Nahua Recipes Rediscovered: Native Mexican Culinary Celebration
November 18, 2022
2:30–4 p.m. | At the Garden
Chef Irwin Sánchez will be giving a culinary demonstration and discussing the close connection between age-old Mexican culinary traditions and the Nahuatl language. The workshop will focus on the importance of Indigenous food and languages as a means of resistance and cultural reclamation.
Soup Milpa is a dish of peasant origin that is customary in Puebla, Tlaxcala, Federal District, Hidalgo, and, in general, in the center of the country. It uses products harvested in the milpa: corn kernels, epazote, pumpkin flowers and guides, zucchini, poblano peppers, onion, and garlic cooked in water or chicken broth. In addition to these basic ingredients, cuitlacoche, green beans, or nopales can be added. It is a very old soup, perhaps of pre-Hispanic origin. Currently it is found all year round, but in the past, it was typically made in the rainy season, which is when pumpkin flowers and cuitlacoche abound and corn is harvested.
Small bites of Soup Milpa will be served after the demo.
Support for the Humanities Institute is provided by the Mellon Foundation.
About the Speaker
Irwin Sánchez, originally of a Nahuatl-speaking community from the city of Puebla, is a chef, poet, language scholar, educator, and community organizer, perhaps best known for his now-closed Manhattan restaurant Under the Volcano and Tlaxcal Kitchen.
Originally a pop-up restaurant, Tlaxcal Kitchen grew to become a celebration of Indigenous culture. In 2022, Sánchez was a James Beard Award Semifinalist for Best Chef New York State. In 2023, he will be featured in Netflix’s third season of Taco Chronicles. He recently joined the team at La Cumbanchita in Bushwick, Brooklyn, and has two books forthcoming, including a Nahuatl cookbook.