Chef Patricia Quintana of Izote de Patricia Quintana - Biography

Col. Polanco, Mexico City, Mexico

November 2011

Patricia Quintana is an acclaimed chef, teacher, and author who started Mexico City’s first culinary institute, penned over ten cookbooks, and continues to run the immensely popular Mexico City restaurant Izote, named for the orchid-like flower of the yucca plant. She has traveled the world as an ambassador of Mexican cuisine, been the executive chef for the Mexican Ministry of Tourism.

Quintana trained under Europe’s renowned chefs Paul Bocuse, Gaston Lenôtre, Michel Guérard, and the Troisgros brothers. When she returned to Mexico, she dedicated her career to researching and teaching about the amazing range and sophistication of Mexico's food, which comprises 32 distinct cooking styles. According to Quintana, the origins of her cuisine lie with the Mayans, whose grand civilizations rose and fell long before the Spanish conquistadors stepped foot in the New World, and whose cooking staples included corn, beans, chiles, vanilla, tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, and chocolate.

While Quintana strives to maintain the techniques of ancient Mexican cooking, she also experiments with the classic, employing new methods that use less oil and include fresh, indigenous herbs and vegetables. "My style of cooking brings sophistication to traditional recipes and giving Mexican food the recognition and honor it deserves," Quintana has said.