This past Sunday, June 30, legendary Mexican chef and cookbook author Patricia Quintana closed the doors of her fine dining restaurant Izote for the final time in Mexico City. The shutter comes roughly two years after she re-opened Izote, which had closed temporarily for renovation.
Quintana named her restaurant after the white yucca flower. In a February 26, 2009, interview with Wine Spectator, the chef described the food at her Polanco District restaurant as a "mixture of indigenous ingredients from Mexico." Quintana had wanted to display the various regional traditions in contemporary Mexican cuisine. Star Chefs quotes her as having once said, "My style of cooking brings sophistication to traditional recipes and giving Mexican food the recognition and honor it deserves."
Quintana is a key figure in contemporary Mexican cuisine. Mexico's Ministry of Tourism once appointed her culinary ambassador and she's trained with some of Europe's elite chefs, among them Paul Bocuse and Michel Guérard. Based in Mexico City, her influence was also felt in Los Angeles. She cooked with Rivera's John Sedlar at the 2010 East L.A. Meets Napa. Notable L.A. bloggers like Bill Esparza and Joshua Lurie have reported about visits to Izote on their respective blogs Street Food Gourmet L.A. and Food GPS.
Quintana shared in an e-mail with friends and followers that, in the wake of her restaurant's closing, she'll be running a banquet catering service called "Izote va a tu Casa," or "Izote goes to your home."
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