Welcome to Robb Recommends, a regular series in which we suggest something our editors think might just change your life for the better. The products, services and experiences featured herein are independently selected and vetted by Robb Report’s editorial staff. However, we may earn a small commission if you buy something on this page.
These days it feels like Gabriela Cámara is omnipresent—not that we’re complaining. She has hit restaurants from Mexico City (Contramar) to Los Angeles (Onda with Jessica Koslow) and San Francisco (Cala). Cámara published one of our favorite cookbooks of 2019. Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador named her an advisor to his administration. And now, somehow, she’s found time to record a Masterclass on Mexican cooking.
The chef first made her mark on the culinary scene in Mexico City more than 20 years ago when she opened the seafood-driven Contramar. There, she took favorite street food of her youth, like a tostada, and elevated it with excellent technique and outstanding ingredients. She’s since expanded to California, becoming a fixture of the SF dining scene and a newbie on the LA front.
In her 13-part series she gives you a look into some of the dishes that have made her famous—like her tuna tostadas or her Pescado a la Talla, which is a whole fish, butterflied and then slathered in a parsley salsa verde that pays homage to her mother’s Italian heritage, and a spicy Mexican red sauce alongside it.
Now, some of the early cooking Masterclasses were actually a bit too basic and at times felt a little disjointed. That’s certainly not the case with Cámara’s class. She walks you through important building blocks for Mexican cuisine while also connecting those smaller pieces to completed dishes you’ll want to cook. For instance, she shows you how she makes her adobo sauce and then uses on both the Pescado a la Talla and her tacos al pastor. And she also walks you through crafting homemade tortillas starting from nixtamalizing heirloom corn to creating masa to pressing the tortillas.
All along the way with each lesson, Cámara is an excited and engaging teacher, peppering her guides with little tips and also personal anecdotes, like when she tells the story of how she became her family’s tortilla maker when she was seven years old. Of all the cooking series Masterclass has done so far, this one may be the best.