Enrique Olvera wins lifetime achievement award

The chef and Phaidon author is to be honoured at the 50 Best Restaurants Latin American awards ceremony
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Enrique Olvera
Enrique Olvera

At 39 years old, Enrique Olvera might seem a touch too young for a lifetime achievement award. Yet if the great Ferran Adrià believes his fellow chef and restaurateur has left a lasting impression on one of the world's most popular cuisines, perhaps it is actually time to get the gongs out.

As Adrià put it back in 2013: “There was Mexican food before Enrique Olvera, and Mexican food after Enrique Olvera.” This month the 50 Best Restaurant list will recognise huge Olvera's achievement, when it presents the chef with its Diners Club Lifetime Achievement Award on 23 September at its third annual Latin American ceremony, to be held in Mexico City.

50 Best's award citation describes how the chef pared back Mexican food to “to an almost Japanese aesthetic,” brought great clarity of flavour to his national cuisine, and increased its appeal around the world.

 

Baby Corn with Chicatana Ant, Coffee, and Chile Costeno Mayonnaise. Photo by Araceli Paz. From Enrique Olvera’s Mexico From the Inside Out
Baby Corn with Chicatana Ant, Coffee, and Chile Costeno Mayonnaise. Photo by Araceli Paz. From Enrique Olvera’s Mexico From the Inside Out

“Popular dishes have been reinterpreted, entirely new creations regularly conjured up, fresh techniques applied to ancient ingredients, and the classic Mexican mole sauce taken to new levels of sophistication” the citation explains.

Those lucky enough to have eaten at Olvera's restaurants tend to concur. His Mexico City place, Pujol, was ranked sixth in last year's Latin American list, and sixteenth in this year's international list, while his New York City restaurant, Cosme, which opened in late 2014, has already received laudatory reviews.

 

Tortillas. Photo by Araceli Paz. From Enrique Olvera’s Mexico From the Inside Out
Tortillas. Photo by Araceli Paz. From Enrique Olvera’s Mexico From the Inside Out

Congratulations Enrique. To learn more about his impeccable gastronomy, pre-order a copy of Olvera's debut book, Mexico From The Inside Out; for more great Latin American chefs consider DOM by Alex Atala; Gastón Acurio's Peru: The Cookbook; and Margarita Carrillo Arronte's Mexico The Cookbook. Oh, and for tips on where to eat in this continent and others, get a copy of Where Chefs Eat.


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