Hey there, I’m Patrick! I spent 2 years living in Cozumel and got obsessed with Mexican food! I wrote Mexican Craving: 9 Easy Steps to Cooking Authentic Mexican at Home after my time in Mexico and then built this site to share all the recipes and techniques I’ve learned along the way. That’s the short version, but here’s the long version…
In 2011 I went to Cozumel, Mexico, hoping to escape the real world for a bit. I’d been working in television post-production in Los Angeles for ten years and I was ready for a change.
I thought I would get my scuba certification and be in Mexico for a couple months, but I ended up staying for two years. As expats in Mexico will tell you, it’s different down there: the people, the pace of life, the big smiles. It was a welcome change from the rat race.
I quickly developed a passion for two of the island’s main allures: diving and food!
Here’s a menu from a small restaurant on my street.
OK, so their menu board needs a little work. And the food? Ever heard the phrase ‘You can’t judge a restaurant by it’s menu board?’ It was significantly better than any Mexican food I’d had up until this point in time.
See that ‘Chicken with Mole sauce’ that happens to be first on the menu? At the time I had no idea what mole sauce was, or how good it can be when done right, or how lucky I was that this place was a half block away from my house.
I lived in a guesthouse in a family compound run by an octogenarian matriarch and her two daughters. Her youngest daughter, Mimi, was in charge of cooking for the family: every meal, every day, every week. Luckily for me she would frequently walk across the courtyard and hand me a plate of her latest creation, “Buen provecho”.
That worked out well because Mexico made me hungry. Something about the combo of diving and the HEAT gave me an insatiable appetite.
But Mimi didn’t bring over food every day (why not?!!!), so I eventually set out on my own, and after a few fitful starts in my own kitchen I started to get good at the time-honored techniques. And within a year of arriving in Mexico I stopped eating at most of the local restaurants because Casa Me was tasting better.
Fast forward to today and I am living in Hawaii (although originally from Indianapolis). Both of these regions are, uhmmm, lacking when it comes to Mexican cuisine. It’s kind of surprising to see what we settle for as ‘Mexican’ when north of the border (ground beef in hard taco shell from a box?)
But there’s good news. Authentic Mexican travels well. Chile peppers have gone global, and now with the Internet you probably have easier access to the full range of Mexican ingredients than most people in Mexico.
So now when I make this at home:
…it only takes one bite and I am back in the heart of Mexico.
Spend some time here and soon your standard for measuring Mexican food in your area (and even in Mexico) will be based on a simple question you can ask yourself: “Is it as good as my own?”
That was the original purpose for Mexican Craving, and now for this website too. I wanted to share everything I learned and prove that your kitchen can produce authentic fare that would make the Mexican president swoon, no matter where you are in the world.
So that’s the skinny on me and how all this came to be.
Do I miss Mexico? Yes! But when people ask me that they are usually asking if I miss this:
Weather and diving are a big part of the allure of Cozumel and I definitely miss that.
But it’s actually the shifts in way of life that make me really miss Mexico, so when I see photos like this:
….it always reminds me that there are places with vastly different approaches to life than what we are accustomed to. (P.S. That’s the masa dough for the corn tortillas that the local markets in Cozumel make every morning. You can get a big stack of fresh corn tortillas for less than a dollar. And they’re still warm!)
Photos like that make me miss Mexico. They also make me hungry 🙂
Feel free to send along questions or comments as you make your way through the site. You can always use the Contact Page to get in touch.
Nice meeting you 🙂
P.S. Check out our Featured In page to see all the awesome peeps who are sharing Mexican Please recipes.