. Order those and a few other items, then dig in. The table is adorned with little bowls of lime wedges, spicy pickled vegetables and a basket of steaming hot tortillas, made to order.
But the book features many more aspects of Cámara’s talents. From her home kitchen, there are family dishes. For breakfast, an assortment of traditional dishes, like chilaquiles, huevos en camisa and conchas, prepared with a light hand. There are innovative tacos; a giant tamal; savory pork carnitas for a soggy spicy torta and many more delights. You’ll find street foods and beach snacks and stellar spice-laden mole sauces for enchiladas or braised chicken. And there are delicious lessons to be learned on every page, owing to Gabriela’s unique perspective.
3 simple recipes to whet your appetite,
each featuring a different type of chile.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds With Chile and Lime
For a great snack with drinks, pepitas (pumpkin seeds) roasted with chiles de arbol. Get the recipe.
Mahi- Mahi Ceviche With Ancho Chile and Hibiscus
Try the unusual ceviche, spiced with ancho chile and jamaica (hibiscus). Get the recipe.
Mussels in Chipotle Sauce
Or steam a pot of mussels with smokey chipotle chiles in adobo. Get the recipe.