Mexico set for boost in gastronomic tourism as home to world’s best female chef Reygadas

Elena Reygadas, chef-owner of Rosetta in Mexico City, has been named as The World’s Best Female Chef 2023

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023 revealed Elena Reygadas as the winner in the first of this year’s pre-announced awards. Since being recognised as Latin America’s Best Female Chef in 2014, Reygadas has become one of the most important figures within Mexican gastronomy.

The award continues to acknowledge the female chefs paving the way for future industry leaders.

A passionate advocate for Mexican biodiversity and sustainable production, she has recently launched a female-focused scholarship programme in Mexico with the aim to promote greater gender parity in kitchens. With the goal of championing equal opportunities and strengthening the leadership of Mexican women in the gastronomic world, the ‘Beca Elena Reygadas’ scholarship is open to Mexican students who have been accepted into a culinary school.

Reygadas said: “I’m very grateful and honoured to have been awarded by people I admire so much. Cooking is a communal practice. And so, for me, this award belongs to my entire team, as well as to all the women in the kitchen who have preserved our culinary legacy for generations.”

Hailing from a large family, Reygadas learnt to cook as a child and later went on to study English Literature at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. However, she never stopped cooking – Reygadas worked in restaurants throughout her studies and continued cooking at home; several years of dedicated practice led her to become a chef after finishing university. Studying in New York led to four years in London under the tutelage of Italian chef Giorgio Locatelli, before returning to Mexico City to open Rosetta, today celebrated as one of the best in the city. 

Gastronomic tourism

Rosetta opened in a beautiful mansion house in Mexico City’s Roma district in 2010, serving an elegant menu that focuses on revamping traditional Mexican dishes. With a daily changing offering thanks to its focus on seasonal, local ingredients sourced from small producers, it placed at No.60 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022 list and No.37 in Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022.

From her speciality of exquisite hand-made pastas which helped Reygadas make her name – such as the hoja santa tortelinni – to favourites like the pistachio pipián and romeritos taco, and the fresh corn tamal serviced with warm smoked cream, her inspired dishes seek to elevate and celebrate indigenous ingredients.

As well as an adjacent Rosetta bakery, which provides bread to many of Mexico City’s leading restaurants, Reygadas also runs casual Mexican restaurant Lardo and bistro Café Nin, both in the capital. Her first cookbook was published in 2019, with a focus not just on recipes and the philosophy behind them, but on Mexican ingredients, in particular the environment and traditions that shape them.

William Drew, Director of Content for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, commented: “It’s an honour to bestow The World’s Best Female Chef award this year on Elena Reygadas, a chef who is paving the way for future generations of female leaders in Mexico and beyond. With her advocacy of traditional dishes and indigenous biodiversity, Reygadas is promoting the future of Mexican gastronomy and we’re proud to support her mission with this prestigious award.”

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