Chef Marcela's "Fresh Mexico" Tasting Event

I was fortunate to be invited to a fantastic foodie event last night. It was a tasting and pairing to celebrate the release of Chef Marcela Valladolid's first cookbook Fresh Mexico: 100 Simple Recipes for True Mexican Flavor.
Growing up in Tiajuana, Mexico, attending school in San Diego, and then cooking school in Paris, Chef Marcela takes classic Mexican cooking from her childhood and adds her own twist, successfully creating simple, fresh Mexican dishes that incorporate ingredients from different cultures and cuisines.

The event was held in the penthouse suite at the Hudson Hotel. It was a gorgeous setting with great city views from the terrace.

We were greeted with Marcela's Fresh Mex Margarita, a light and refreshing cocktail. Chef Marcela spoke about the five tastings of recipes straight from the pages of her book. The owner of L.A. Cetto Vineyards also discussed the fantastic Mexican wines that he selected to pair with each course.

Rosemary-skewered shrimp

Butternut squash and chipotle soup

Easy chicken mole

Also served was a rack of lamb with ancho crust. And, to round out a delicious tasting, Marcela's mom's strawberry tartlets were brought out.

Check out Chef Marcela's website for more information about her cookbook Fresh Mexico and her show "Relatos con Sabor," which airs on Discovery en Espanol.