Born in Mexico with strong culinary ties to Mexico City and Tobasco, Enrique Olvera studied cooking at the Culinary Institute of America. With fine-dining and classical training under his belt, Olvera returned to Mexico City to open Pujol. His goal: to re-imagine traditional, regional Mexican food, and present its styles, flavors, and techniques in a modern fine-dining setting. And it’s with Pujol that Olvera’s arguably made the most strides for Mexican gastronomy—ancient and modern. Using avant-garde techniques to update centuries-tested Mexican cuisine, Pujol quickly garnered national and international attention. It’s widely regarded as the best restaurant in Mexico, and ranks 20 on the San Pellegrino “World’s Best Restaurants” list.
Staten Island-based restaurant Enoteca Maria knows that grandma’s cooking is unparalleled, which is why its kitchen is staffed by nonnas hailing from Poland, Liberia, Syria, the Dominican Republic and others. While the NYC restaurant is known for its traditional Italian cooking, it also offers a second menu from a different grandma (and her country’s dishes) each night. Inspired by his own nonna’s cooking and her heritage, owner Jody Scaravella opened Enoteca Maria in 2007 with the hope of sharing Italian grandmothers’ culinary and cultural traditions. The restaurant’s more diverse food expeditions began in 2011, when Scaravella created the Nonnas of the World, a crowd-sourced recipe book that allows users to upload their grandmothers’ recipes and stories.