Waitrose & Partners Weekend Issue 617

45 22 SEPTEMBER 2022 THE MEXICAN VEGETARIAN COOKBOOK Book of theweek Margarita Carrillo Arronte The hour of knead for Bake Off crew It’s Bread Week in the Bake O tent this Tuesday (27 September) and the remaining 10 bakers begin by making their signature pizza. With Lord of the Loaf Paul Hollywood (below) judging, it’s always a high pressure episode. Paul makes pizzas “nearly every other day” in his outdoor pizza oven, so it’ll take something special to impress. All forms of breadmaking skills will be tested, with innovations aplenty. Paul was blown away by Hermine’s unorthodox smoked salmon and chive soda bread in 2020. Last year, he eulogised Crystelle’s roasted grape and feta focaccia. And Giuseppe’s tomato and olive focaccia (secret ingredient, milk) secured a Hollywood handshake and a recipe request. Watch this space... September ends on a delicious note in York, where the city’s annual Food &Drink Festival celebrates the flavour of the region over 10 food-filled days. From tomorrow (23 September) until 2 October, you can drop in on free cookery demonstrations by the likes of James Mackenzie, of Michelin-starred pub The Pipe and Glass, Neil Bentinck, head chef at York’s Skosh restaurant, and Ahmed Abdalla, head chef at York’s newest fine dining restaurant, Legacy at The GrandHotel. minster marvel Discover the food and drink of York this weekend Brush up on your cookery skills and pick up fantastic food and drink at festival Fill your bags at market stalls, and roll up your sleeves at The Food Factory where free sessions will teach the skills behind preserving and smoking your own food, baking the perfect loaf of bread, and creating the silkiest pasta. Still hungry? Graze and sip your way round some of the city’s tastiest independent producers, delis and restaurants on a Taste Trail, or a guidedHidden Gems tour which promises to push open the doors of less well-known spots. yorkfoodfestival.com “Mexican cuisine is one of themost varied and sophisticated in the world,” writesMargarita Carrillo Arronte in her latest tome, TheMexican Vegetarian Cookbook. Not only that, “the further back we go in the history of the region, themore vegetarian the roots of its cuisine become.” This may surprise you if your idea of central American food is a big bowl of chilli or pork tacos. But Margarita’s assertion is part of a growing reappraisal of the country’s cuisine, casting it less in heavy, meaty terms andmore as part of a continuous lineage of largely plant-based eating that stretches back well into pre-Colombian times. Earlier this year, ThomasinaMiers demonstrated how the country’s rich vegetarian tradition is a product of its Aztec corn, tomato and chilli heritage in her book, Meat-FreeMexican. Chef Margarita, meanwhile, has successfully campaigned to get Mexican cuisine recognised by Unesco as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Who better placed, then, to present meat-freeMexicana in all its varied glory? Margarita shares breakfasts such as curd cheese tlacoyas – cornmeal pancakes with crumbled cheese and hot sauce. There are light lunches, including red bell peppers with potatoes and sa ron. Snacks include plantain croquetas with refried beans. And there are dinners such as green poblano chillies, stu ed withmushrooms, corn and courgette, served in an ancho-spiced tomato sauce. There are soups and salads, breads and desserts, and a whole lot more besides. Indeed, given that this encyclopaedic book stretches to more than 400 recipes, drawn fromevery corner of the country, there are a few things you’re unlikely to turn your hand to, but whichmake fascinating reading all the same. Wemight not choose tomake cactus paddles stu ed with cheese for supper, but it certainly adds to our understanding of Mexican cuisine to know that other people do – and have done for centuries. TheMexican Vegetarian Cookbook (Phaidon) is out now. Interview: Paul Dring Photography: Alexandra Grablewski/ Getty Images, Joe Daniel Price/ Getty Images, Channel 4, Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Urquiza vibrant veg Red bell peppers with potatoes and sa ron (top); plantain croquetas (above left); mushroom-stu ed green poblano chillies (above right)