BELLA PETITE LATINA PROFILE: CHEF MARICEL PRESILLA
Move over Julia, make some room for Maricel Presilla. Named Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic region by the James Beard Foundation, she is co-owner of not one, but two pan-Latin restaurants in Hoboken, New Jersey, Zafra and Cucharamama. She is the author of an impressive cookbook that is doing for Latin American cooking what Julia’s masterful books did for French cooking in the U.S. Presilla’s new addition, Ultramarinos, a Latin American store will delight all foodies with prepared foods, coffee, cacao, spices from Latin America and the possibilities of catching a cooking class or two.
As if Presilla did not have enough on her plate, “no pun intended” she is also the president of Gran Cacao, a Latin American food company specializing in chocolate research, marketing, and heirloom cacao bean trade. In addition, Presilla writes a column for the Miami Herald and she has been featured in the New York Times, Saveur, Food & Wine and other major publications. An accomplished author of several books, she has two cookbooks under her apron; Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America (The James Beard Cookbook of the Year in 2013) and The New Taste of CHOCOLATE.
A remarkable chef, historian, entrepreneur and a great role model. Presilla’s inquisitive historian mind has led her to many humble homes throughout Latin America. Like Columbus looking for new land, Presilla explores the many corners of Latino kitchens through villages, the countryside and even humble huts to find the most exciting dishes that Latin America has to offer.
It was very hard to track her down, but I finally got to chat with her after her return from the Peruvian Amazon. Presilla was happy to share information about Jicama, a Latin root vegetable, and her recipe for our Bella Petite’s Latina’s column.
Chef Maricel is our newest Bella Petite contributing expert. She will be sharing her fabulous Latin recipes with us. Check back later this week for Chef Maricel’s recipe of Jicama Sticks with Chile and Lime, a fun and healthy recipe!
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