I was really sad to learn a few months ago that Zarela, the restaurant that really introduced Mexican cuisine to New York, was closing. I was lucky enough to have attended a lecture presented by Zarela's proprietress Zarela Martinz last year, and began studying her work intensely immediately. Shortly thereafter, I attended a cooking class of hers at the restaurant and immediately felt a kinship with her. The genuine love and passion she was able to communicate for her family, her culture and her food was truly infectious. I left the class feeling like I was walking on a cloud and thinking to myself that I need to endeavor to communicate about my passions in the same way.
Zarela has been a pioneer along with other chef/owners like Lidia Bastianich in New York City. There are now many more women chefs and owners, but she was among the first. That Zarela the restaurant is now closed is truly heartbreaking but she has said that she intends to reopen in a new location (possibly downtown) and meanwhile is maintaining her catering business as well as teaching cooking classes and consulting. Please please go to her website and follow her blog http://www.zarela.com/ for all sorts of excellent information about food, Mexico and her passions and inspirations. Follow her on twitter so you know if there's a class she's offering: you can take it! If you have an event you think she would be good to cater: get in touch! If you want to learn more about Mexican cuisine: buy her books or watch her videos!
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