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Pati Jinich

“‘I jump not only into recipes, but also into the culture and history,’ Jinich says. This means sessions devoted to particular regions (the fish-centric Yucatan peninsula) or types of food (dishes prepared in convents). Backdropped by the institute’s blue-and-white tile room, Jinich whips up salsa, soups and more on portable burners, reeling off anecdotes as she chars peppers or blends sauces.

Jinich’s easygoing patter and doable recipes helped her land ‘Pati’s Mexican Table’ on PBS in 2011. It starts filming a third season soon, featuring similar how-to’s in Jinich’s sunny, Mexican-pottery filled kitchen.

‘I just think Mexican food fits the American lifestyle,’ says Jinich, laughing. ‘It’s accommodating, generous and not fussy.’ Kind of like Jinich herself…”

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