Mexico City chef Gabriela Ruiz Lugo has been voted the best chef in Mexico by the Mexican Gastronomic Council.
Originally from Comalcalco, Tabasco, the 31-year-old says it is her home state and her family that have inspired her cooking: traditional ingredients found in the Mexican southeast like plantains, black beans and chocolate prepared with pre-Hispanic and Spanish influences.
Seven years ago Ruiz created Gourmet MX, a catering service she operated out of Villahermosa. Her first project then evolved into a restaurant that soon became a fixture in the region.
Later she moved to Mexico City where she opened her current restaurant, Carmela y Sal, in the Miguel Hidalgo borough.
Ruiz told the newspaper Milenio that being recognized as the Best Chef of 2019 has made her proud but at the same time implies a great responsibility.
“I could not believe it. There is still a lot I need to learn, and this is a great responsibility because I admire many chefs that also deserve this recognition,” she said.
Ruiz believes that a good chef must have discipline and respect the team. “I could not do this alone. I want to be a better cook and a good leader, one that listens to the people you spend 10, 12, 14 hours every day with, even more time than your own family.”
The road ahead might take Ruiz abroad because she is interested in opening a restaurant in the United States. Be that as it may, she will never be too far away from her roots and inspiration, because she could never live permanently in another country: “Life in Mexico fascinates me, and living in Tabasco is one of the most unbelievable adventures.”
The Best Chef award is intended to bring young, talented chefs closer to the world of gastronomy and promote their professional development.
Source: Milenio (sp)