Part cookbook, part memoir and part family photo album, My Abuelo’s Mexican Feast takes a trip to Mexico and into the past to uncover the life (and food) journey of author Daniella Germain’s Mexican abuelo (grandfather), Elias.
“After sitting down with the recipes that my mum passed onto me [for the first book] I realised that many of them were very old and cooked by my abuelo’s father when he was young. It dawned on me that I could base the book around my abuelo's life stages and the food he loved,” Germain says.
A passionate and hardworking doctor with humble beginnings, Elias was born in Alvarado on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, and throughout the book it’s clear he was equally as passionate about his food and family as he was his career in medicine.
Among its pages you’ll find a charming assortment of authentic family recipes, quaint illustrations, faded old photographs and little anecdotes as Germain follows her abuelo’s life, one dish at a time. She explains, “It’s an authentic look at the food of Mexico, going beyond trendy tacos and to the soul of Mexican cooking and family life.”
Many of the recipes are family favourites the author remembers enjoying on childhood trips to her grandparents’ ranch in Mexico. Others have been handed down from her abuelo’s family. Included are recipes for everything from Mexican-style sandwiches, street food and sorbets, to pastries and rustic “ranch food”.
Asked if she could pick a favourite, Germain says, “I love the recipe for salpicon [pulled beef salad]. It’s something that my mum cooked a lot when we were younger and there is something about the combination of the ingredients in the dressing that takes me back to Mexico.”
Published by Hardie Grant, My Abuleo’s Mexican Table by Daniella Germain is now available from bookshops nationally.