Oaxaca: The Food of the Region, and of LA’s Legendary Restaurant Guelaguetza

Abrams. Oct. 2019. 288p. ISBN 9781419735424. $40. COOKING
Opened by Lopez’s father in the early 1990s, Guelaguetza was the first Mexican restaurant to win a James Beard Award. Today, the restaurant still embodies the Oaxacan custom of gift exchange. This cookbook, along with the story behind Guelaguetza, proves that Mexican food should be considered among fine dining options. Lopez begins the volume with a brief history of the restaurant and its place in her family history, as she is now co-proprietor. Food writer Cabral collaborates to create easy-to-follow recipes, often accompanied by step-by-step pictures, reflecting the same gift exchange custom that is such a large part of Oaxacan cuisine. Lopez gives a brief overview of the ingredients that are needed to prepare the recipes, along with a list of suitable alternatives.
VERDICT From the recipe for traditional masa, used to make tortillas, to moles that form the base of many recipes, the simple instructions and lavish photographs make this a delightful cookbook, suitable for anyone with an interest in traditional Mexican food.

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