Paco Mendez Mexico: from pre-colombian food to Frida Kahlo

Guest of the Oscar Pomilio Forum fourth edition, the starred chef Paco Mendez reflects on the unique, very ancient connection existing in Mexico between cooking and art, from painting to literature

«Since the beginning of time, art in Mexico has assigned a privileged role to cooking, to the sensory experience of taste, to the expressive power of food, to conviviality »: this is how the starred chef  Paco Mendez, speaker of the Oscar Pomilio Forum fourth edition, describes the connection between art and cooking which, according to him, characterises the entire history of Mexican art. An unexplored connection, which was also reconfirmed on occasion of the Frida Kahlo exhibition at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome, organized by Mendez himself for Masterchef Italia.

«Just like art and literature – he continues – also food is a language: a language that can help us express our feelings towards our tablemates. That is why in Mexico, where hospitality – from reception to table – is of major importance, painting and all literature, from Frida Kahlo to Laura Esquivel, have always dealt with food, even with aphrodisiac cooking».

According to the Mexican chef, Frida Kahlo represents exactly one of the greatest expressions of such a union: «There’s an anecdote about the popular Mexican painter – says Mendez – telling that when someone knocked at her door, she immediately started preparing something to eat, and she went into the kitchen saying “Go bake some bread, you idiot!”».



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