By Albinson Linares and Valeria León, Noticias Telemundo
Elena Reygadas’ days start early, which explains why she laughs remembering that everything was “dark” when she found out she’d been named best female chef in the world in the The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023 awards.
“I did not expect it and it has been a very nice surprise; it is very exciting to obtain recognition like this. I want to share it with my entire team; there are many of us in the kitchen and it is always a collective act,” Reygadas, 46, said in an interview with Noticias Telemundo at Rosetta, her first and signature restaurant, which she opened in 2010 in an old mansion in the Roma neighborhood of Mexico City.
Over a decade later, the world-renowned restaurant is where Reygadas has dedicated herself to reconfiguring the vast culinary wealth of her country, menu by menu.
“The menu is based on the timeline and the ingredients that nature gives us. Right now, for example, we have a dish with Manila mango that only lasts a little while. We are also using a lot of muscatel plum, which is a moment and when it’s over, it’s over,” said Reygadas, who was named Latin America’s best female chef in the 2014 awards. “It makes us sad because we became very attached to the ingredients, but that also allows us to continue our creativity and move into a new moment.”
On Wednesday morning, before Rosetta opened to the public, the aromas of Mexican herbs and vegetables such as hoja santa, romeritos and avocados mingled with powerful hints of spices and, of course, chiles, which are at the heart of many of Reygadas’ signature dishes.
A dish at Rosetta has green tomatoes, eggplant, molasses and Ocosingo cheese.
When asked the secret of Rosetta’s success, she credits that emphasis on “biodiversity.”
“It’s a factor that also has its challenges, because sometimes people who visit us are already in love with a dish but, when they arrive, it is gone and they don’t like that,” Reygadas said. “So changing the menu to respect nature’s times is also a challenge at the diners’ level.”
Vegetables play a leading role in many of Reygadas’ signature dishes, such as beetroot tartare al pastor, smoked cheese tortelloni with hoja santa — a Mexican herb — and the famous kale with pistachio pipián, or mole sauce, and romeritos (wild herbs) tacos.
“I am convinced that the vegetable side of the kitchen and the ingredients of Mexico are wonderful; they are exceptional flavors and there are many to explore. That is why we are increasingly focusing more on the vegetable,” she said.
Read the complete article originally posted on Telemundo here.