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The Art of the Details

Gabriela Cámara

Lesson time 04:16 min

Gabriela offers parting thoughts on the importance of hospitality in Mexican culture, how caring about every detail of a dish yields the best results, and why you should never compromise on quality ingredients.

Gabriela Cámara
Teaches Mexican Cooking
Celebrated chef Gabriela Cámara shares her approach to making Mexican food that brings people together: simple ingredients, exceptional care.
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[MUSIC PLAYING] - I think there is no Mexican that could say that food is not an important part of our culture. I grew up in a context in which every important part of life had to somehow do with food. We had important conversations at the table while eating. We made important decisions at the table while eating. I have a very direct association between important moments in life and good meals. And I believe in this world, the more one can connect with people over a shared love of a delightful dish, the better off we will be. [MUSIC PLAYING] In Mexico. We have a culture that, thankfully, still prides itself with the art of hospitality. We're a very welcoming culture. In Mexico, we are kind to people that are in front of us. And the art of serving is the soft to confirm our success of so many years. I believe the most important thing about a restaurant is the food, for sure. But a food that is served in a context of welcoming, warm generosity is so much better than with cold, not caring service. From the beginning, we set out to do a restaurant where food was a central focus and service as well. We didn't even have but one stove. We didn't have a proper oven. But it was really the warmth of the people that came to work with us, that came to be a part of the team, that made it what it is today. And that philosophy has sort of permeated the way that everybody feels at the restaurants. You probably are cooking for somebody that you care about. So I really urge you to pay attention to every bit of what you put into the dish, every thing in which you serve it, every plate, every glass that you put. And not in an neurotic, obsessive way, just in a way in which you translate your enjoyment for doing that. And I know it's not always easy. When one has to cook every night for a family, it's hard. But I guess the more one can put the duty aside and the caring for the details, the better off your result will be. And I believe that that is the best accompaniment, or the best company, for good food. [MUSIC PLAYING] Cooking at home is the best thing you can do because it implies so many things. It implies that somebody took the care, somebody took the time, that somebody knows how to master something enough to offer it to their loved ones or their friends. I think the most important lesson that comes from running restaurants successfully and being a professional restaurateur, or restauratrice in my case, is not compromising on quality at all, ever. If you start from good ingredients-- I have a friend who always says, you put good with good and good and the result is going to be good. It's very difficult to be mindful of what you're cooking and ruin good ingredients. If you start off with bad ingredients, you're not going to be set up for success. So I want to set you up for success by really insisting on quality of what you cook with. Other than that, I would really urge you to experiment, improvise. Go to the market and see ...

Savor every moment

A “star of modern Mexican cuisine,” Gabriela Cámara brings her local, sustainable twist to time-honored traditions. Now the chef of Contramar shares the richness of her culture through the art of food. Learn step-by-step recipes—for dishes of her own design, like tuna tostadas, and staples like tacos al pastor, salsa, and tortillas—and delight loved ones with your own delicious renditions of Mexican favorites.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

awesome format, great explanation, I'm now making some of her recipes

Very good instruction in techniques & culture. Would like more from her.

Fresh is best. Mexican cooking shouldn't be so complicated, i thought it was. Thank you Gabriela

Thank you very much for this wonderful Masterclass! That was a wonderful introduction of Mexical culture and Mexican point of view on food. I have learnt so many new kind of food that I will never probably see in my life, but it was amazing)


Mayumi N.

I loved classes very much. She is very sincerer and engaging. I cook extensibly Japanese Macrobiotic cooking style. I learned very good Tortillas.

crisbet C.

I went through the whole Masterclass with a mouth watering feeling, that is definitely a good sign to definitely put into practice and try to make it at home! Great class!

Richard C.

Gabriela's warmth, personal stories, and historical/cultural information made for a great class. Unfortunately, I'm not sure that I'll be able to find all the ingredients she used/recommended. I'll have to try to get creative with what's available here. My family LOVES Mexican food, so we'll try to put into practice what we learned, even if we have to substitute local ingredients.

Mike B.

I enjoyed this class. My goal was to earn how to make corn tortillas using masa and to learn how to make tamales. I'm looking forward to experimenting with the fillings for each.

A fellow student

An amazing and knowledgeable teacher of Mexican cuisine! Her love and passion equals her care and technique, along with interesting explanations and history. Cannot wait to get cooking with her recipes. Thank you!

A fellow student

That was very good. Gabriela explains things very well. I like how she doesn't get caught up in platitudes or clichés. She also acknowledges when things aren't authentic or traditional which I think is vital for someone learning about a foreign cuisine. She is very charismatic and engaging. There were some details I'd have liked to see (the fish stock for e.g.), but pretty much everything was covered.


Great class. Gabriela has a fun personality and I love her passion for cooking.


Loved it! We've been to Contramar twice and have her cookbook. This was such a treat!

A fellow student

This was such a lovely class. I loved the way she tied the whole class around "the masa" and the beauty and passion of cooking Mexican food. fantastic


This was such a great course! Gabriela is wonderful - smart, articulate and really transmits her passion. She is an amazing educator (which unfortunately is not always the case on Masterclass).