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Mexican Herbs = Extinction?  

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Dear Chef Bayless,
This is weird. This is the third time I have had to ask this question.
Dear Chef Bayless,
When I was in Puerto Vallarta in October, I had the pleasure of meeting Carmen Porras, a wonderful chef and owner of El Arrayan. Her restaurant is the epitomy of tradional Mexican foods and her passion and diligence are unequaled. She, however, is greatly concerned that the globalization of agriculture has caused the Mexican farmer to focus on herbs that can sell to a greater market and this may lead to the extinction of some of the old timey
herbs and the lessening of the great Mexican cuisines. Do you agree with her, and, if so, would you be willing to participate at any level, in helping to keep the herbs alive and useful?
Thank you,
Chef Donald Jacksina

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post #2 of 3
I am involved with many organizations, Chefs Collaborative, Slow Food, Raft with Gary Nabhan that are all interested in preserving heritage meats, heirloom vegetables, etc. I think that going through an organization is much more valuable as they have a pool of resources to offer to anyone interested in moving towards preserving herbs, and the like. What I have done in Chicago is to teach and ask farmers to grow for me what I would need for my restaurants. I would encourage any chef to do that. In the past few years we taught our Amish farmers to grow tomatillos for us. They are wonderful. Same with epazote--before everyone thought it was a weed.
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Mexican Herbs- Extinction?

Thank you for your reply. I work with the Vermont Food Network and maybe this is a way to go. I hope you won't mind an occasional e-mail, since your experiences may help Carmen Porras create a network so that all the traditional herbs and spices can be safely kept for future generations.
Sincerely,
Chef Don
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