Renowned Mexican Chef Yuri de Gortari Leaves Behind a Legacy of Traditional Mexican Cuisine

Lead Photo: Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla
Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla
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Mexican Chef Yuri de Gortari-one of the country’s most influential chefs-died Tuesday evening (Dec. 8) at the age of 69, according to an announcement from the School of Mexican Gastronomy, which he founded. “The tributes that this great human being deserves will be carried out in time,” they said in the announcement. He cooked Mexican fare on the Youtube cooking channel “Cocina Identidad” dedicated to traditional Mexican recipes. In his last cooking video uploaded more than a year he makes conejo en salsa chile pasilla which he describes as ancestral and important to the history of Mexican cuisine, illustrating both his love of food and the history behind it as well as its significance to Mexico.

The chef co-founded the 12 years ago with gastronomic historian Edmundo Escamilla. It is the only school that specializes in traditional Mexican cuisine, according to the Mexican news outlet, El Financiero. de Gortari was born in Mexico City on July 15, 1951, and graduated with a degree in Hispanic language and literature from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México before devoting his life and career to Mexican cuisine. He co-authored eight books including Recuerdos de Chocolate and El Maíz en el Mundo, three of them were recognized by the Royal Academy of Gastronomy.

His devotion to traditional Mexican cuisine earned him the National Prize for Gastronomy in Spain and Forbes recognized him as one of the most influential Mexican chefs. “I think there is no one who equals us [he and Escamilla] in making interdisciplinary connections. It inspires us to know that food is linked to all areas of knowledge and with all cultural aspects, ” de Gortari told Forbes.