Food, Home & Lifestyle

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.

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Topics include: The Art of the Details


[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 ...

About the Instructor

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.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Gabriela Cámara

Celebrated chef Gabriela Cámara shares her approach to making Mexican food that brings people together: simple ingredients, exceptional care.

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