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Mexico -- One Plate at a Time with Rick Bayless

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In the land of the tortilla, bread can often get overlooked. But if Chef Elena Reygadas has anything to say about it, bread will soon rise as an important player in Mexican cuisine. She certainly has the right tools to effect change: At her bakery, Rosetta Panaderia, she crafts transcendent versions of Mexico's classic pan de pulque (pulque bread) and sugary-topped conchas. Rick swoons over these treats and engages Reygadas in a conversation about their shared philosophies of cooking and building community.

Baja California Norte produces many world-class, gold medal-winning wines. That fact may surprise most people in the United States. Rick takes us on a tour of the region along with renowned winemaker and visionary Hugo d'Acosta, founder of La Escuelita, a nonprofit winemaking school that opened in 2004. Hugo introduces Rick to his Casa de Piedra wines before taking Rick on a tour of the school where locals and chefs come to make their own wines. At Tres Mujeres, a charming winery run by three women, Rick tastes each of their wines with their favorite dishes.

WGBY Create
Tue May 21st, 7:30am
Tue May 21st, 1:30pm

David Sterling, chef and author of "Yucatan: Recipes from a Culinary Expedition," brings Rick on a whirlwind tour of the peninsula. The pair of Oklahoma-born, Mexico-obsessed chefs begin their journey with a conversation in Hunucma, where Dona Lupita serves home-cooked meals at the kitchen table of her family's cocina economica. Though the Yucatan is not known for its bakeries, David goes to the rustic wood-burning ovens at Panaderia Liz in Merida.

As the restaurant scene in Mexico City has exploded, so, too, have the culinary schools. Rick takes us to the Coronado Cooking School where the mission is to educate the next generation of chefs. Rick talks with students in the traditional Mexican kitchen classroom as they make a pipian sauce for shrimp. The school's outdoor live-fire kitchen includes tortilla lessons. In the "Dave" Creative Kitchen we see a beautiful presentation of pork loin with vegetables and huaximole. Coronado's students also help run Raiz, one of Mexico City's top destination restaurants.

WGBY Create
Thu May 9th, 7:30am
Thu May 9th, 1:30pm
Sat May 18th, 8:00am
Sat May 18th, 8:00pm
Sun May 19th, 2:00pm

The fertile waters of the Caribbean Sea provide exquisitely fresh fish, a bounty perhaps best translated on the plate through ceviche. Or sometimes you don't even need a plate, like when Rick and chef Juan Pablo Loza make a ceviche of freshly caught lobster on a boat in the Sian Ka'an nature reserve. At Catch, the Thompson Hotel's swanky rooftop restaurant in Playa del Carmen, chef Pedro Abascal teaches how to make a Peruvian-inspired mandarin, carrot, habanero and ginger ceviche with leche de tigre broth.

WGBY Create
Thu May 30th, 7:30am
Thu May 30th, 1:30pm

Belgian-born chocolatier Mathieu Brees brings Rick deep in the jungles of Ticul for a tour of cacao groves. The serene setting is the backdrop for a complete bean-to-bar chocolate education, with Mathieu, Rick and the plantation's caretaker tromping around the lovingly farmed cacao fields. Then, Rick and Mathieu head to the Ki' Xocolatl chocolate factory in Merida.

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