Yucatan's capital Merida, has recently become a hotspot for chefs and restaurateurs looking to lay roots and for tourists who are seeking the next great food destination. With a mix of Mexican Haciendas and European architecture, it's a unique metropolis that embraces its deep rooted history of multiple heritages. Local chefs and producers are adamant about respecting ancient culinary practices and ingredients and the sustainable fishing and farming techniques of the Maya, that are still being used today.
This large rugged and culturally diversified state is home to 16 indigenous communities, each with their own culinary history. Many of the kitchens in Oaxaca are championed by women who are honouring the ingredients and knowledge of their ancestors and putting a modern twist on traditional dishes. It's also the birthplace of Mezcal which has been grown, harvested and distilled by small agave plantations for many generations.
Puebla is where cultural dishes and traditions are savored and celebrated. Drew meets a local food anthropologist who takes him on a tour of the city, learning how and why Puebla was erected as the “model Spanish city.” Because Puebla was strategically located it became the bridge between the transatlantic and transpacific trade routes as all the ingredients and spices from these two distinct ports had to pass through here before moving onwards.
In Veracruz, the ingredients of this state are measured in thousands of years, shaped by its indigenous societies, the cultural footprint of Spanish traditions and the Jewish and Andalusia influences they brought with them, including the legacy of enslaved African people and their descendants who became part of Mexico's many ethnic groups. Mexico's largest port served as the entry point for all immigrants. The myriad of influences from all over the world is seen in its music, food and art.
Baja California is surrounded by three bodies of water that have established the peninsula's seafood centric cuisine. It's a mix of high desert, tropical beach towns, agricultural farmland and rugged mountains. With a population dominated by immigrants, Baja has little tradition to guide its culinary voice. Chefs rely on their own cultural influences and local ingredients to create extraordinary and innovative dishes.
Valle de Guadalupe is located on the Baja Peninsula, 90 minutes south of the US/Mexican border. Valle de Guadalupe is a small valley that in recent years has become a destination for award winning artisanal wine and locally sourced innovative gastronomy. The region has lured winemakers and chefs from all over the world to take advantage of the “no rules” ethos that embodies both the wine and gastronomy culture.
One of San Pellegrino’s 50 best restaurants, Latin America 2021
Award-winning chef Drew Deckman grew up in the United States, worked all over the world, and landed in Baja California, Mexico 16 years ago. Deckman's namesake restaurant, Deckman's El Mogor, in Valle de Guadalupe, resides on the property of an organic working ranch and winery and humbly sits under a huge tree in the middle of the vineyard.
The guiding force behind the restaurant is sustainability, where the chef is 100 percent committed to the advancement of sustainability and renewable local farming, fishing and ranching, from planting, harvesting, transporting, preparing and ranching.
Chef Drew has created what he calls a zero-kilometer restaurant or a concentric circle community, emanating from the ranch where his restaurant resides. Each supplier, rancher, grower are interrelated, interdependent, and reciprocal in their passion for purity, sustainability, and community. Deckman's El Mogor has been named one of San Pellegrino's 50 Best restaurants, Latin America 2021. His food is a combination of intricately composed plates and rustic elegant dishes but, the guiding force of chef Drew is sustainability. Deckman earned his culinary skills under Gastro-master chef, Paul Bocuse and Jacques Maximin, and mentoring by star teacher and author Madeleine Kamman
HHas been writing and directing for over 20 years. She produced a series called Passion to Profits for CBS News in New York featuring successful entrepreneurs who turned their passion into profitable businesses. She founded Entrepreneurial Edge, a national magazine profiling the country's top entrepreneurs and has produced many multi-media productions for corporations
Bond wrote, directed and produced the award-winning documentary: We Served Too: The Story of the Women Airforce Pilots of WWII. The film has been distributed on PBS and has been considered one of their most successful independent documentaries. Bond won a Gracie Award for the film.
Bond's latest film, Ingrediente: A Restaurant Uprooted, is a feature documentary airing on PBS nationwide and Amazon Prime. The film follows Chef Drew Deckman running his successful restaurant, Deckman's el Mogor, in Baja California, when he was forced to shutter operations due to the pandemic. His story represents a glimpse into what all restaurants faced worldwide.
Lisa Bruce is a two-time Oscar nominated and BAFTA award-winning producer. Over her 25-year career, she has produced numerous films and TV for major studios and independents.
In 2015 Bruce won the BAFTA Award for Best British Film for The Theory of Everything. The film was nominated for ten BAFTAs, winning three, and five Academy Awards including Best Picture, winning Best Actor for Eddie Redmayne.
In 2018, Bruce was again nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award and Best Picture BAFTA for Darkest Hour. The film was nominated for nine BAFTAs, winning two, and six Academy Awards including Best Picture, winning Best Actor for Gary Oldman.
In 2019-2020, Bruce oversaw a diverse set of writers and directors as the Creative Executive Producer for the 8-part anthology TV series entitled Welcome to the Blumhouse, for Amazon Prime. She followed this up with the film, American Refugee for the new EPIX TV anthology series.
In addition to developing her own projects, Bruce is a consulting producer for actor David Oyelowo and his company Yoruba Saxon, providing both story development and creative packaging for features, TV series and docuseries.
Bruce was selected as a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as well as the British Academy of Film and TV Arts in 2018.
With over 20 years experience creating content and brand identities for the world's leading TV & film productions, Victoria Brooks is a highly creative producer with a deep understanding of the global film and television landscape.
Along with her team at Milk Publicity, Victoria has launched and managed a huge array of high profile shows including: Downton Abbey, Peaky Blinders, Agatha Christie, World on Fire, Lady Boss: The Jackie Collins Story, Together and many more. In her role as Producer, Victoria has produced hours broadcast quality content for: ITV, BBC, PBS MASTERPIECE, NBC Universal, BritBox, Disney+ and many more.