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Diana Kennedy, authority on Mexican cooking, dies at 99

Diana Kennedy, authority on Mexican cooking, dies at 99

She had a vague view of chefs and writers who didn’t do the same, and could wither her criticism. “They didn’t do the trip and research I did,” she told Saveur. “None of them, not one. I’ve traveled through this land, wandering – that’s why I’m not rich! – and take time, and no one else has. No one else has seen a particular chili at a certain stage in a market in Chilapa, and returned after six months to see other chilies.”

Ms. Kennedy moved to Mexico permanently in 1976, first in Mexico City and later in an Adobe house she built near Zitácuaro, about 100 miles west, where she taught intensive cooking classes.

Information on survivors was not immediately available.

She continued to write such essential cookbooks as “Recipes from Mexico’s Regional Chefs” (1978), “The Art of Mexican Cooking” (1989), “From My Mexican Kitchen – Techniques and Ingredients” (2003) and “Oaxaca al Gusto: A infinite gastronomy” (2010).

In a food memoir, “Nothing Fancy: Recipes and Recollections of Soul-Satisfying Food” (1984), she mixed up decidedly non-Mexican dishes like cold jelly sole, Iranian roast lamb, and crumpets.

In 2020 she was the subject of a documentary, “Diana Kennedy: Nothing Special”, directed by Elizabeth Carroll, who followed her as she cooked and taught in her solar-powered home. The New York Times called it “a vivid and uncritical portrait of a woman who is as passionate about composting as chilaquiles, someone who has a seizure when you put garlic in your guacamole.”

In her later years, Ms. Kennedy worked with the National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity, known by its Spanish acronym Conabio, to establish her collection of recipes, drawings, and notes on both Mexican cuisine and the country’s native edible plants. laying and digitizing. .

In 2010 she gave The Chicago Tribune a brief review of her work. “I’m tenacious,” she said. “And I like food.”

Christine Chung contributed reporting.