Ben Herrera dishes up classics like cochinita pibil on his blog, What’s Cooking, Mexico? (Photos/courtesy Ben Herrera)
Who’s blogging: My name is Ben Herrera and I’m originally from Mexico City. I grew up surrounded by food at my parent’s fonda (small family restaurants in Mexico). I guess my love for food was born among the aromas and flavors from the big, steamy clay pots and in the aisles of the Mexican markets when my dad and I were shopping for ingredients for the restaurant.
Explain your blog name: I started my blog when I was living in Columbus, Ohio and it was originally a personal project to keep track of what I cooked at home and let my family know what I was up to, hence the name “What’s Cooking?” I moved back to Mexico in July 2010. One of the reasons I got back was to write about my country’s great food and destinations. I decided that What’s Cooking, Mexico? was a more fitting name for my blog. Now my blog is about more than food. As I rediscover my country and its food I want to share with my readers the traditions, culture and history behind our great food. For me it’s a way to appreciate the hard work that is behind every authentic dish I enjoy.
Blogging since: April 2007
Where you’re blogging from: Mexico City. But I also try to show other places in Mexico. Not only tourist destinations like Cancun, but other parts of the country where food and traditions merge to create magic. Right now the media, especially in the U.S., portrays a violent and dangerous country that is very far away from the real Mexico. The lives of most people down here don’t get touched by the violence that affects some isolated pockets of the country. Come to Mexico! I assure you’ll have the time of your life.
Most popular post: The perfect Mexican rice.
What you’ve learned about food: That no matter what part of the world you’re from, food is the best way to tell someone you care about them. Food brings people together and good food is happiness.
What inspires your posts?: Currently on the streets and markets of Mexico. If you want to know Mexican food, that’s where you have to start. I also get my inspiration from the cocineras (cooks) who are the keepers of our cuisine. Their knowledge is passed from generation to generation, from mother to daughter, and thanks to them our cuisine is now in the UNESCO list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
What lessons have you learned from blogging?: Again, that food brings people together no matter where they’re from and what the venue is. In this case, I’ve met a lot of amazing people through my blog that are as passionate about food as I am and I’ve learned a lot from them. I know that I won’t be able to prepare or try all the food I see and read about daily. But learning about other country’s cuisines and traditions is enough for me.