Flavors of Nayarit
“It is Nayarit´s Michelin Guide”. Bernardo González Huezo.
“Flavors of Nayarit is a great contribution to the legacy and survival of authentic native-regional cuisine, giving this heritage a forceful new presence in the world. The book, and the history it contains, are marvelous and you (Chef Alondra) have my first prize for giving it to the world. Well done!” Gordon G Verburg
“You wrecked my sleep last night. I read your entire book; I couldn’t put it down. I was entirely unprepared, however, to read what is truly a collection of love stories.” Joseph Ryan
“I stayed up late to go through every page of this cookbook. Chef Alondra Maldonado educates and makes the seemingly inaccessible accessible. Hats off to her for bringing the culinary and cultural riches of the Mexican state of Nayarit to the greater public. I am not surprised by all the awards.” Jody Noble
Flavors of Nayarit is Alondra Maldonado Rodriguera´s tribute to her home state’s traditional cuisine. Together with photographer Roberto Zepeda they travelled over 4500 km and visited 45 towns in the 20 municipalities of Nayarit and interviewed over 240 people.
“A cookbook like this one, Flavors of Nayarit. The Undiscovered Treasure of Mexico is a delightful surprise. Certainty impregnates every page, it is the evidence of a woman’s determination. Alondra Maldonado Rodriguera, the author, sweeps aside the forced language used to write most cuisine books. Her work flows with an intimate tone when chronicled in excellent prose. This book takes us beyond the simple and flat approach for specialties that, in seeking the colorful, miss the esthetics of mystery. In common cookbooks wisdom and magic fade away.
Nayarit’s uniqueness had been overlooked, when it deserved just recognition. Alondra has earned every word. Her achievement is enormous because she did not use the simple approach of just saying: “Give me your recipe.” On the contrary, she explored our state from head to toe. She shared sacred and secular celebrations, plunged into chores to show us that the value of a product is in its process. In this book, the fisherman who goes out in the half-light before dawn to support his family appears with great dignity, the miraculous bread seller, the generous grandmother, those who make tortillas; they are coast dwellers, mountain people; the women, mothers and wives who from dawn to dusk work without rest, with no other reward than to be an example and inspiration at home. Works are measured by the feelings they awake, and this book, Flavors of Nayarit. The Undiscovered Treasure of Mexico is an embrace that sparks the deepest loves.”
Alma Vidal, Nayaritan poet.
If you are into food and cultures around the world, you will love it, but especially those of you who have made Nayarit, Mexico your special place. You will get to know the deep side of your second home.
What are the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards?
The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards were founded in 1995 by Edouard Cointreau. Every year, they honor the best food and wine books. The Gourmand Awards have been compared to the Oscars. They are inspired by the Olympic Games and their spirit. Their objective is to reward and honor those who “cook with words,” to increase knowledge of, and respect for, food and wine culture, which promotes peace. They serve to promote food and wine tourism, as well as to help readers find the best cookbooks.
The selection process goes as follows, the books have to first qualify in their respective national competition, the winning books represent their country in the “Best in the World” competition, which are proclaimed the following year.
Flavors of Nayarit has received awards in several categories: 4 categories for Mexico, 2 as Best in the World, 1 finalist as Best in the World and 1 as The Best of the Best in 20 Years.
These are the awards!
For Mexico: Best Local Cuisine Cookbook. It was notified in January 2015.
For Mexico: Best First Cookbook. It was notified in January 2015.
In the World: Best Historical Recipe Cookbook in the World. Awarded in Yantai, China, June 2015.
The Best in 20 Years: The Best of the Best in 20 Years as Best Historical Recipe Cookbook. Awarded in Frankfurt, Germany during the Frankfurt Book Fair 2015.
In the World: Best Translation Recipe Cookbook in the World. Awarded in Yantai China, June 2017.
Chef Alondra Maldonado Rodriguera
Writing the book was the beginning of what, to this day, seems to be pure madness, of what I still do: traveling, writing, researching, meeting people and documenting traditions and stories found on each dish. Not only that, it amazes me that this “madness” is helping farmers to sell their native corn, awakening the reader´s curiosity to try traditional milk candies, scraped tortillas, dry shrimp, etcetera, which means, that the book has become a window that promotes Nayarit´s culinary products. But above all, as a way to understand ourselves and respect diversity, I also partake and observe the rituals of our native peoples and then share them. Every time a copy of the book is sold, it allows us to continue doing research.
I have often asked myself, why do I continue doing this? But I have found the answer in Silvio Rodriguez´ song “Where do I put I what´ve found”? I truly believe in traditional cuisine as a means to support farmers, local economies, to return to healthier and more sustainable nutrition, also as a way to enhance people’s identity! This may lead to curious tourists, eager to try new authentic experiences.
I love to research, to teach Mexican-Nayaritan cuisine, to lecture and cook as a guest chef. I invite you to follow me on Facebook and Instagram, and if you would like to know more about the research journey that lead to the book, read my blog.
If you would like me to be a guest chef at your place, be a speaker or lecturer, contact me!
I toast for the free spirits, for those who seek, for those who find, for the ones that persevere, for those who contribute and also for the naysayers who make us stronger.
I toast for the subtleties of life as the aroma of beans while cooking, the crunchiness of a corn tostada, the breeze of the ocean, the hidden wild mushrooms that grow underneath the pine and oak leaves.
I toast to the sum of who we are in a dish, to that aroma that embraces us and takes us to a moment of happiness.Alondra Maldonado Rodriguera