Behind Closed Doors: Gabriela Cámara


Gabriela Cámara is the brilliant mind behind renowned Mexican restaurant Contramar—that tuna tostada!—in Mexico City, and Cala in San Francisco. With a deep understanding, and appreciation of the way food informs our day to day, her restaurants inspire us to connect, eat and appreciate the beauty of life. With the release of her new cookbook, My Mexico City Kitchen, she's sharing what she cooks at home. Take a peek inside. 

What is your food philosophy?

My food philosophy is to focus on sustainable, local produce and ingredients. It is about seeking out the good and fair things!

What are your thoughts on how food relates to beauty?

Food relates to beauty in so many ways. How it looks, how it tastes and how it is prepared and how it makes you feel. You use your same sensibility with food and beauty and art, in a way…it has to do with taste. Food and beauty both make you think about what’s being conveyed behind it.

What do you always keep in your fridge?

I have a pretty well-stocked fridge over-all! I always tend to have pickles! I make my own. I usually have a bunch of different chili sauces. In terms of staple ingredients: chiles rajas and a jimaca.

Please give us a breakdown of each shelf.

See what I mean by a pretty well-stocked fridge?!

On the top shelf, I typically have a bunch of different sauces.

Salsas and jams and pickles and different condiments. My collection has somewhat expanded to the shelf below it... and it spills over to the side too.

On the side rack, I’ve got a couple bottles of bubbly and wines that are chilling, along with almond milk.

Some more beverage highlights: Agua de Piedra, Electrolit, Whole Milk (Leche Entera)

The rest: a bunch of food in tupperware that shall not be named. I typically have fruit and some prepared vegetables. Leftovers from different meals. I’m always on the go.

Bottom shelf: Yogurt. More tupperware.

Please share a favorite recipe.

Now that you’ve seen my fridge, it seems appropriate that one of my go-to recipes is (not surprisingly) a salsa! The salsa verde from my cookbook, My Mexico City Kitchen, is what I like to call a workhouse salsa. All you need to do is combine small tomatillos, serrano chiles, a small white onion, garlic, salt and cilantro to create the most versatile sauce. You can put it over anything.

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