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About Pati Jinich

About Me

I was born and raised in Mexico.

That is the first thing I say when people ask where my love for food comes from. Although I think that should explain most of it, it usually doesn’t.

I come from a family of accomplished cooks and food maniacs. Absolute maniacs. Most of what I read, think, research, test and teach (including to my three boys, much to the dismay of my mother in law) is about food. I guess that doesn’t explain most of it either…

In hindsight, I think my interest in food built up as I tried to deny it. As a political analyst, I left things related to food for my spare time. As my husband and I started to grow a family, I began to think he was a macho man in disguise, who wanted a wife in the kitchen, since he insisted time and again I quit my academic path to jump into cooking. Things you are truly passionate about, he would say, haven’t you noticed?

I did have wonderful incursions into the culinary field in the past. Right after we got married and moved to Texas, I taught Mexican cooking to friends and neighbors. Then, I became a production assistant for the PBS food series New Tastes from Texas hosted by Chef Stephan Pyles, along with guests Diana Kennedy and Patricia Quintana, pioneers who helped introduce Mexican ingredients into American cooking.

Once we moved to DC, I retook my formal path as a political analyst and received a master’s degree in Latin American Studies from Georgetown University. I worked so hard, I got a merit scholarship and felt very proud. Soon after, I worked at the Inter American Dialogue, a policy research center, which I had considered my dream job, and kept on working even harder!

Yet, I got into an early existential crisis of sorts… Obsessively thinking about food rather than politics, after a year, I registered for a nightly program at L’Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg, Maryland. After a lot of hesitation, I decided to take a plunge, and left my job to give food a real try. I have never looked back. In 2007, prompted by the Director of the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, D.C., I launched Mexican Table.

Mexican Table is a culinary program which consists of a series of live cooking demonstrations, tasting dinners and workshops. Through this program I try to swing a window wide open into the fascinating world of Mexican cuisine. I help familiarize people with its ingredients and cooking techniques, with a sprinkling of culture, history and traditions.

About Pati’s Mexican Table: the TV Series and Cookbook

As friends and students of my live program know, there is never enough time for me to say all I want to convey. In my continuous amazement of what I have yet to learn and taste, I am humbled and fascinated by each finding, whether traveling through Mexico or cooking at the Institute, in my kitchen or other kitchens with other cooks. I love to share this information.

Thus, I started this website, originally with only the food blog, as an attempt to share more. As time passed, I started writing for print publications and got invited to give talks and do demos for radio and TV outlets.

Today, Pati’s Mexican Table is a national public TV series that is going on its fifth season and can be seen throughout the United States. On this website, you will find the original blog section, where I regularly blog. But, you will also find a TV show section, where you will find information on the TV series, the different seasons and absolutely every recipe included in any of the episodes. You will also find a cookbook section, where you will find information on my cookbook and where you can get a copy.

Each recipe included in my blog, TV series or cookbook exists because I love it. I test every recipe until it becomes a magic potion, for my classes, episodes or family meals. Having lived here for more than fifteen years, I understand some of the challenges of raising a family in the US and putting a meal on the table for picky eaters. I also try my best to make each class, each episode, each blog post as meaningful as I can for those who take the time to connect. I am deeply grateful: Thank you! I started this blog, have developed and created each episode, and every book chapter, because of and for you.

As one of my goals is to make cooking simple and accessible, all the ingredients used are easy to find. I also try to figure out the easiest route to get to the yummiest version of a dish and give detailed instructions as to the progression of a dish by the smells, sights, sounds, textures and tastes you are looking for. This is so you can develop your own instincts and feel empowered in your own kitchen.

In sum, in my blog, TV series and cookbook, I will tell you what happens before and after a scrumptious dish shows up at my table: the research, trips, stories, testing, cooking, eating and sharing. I hope it is a worthwhile effort, and you get as much pleasure reading it as I do writing it!

TIP: I update the content on this website continuously and more than once a week. However, sometimes it is as a blog post and sometimes it is in the ingredients, basics, press or favorite videos section. Do check them all out!

Note: Photos on blog and ingredients posts are taken by me…  Please bear with me, I am learning as I go… (they will get better, promise!). Photos from my cookbook were taken by Penny De Los Santos, a few of the portraits by Cade Martin, a few of the portraits by Michael Ventura, and the portrait of Juju and me on the homepage and the “recipes for happiness” video section was taken by Beth Herzhaft.

ps… If you like what you read and see here, I am delighted! But if you want to use and publish any of the content or photos, please ask beforehand and link to this blog. Many thanks.

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